June, 2005
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

April 16, 2005 Board of Directors Meeting Report Out


ASHI's first board meeting of the 2005 membership year was held on April 16th in Rosemont, Ill. The directors and officers attended an orientation session the day prior to the meeting. This is a brief report of the actions taken during the board meeting. It also is posted in the Membership Extranet of ASHI's Web site. Discussion items and failed motions are not included. The official minutes will be presented for board approval at the next meeting, July 16, 2005, in St. Louis, Mo. Please review this report to be informed of actions taken by the ASHI board on behalf of the membership.

I. Consent Agenda

The Board reviewed and approved items presented on a Consent Agenda. Consent Agenda items are those that do not require debate or dialogue in order for action to be taken on them Approved items include the following:

A. The elimination of ASHI Policy 11.1, which reads:

Use of National Home Inspector Examination by State Regulatory Agencies

State regulatory agencies are permitted to use the National Home Inspector Examination (NHIE), managed by the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (EBPHI) under license from ASHI, as a qualification test for the purpose of meeting state regulatory requirements, provided the NHIE is administered by EBPHI or its agent and the individual state agrees to accept EBPHI's pass/fail grading cut-off. ASHI retains all copyrights and ownership of the NHIE. (Note: As ASHI no longer retains ownership of the NHIE, this policy is no longer valid or necessary.)

B. Changes to the EBPHI bylaws as presented. (Note: Upon establishment of the EBPHI back in 1999, their Bylaws indicated that amendments would require the approval of ASHI's board. This motion, as approved by the board, now removes that contingency from their bylaws.)

C. The audited financial report for the fiscal year October 1, 2003, to September 30, 2004, for ASHI from Ahlbeck & Company, dated November 4, 2004, was approved.

II. Approval of Minutes

Board meeting minutes were reviewed and approved by the board. These included:

A. Minutes of the January 12, 2005, board meeting held in Austin, Texas, as presented.

B. Minutes of the January 14, 2005, annual business meeting held in Austin, Texas, as presented.

III. Interim New Business

The following items were removed from the Consent Agenda, to be dealt with separately.

A. Motions were made, seconded and approved to establish the Blue Ridge Chapter of ASHI and the Greater Fredericksburg Area Chapter of ASHI.

B. A motion was made, seconded and approved to make the following change to ASHI Policy 11.2.b: "The National Home Inspector Examination is maintained and administered by the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors, under license from ASHI." (See note under Section I, Item A.)

IV. Work Area Status Report

At each meeting, the board receives status updates on how the committees and staff are progressing in their work within each area of the Strategic Plan. These reports have taken the place of "Committee Reports for Review" and "Committee Reports with Motions." While there were no specific Committee Motions to address under this section, the board spent time reviewing and discussing a number of items, including a report provided by the Advocacy Task Force, which had met in an
effort to evaluate ASHI's role as an advocate. There were various recommendations made by the task force to the board for their consideration. The following actions took place:

A. The ASHI board approved the following statement as ASHI's official position on advocacy:

"ASHI advocates for excellence and exemplary practice to the benefit of our members, the profession and the public."

ASHI advocates excellence and exemplary practice by:

(p = benefit to public, pr = benefit to profession, m = benefit to members)
Promoting competent technical inspections and high ethical conduct (p, pr, m)

Planning, developing and providing educational opportunities (pr, m)

Establishing, promoting and maintaining professional standards and qualifications (p, pr, m)

Developing, reviewing and publishing technical and educational materials (pr, m)

Developing, maintaining and enhancing membership growth and retention
programs (m)

Communicating the ethics, standards, purposes, goals and accomplishments of the

Society to its membership, government, private sectors and the
general public (p, pr, m)

Promo+ national voice to create public awareness of the benefits and value of an ASHI inspection (p, pr, m)

B. The board authorized the Advocacy Task Force to move forward with creating new strategies and tactics, along with trends, challenges, solutions and desired results for proposed inclusion in the society's Strategic Plan to be presented to the board in a Committee of the Whole format at the July 2005 meeting.

V. Miscellaneous Reports

Financial Report

A. The board approved a Finance Committee recommendation that variances between Budget and Actual income and expenses be published in ASHI's monthly financial statements and that staff be prepared to explain significant variances to the Board of Directors.

B. The board approved a Finance Committee recommendation that the Board Subgroup be continued and charged with the additional responsibility of monitoring and periodically evaluating the cost benefit, feasibility and effectiveness of the ASHI Branding project

C. A motion was made, seconded and approved that ASHI's Finance Committee be charged with the responsibilities of 1) overseeing the budgeting, financial reporting and financial analysis functions of the society; 2) adopting appropriate fraud prevention and detection and risk management policies; 3) developing appropriate investment objectives and guidelines for ASHI's investments; 4) overseeing the investment of ASHI's reserve funds; 5) managing conflicts of interest; and 6) other responsibilities as may be necessary or assigned from time to time.

D. The board approved a Finance Committee recommendation to appoint an Audit Committee, which will be populated by the members of the Finance Committee plus two sitting board members to be appointed by the president by the July board meeting.

E. A motion was made, seconded and approved that the board must approve the hiring of business consultants for unbudgeted projects and services.

F. A motion was made, seconded and approved that the Finance Committee be directed to include Strategic Expenditures and dues into the operating budget. (Note: this will result in the creation of one dues amount to include both operating and strategic expenditure coverage. The next dues amount will not be broken up into separate categories.)

Headquarters Report

A. The board authorized ASHI staff to seek proposals and enter into agreements to resell report writing systems. (Note: this will allow ASHI to be able to resell a variety of report writing software and systems to the ASHI Membership at a reduced cost as an exclusive membership benefit. This is not to be viewed as an endorsement of any system by ASHI.)

B. A motion was then made, seconded and approved to accept a Letter of Agreement from The Bellman Group dated April 14, 2005 to resell the "My Report Writer.com" system. (Note: this represents the first report system to be resold. A
current sitting director on the board, who maintains ownership in this company, identified this matter as a conflict of interest for him and did not participate in the discussion or voting on this matter.)

Legal Report

The board approved the creation of a task force to consider the creation of policy regarding criminal background checks in the membership process. (Note: If this task force decides it is appropriate for ASHI to conduct criminal background checks on membership, the proposal will still need to come to the board for review and approval.)

VI. Unfinished & New Business

A. A motion was made, seconded and approved that upon signature of the ASHI Volunteer Leadership Agreement, all motions including a concise rationale and budget impact shall be distributed only to the council group leaders and alternate speaker at the same time the board books are distributed to the board and the speaker. However, the executive director may withhold, at his discretion, any sensitive material.

B. The following recommendation was made to the board for consideration: "There shall be a task force to refine the form used by Chapter applicants to include a statement of how they will grow to be viable, including how they will grow to 10 members within two years. The task force shall be made up of equal numbers of the Chapter Relations Committee and Council of Representatives. The report will be delivered by the July 2005 board meeting." The board did not vote on the recommendation; however, they referred this matter to the Chapter Relations Committee for consideration.

C. The board approved a motion to recommend that all motions contain a "pro" and a "con" opinion included after the "rationale." The pro may be the rationale itself.

VII. Executive Session

During executive session, only the board is allowed to be in the room. Unless otherwise requested, all guests and staff are asked to leave. After the executive session is completed, typically, the secretary reports certain actions taken during the session, as appropriate. There were two executive sessions conducted during this board meeting. The acting secretary reported that the board elected Mr. Jim Lee to be the senior director on the Executive Director Evaluation Committee.