April, 2004
Feature
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



2003 Chapter Reports

EDITED BY ASHI STAFF

Arizona Chapter of ASHI
President: Paul Staron   
Past-President: Michael Williams
Vice President: Randy West   
Secretary: Neil Brogren
Treasurer: Chris Maksimuk
Northern District Director: Roger Skaggs
Central District Director: Jim Keller
Southern District Director: Bob Kille    

The year 2003 was a busy one for the active Arizona ASHI Chapter. Our chapter numbers continue to grow, with a 35 percent increase year to year, earning us the Most Membership Growth award at InspectionWorld.

Another highlight was the hiring of our first Executive Director, who is assisting with chapter activities. Also, the chapter Public Relations Committee headed up a successful advertising campaign targeting Arizona’s 30,000 real estate professionals.
Other committees and programs were expanded as well. Past President David Swartz was named chair of our Allied Associations Committee, as we make efforts to expand our relationships with other industry groups. The Education Committee held five separate educational workshops, highlighted by our first AZ-ASHI two-day conference in September, and it established a lending library. The board approved the Master Inspector Education Program designed as an education benefit to membership and as a certification program. And we’re looking forward to a new state-of-the-art Web site also approved by the board.

We’re proud of our own Brion Grant, who was awarded the Iron Man of the Year Award for his service and devotion to ASHI. Our thanks to all of our chapter officers and volunteers for their commitment to our great chapter.

Central PA Chapter of ASHI
President: Terry D. Amsley   
Vice President: Frank Marsico            
Secretary: Wade Martin    
Treasurer: Bob Lloyd

In 2003, we offered 10 educational dinner meetings, each approved for one MRC. Topics included waterproofing homes, claims avoidance in the home inspection business, inspector business law, radon mitigation, oil-and-gas-fired heating systems, truss joist systems, and building heat gain and loss.

In October, we were represented at Chapter Leadership Day in Chicago. Following the meeting in Chicago, all new chapter Members and Candidates were presented with Chapter Handbooks and existing members were issued updates.   

We participated in two real estate trade shows, where we distributed approximately 750 member list tablets listing all of the chapter members’ names, companies, addresses and contact information, as well as the chapter Web site (www.ashicentralpa.com). In March, Mike Casey, ASHI past president, was our guest speaker for the Carlisle Area Realtor® Association monthly meeting, which was sponsored solely by the Central Pa. Chapter. Many thanks to Mike.

Keith Rutherford of our Membership Committee will be mailing a letter to all ASHI Members and Can-didates within 50 miles of the Harrisburg Metro area, inviting them to participate in The ASHI Experience by joining our chapter. Our membership is growing.

As we celebrate our third anniversary in July of 2004, our primary goal will be to empower our members with The ASHI Experience, as a professional home inspector who meets the highest nationally recognized technical standards, combined with the best in customer service.

Garden State Chapter of ASHI
President: Pete Engle    
Vice President /Treasurer: Ernie Borsellino
Secretary: Kevin Vargo   
Past-President: Ken Salvo

The past year was one of the most challenging years we’ve had in the legislative arena. We managed to defeat a bill that was intended to seriously weaken New Jersey’s strong home inspector licensing law. ASHI took the position that if we’re going to have licensing in New Jersey, it should be meaningful. Our pro-consumer stance saved the day and earned us some respect in our statehouse.

In addition to legislative activity, we had our most successful day-long seminar to date, and we managed to hold on to our membership despite the constantly increasing cost of doing business in our state. Thanks, everyone, for a very interesting year.

Heartland Chapter of ASHI
President: Brian Snowberg   
Vice President: Ron Werder
Secretary: Roger Brown   
Treasurer: Burdell Oye
Directors: Joe Schuenemann and Dan Neizgocki
Council Representative: Chris Ueland
Candidate Representative: Jeff Blixt

The chapter held four well-attended, full day seminars this year. Attendance at these events continues to increase. The summer seminar included our annual River Cruise Dinner aboard a paddleboat on the St. Croix River. Each month, except seminar months, we hold a general membership meeting. These are educational events, usually featuring a guest speaker and time for discussion. This year, the meetings opened with a special presentation designed for Candidates,  but everyone was welcome to attend. The idea was popular, and will be expanded on for 2004. Our goal is to help Candidates get the knowledge and confidence they need to complete the NHIE exams and to become full Members.

Again this year, our members have been interviewed for various local television news shows. In addition, one is a regular on a weekly radio talk show. We overhauled our chapter Web site (www.ashiheartland.com), adding functions and information for our members and the public.  

Minnesota is considering home inspector licensing, and our legislative committee has been working on refining what we believe should be part of any bill that is introduced. The ASHI position paper has been helpful as a starting point and as a guide. In addition, we have been attempting to build a working coalition with other non-ASHI inspectors in Minnesota.

Our chapter is proud to have had COR member Chris Ueland serve as chair for ASHI’s Code of Ethics Committee. In addition, Chris received the President’s Award from Immediate Past-President Rich Matzen at InspectionWorld.

Hudson Valley Chapter of ASHI
President: William Hughes   
Vice President: Douglas Myers
Treasurer: John Gerardi
Co-Secretaries: Dan York and Arlene Puentes

Doug Myers, our president for 2004, is making chapter growth and the graduation of Candidates to full Members a goal for 2004. To that end, we pride ourselves on courteously welcoming visitors, on our Candidates Education Hour, and on our $100 payment to chapter members who pass the NHIE and/or the ASHI Standards test by April 2004. We also have plans to mail meeting announcements to non-affiliated ASHI members and to non-ASHI inspectors. We meet monthly and every meeting includes an educational speaker to help us better serve our profession. A full day, wood-destroying insect inspection seminar was held in March 2004.

In 2003, we held our first annual Historic Homes Seminar. The two-day seminar featured speakers well known in the field of historic homes and a tour of a newly renovated (but not finished) pre-revolutionary stone house. The evaluations were enthusiastic and plans are under way for another Historic Homes Seminar in September 2004.

In 2003, we also demonstrated our commitment to our local community with financial sponsorship and a day of labor for a Rebuilding Together renovation project for a low-income neighbor.

Hudson Valley ASHI chapter members take a great interest in National ASHI events, and were represented by three members at the 2003 Chapter Leadership Day, and at least seven members at January’s InspectionWorld.

The real estate market in our large and heavily populated geographic area continues to keep our businesses busy, but we are mindful of the cyclical nature of business and plan to take advantage of The ASHI Experience tools for the promotion of our chapter members. More information about our chapter can be found on our always-current Web site: www.hvashi.com.

Mid-Missouri Chapter of ASHI
President: Bob Emery   
President Elect: Jay Creasy
Secretary/Treasurer: Fred Fischer

This was our second full year as a chapter. Nearly every home inspector in the Mid-Missouri area has chosen to be a part of our group. Throughout the year, our monthly lunch meetings have been well attended. Each Member or Candidate is assigned one meeting a year to bring the guest speaker.

We added one new Member and four new Candidates to our roster in 2003, and the year also marked the beginning of our annual educational seminar. We chose to start small, giving a one-day, one-topic seminar on “Foundation Problems and Their Solution.” Considering the seminar was our first one, we were pleased to have 45 inspectors from Missouri and three neighboring states attend.

Mid-Missouri was represented at Chapter Leadership Day. In December, our membership volunteered to help collect donations from passing motorists who came to view our chapter president’s huge, annual holiday light display in Columbia, Missouri. More than $2,000 was given to Habitat For Humanity.

North Carolina Chapter of ASHI
President: Glenn Church    
Vice President: Larry Ross
Secretary: Dimitri Ledkovsky    
Treasurer: Bill Brandon
Council Representatives: George Van Horn and Keven Kossler
Director at Large: Tom Edwards
Liaison to NCHILB: David Jones
Liaison to Lobbyist: Bill Delamar

Four area chapters consolidated into a statewide North Carolina Chapter in March 2003 to better serve the membership. Education and business meetings were conducted three times during the year. The two-day education conference in November met both ASHI’s MRC and North Carolina’s continuing education requirements.

We developed a Web site (www.ncashi.com) with an inspector locator function, providing the public with easy access to North Carolina ASHI members by counties served. There is also a forum on the site for Q & A in North Carolina. Anyone inquiring about membership is sent a membership packet that includes past issues of the ASHI Reporter as an example of one of the benefits of ASHI Membership.

A statewide newspaper and National Public Radio (NPR) advertising campaign was conducted during June. The tagline for both was “NC ASHI Raising the Bar of Home Inspections.”  Readers of newspaper real estate sections and NPR listeners during “Drive Time” were pointed to our Web site. We saw a significant increase in Web site traffic during the month.

Our representative at the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board meetings keeps members up to date on the board’s activities. We have chosen to be an e-mail-and-Web-based organization, using the Web as the primary means of communication with our members. This has resulted in reduced operational costs and timely delivery of information.

North Central Ohio Chapter of ASHI
President and Council Representative: Joe Lengel
Vice President and Secretary: Phil Wells
Treasurer: Dave Tamny

The year 2003 was an excellent year for our chapter and all of its members. By the end of the year, our membership nearly doubled, primarily because of what the chapter offers to home inspectors. Monthly education meetings, organized by Tony Scolaro, Tom Gaba and Steve Conrad, were worth three MRCs. Speakers during the year included a certified public accountant, a certified air quality control member, a certified building inspector, a certified plumber, an insurance agent, a city electrical inspector, a P.E. structural inspector, a real estate attorney and a septic system installer. Not only did these meetings keep us current with the changing technologies in different fields, they also provided us with the opportunity to get to know one another, and to understand and sometimes solve problems common to all home inspectors. In attendance at these meetings were several of our own seasoned ASHI home inspectors (with more than 5,000 completed inspections) ready to lend advice when needed.

A well-received brochure was developed. It presented the benefits of hiring an ASHI home inspector and included a list of all North Central Ohio Chapter members. We distributed it from our booth at the Cleveland Area Board of Realtors® HomeFest and at the Ohio Association of Realtors® Convention in September. It also is being distributed to local real estate offices. We expect to blend The ASHI Experience with our brochure in 2004, listing all new members and expanding our efforts in local advertising, public relations, educational seminars and mentoring programs for newer chapter members.

We have an exciting year ahead of us in 2004. The ASHI Experience will come to life and will substantially benefit all ASHI Members and C-2 Candidates.

NOVA Chapter of ASHI

The chapter did well in 2003, increasing its membership to 117. We continue to provide high-quality, monthly meeting speakers, which has contributed to our membership increase. We have chapter members serving on national committees and as Director, which has helped us get the branding message to our members.

Every month we have Q&A sessions at our meeting to address the evolution of the Branding campaign, and how it will work for the chapter and our members.
In the month of July, NOVA, MAC and Greater Baltimore ASHI Chapters hosted the ASHI Town Hall Meeting in Washington, D.C., and held an educational seminar the same weekend with over 100 attendees.  

The chapter was featured on the cover of the ASHI Reporter, talking about our Annual Hearts and Hammers work program to help the elderly and less fortunate with home repairs. NOVA Chapter members contribute hundreds of hours for this worthy cause.

Our annual Fall Educational Seminar, as always, was a terrific success. “Maintaining a Healthy Older and New Home,” “Vapor Barriers and Moisture Intrusion” were the topics. Guest speakers from the EPA, NAHB and our chapter spoke of the importance of proper air controls in the home. NOVA is well represented in our state association, VAREI, demonstrating our level of commitment to our profession.

We recently adopted a trial policy to reimburse Candidates’ fees for successfully passing the NHIE exam. We developed a chapter logo, which can be used on clothing and other local promotions by the chapter and our membership. We have recently implemented a Candidates training session and mentoring program to further our Candidates’ education and bring them to full Member status. Four chapter members attended Chapter Leadership Day and gained valuable insights into The ASHI Experience. Five chapter members attended InspectionWorld and the launching of The ASHI Experience.

PRO-ASHI® (Western Pennsylvania)
President: Malcolm Whipkey      
Vice President: Dan McGaffin
Treasurer: Tommy Baker      
Secretary: Cris Murphy  
Director: Ralph DeNinn       
Director: Doug Carmack  
Past President: Brendan Ryan
Council Representative: Tom O’Connor     

The chapter experienced success on many fronts in 2003 thanks to solid strategic planning and to dedicated volunteer members.   

We changed our meeting format and dues structure to five dinner meetings per year, with the cost of the meal included in annual dues. We wanted to encourage meeting attendance and to develop more camaraderie among members. All area home inspectors are mailed and e-mailed invitations to attend meetings. Two hours of each four-hour meeting is dedicated to education, and we recently published a six-month plan of our educational topics, which is available to members in our Chapter Calendar on ASHI.org. The changes worked; meeting attendance has never been better.   

We continued to develop PRO-ASHI®, Inc. The chapter was incorporated and bylaws were established in 1989. During 2001 and 2002, the bylaws were revised and a set of Chapter Policies and Procedures was established. This year, we completed the legal registration by updating the information on file with the Pennsylvania State Corporation Bureau. Most of the information to accomplish this was available on-line. Our treasurer began recording our financial records in Quick Books, which facilitated the submission of our ‘Application for Recognition of (Tax) Exemption’ and our annual tax return. We found an attorney and an accountant who know how to do these things. (Fill-in-the-blank forms from the IRS are available on-line. I encourage other chapters to complete it. This application is required when chapter revenues exceed $25,000.) With the establishment of our Budget and Audit Committees, we approved a chapter budget to help us better manage the business. We also established asset safeguarding policies

The chapter’s weekend seminar is the secret to our success. Attendance has exceeded 100 for the past several years. We’re able to develop the chapter infrastructure with the profits from the seminars. Speakers are a blend of chapter volunteers, local and nationally recognized talent. Mike Casey, ASHI past-president, has presented, and Rich Matzen, ASHI immediate past-president, visited. Evening roundtable discussions always are popular with the attendees. This year’s seminar will be held September 10-12. Mark your calendars and come join us for some fun.

St. Louis Chapter of ASHI
President: Chris Harrawood

The past year has been great for the St. Louis Chapter. The chapter is now reaching the 100-member mark. Attendance at monthly meetings is up, and our spring seminar had one of the highest attendances ever. We currently are working on upgrading our Web site (www.stlouisashi.com) and promoting it more aggressively than in the past. The chapter holds meetings on the second Tuesday of each month, and all Members and Candidates in the St. Louis and surrounding areas are more than welcome to come. For times and locations of the meetings please call Chris at 636-677-4773.

South Chapter (Alabama)
President/Secretary: Wes Carlisle
Vice President: Larry Brooks   
Treasurer: Mike Ray
Council Representative: Bill Loden

Our chapter reached a milestone in 2003. We qualified for a representative on the Council of Representatives for the first time in chapter history. We are proud to provide this representation and to continue to qualify in 2004. Our chapter membership more than doubled from 2002, with 23 members in 2003. Of approximately 300 home inspectors, Alabama currently has 15 ASHI Members, one Candidate with Logo Use and 43 Candidates. The C-2 is a member of our chapter. We actively recruit members throughout the year.

Meetings are quarterly and include educational sessions, roundtable discussions, chapter business and a light lunch. Unaffiliated home inspectors are welcome.
We formed the following committees last year: Legislative, Membership, Calling and Publicity, and we created an Adopt a Candidate program. The Legislative Committee was active because of the legislative issues we’re facing. Alabama inspectors will be required to pass the NHIE to renew their licenses for 2005, and we are doing our best to assist and encourage our Candidates and others in passing the test.

The Alabama Licensing Act adopted the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics into law last year. The code of ethics exam was required for 2003 licensure. Early this year, the NHIE and a set amount of E&O insurance were added to the law to take effect in 2005. The Alabama Building Commission is charged with overseeing the licensure law.

Our chapter is looking forward to the ASHI Branding concept. Our overall membership has shown enthusiasm, and we hope to do our part to promote the Brand to the capacity we are afforded.
Suncoast
As we hope was the case with other ASHI Chapters,  2003 was another excellent year for our chapter.  Suntech, our annual educational seminar held in the spring, was again successful, and its proceeds have allowed our chapter to provide benefits to our membership that otherwise would not be possible.

Our full membership list grew during the year from 47 to 53, and our Candidate members increased from 12 to 15. In an effort to improve the quality of inspections made by our members, which will enhance the ASHI Brand, we introduced a Certified Professional Inspector program, similar to Great Lakes Chapter’s program. The program is voluntary, and is available to all full Members of our chapter.

Distribution of the chapter brochure and membership list increased to 50,000 every six months. It is distributed to all real estate offices in our area, and it is also made available at various real estate conferences along Florida’s west coast.

The Suncoast Chapter is fully represented in a statewide, nonpartisan effort to influence sound legislation regarding state licensing.  We continue to be a growing, active chapter, and we look forward to 2004 and the ASHI Branding Program as it develops.

Western New York Chapter of ASHI
President / Treasurer: David A. Clark
Vice President / Secretary: Leonard Aldrich
Director: John Good

Our chapter numbers 18 – seven Members and nine Candidates. We recently sent annual recruitment letters to all home inspectors in the area, inviting them to a meeting. We had a guest speaker and food was provided. The guest speaker was an expert on chimneys and fireplaces. A total of 25 inspectors attended.

Chapter members have had considerable input on New York state legislative activity. John Good and David Clark (Len Aldridge is an alternate) currently are on the Board of Directors of the New York State Association of Home Inspectors. They attended a regional meeting this year and, with others, are monitoring legislation in New York state. The chapter also developed a model bill that is designed to protect consumers and home inspectors. It currently is being introduced in both houses. Clark spoke with Assemblyman Robin Schminninger, who supports our bill.

The chapter meets the second Thursday of every month. We strive to educate and inform our members. Topics covered by guest speakers in 2003 included foundations, indoor air quality, soil conditions and problems faced in the western New York area, and chimney and fireplace inspections. Our Web site (www.WNYASHI.com) has had good response and is being updated. Many of our members have attended local continuing education seminars.

We continue to provide exposure to consumers as a professional, unbiased source for their home inspection and additional testing needs. Our chapter members truly believe we work exclusively for our clients and not for a third party. We will continue to educate and inform potential home purchasers of the importance of contracting with an independent professional inspector.