Three years ago I raised my hand, and took on the job of ASHI National Treasurer. It seems amazing this happened so long ago. So many things have occurred since then that have changed our lives. Who would have thought ASHI would be financially strong enough to buy a building and pay off huge chunks of the mortgage, or we would give away a $22,000 vehicle at our 25th Anniversary Gala, or that we would be able to recover and endure as well as we have after the terrible events of 9/11. ASHI and our Membership rode the wild roller coaster in 2001, and happily we are in superb condition to welcome the New Year.
We even had the foresight to budget for National lobby power and special programs, which are making us look good at home and internationally. This year we approached our Annual Conference very carefully, not knowing where we would be after the attacks and the dips in the economy. Fortunately, over 1,000 people attended the event. That means profit – not a bad thing
for a Treasurer to point to on his way out!
Financial programs that ASHI embraced have resulted in Membership benefits that range from educational resources to endorsed service providers. We’ve seen our non-dues revenue gain, and we have a healthy reserve to cover our expenses should economic recovery be an issue. Our new budget has been carefully formulated to cover needed programs and projects, as well as unexpected ones. As I was able to say to you last year, “As we continue to budget prudently and monitor our day to day expenses, you may wonder what does this all mean to you?” Volunteers have worked hard this year rewriting policy and procedure, and debating certification, legislation, education and public relations. The Society is more respected than ever before, and the profession is growing proportionally to the work our Members have put into it.
Our paid staff has changed a bit in the last few years – we have more staff, doing more. More importantly, we are accomplishing our strategic planned goals. We mapped our direction and by golly, we are getting there. We are served by a very capable team at Headquarters. Special thanks to Executive Director Rob Paterkiewicz and Finance and Administration Director Cindy Wittrock for their help. This job is more than writing checks and looking at receipts, but they make it look easy. In fact, Rob and Cindy have put their all into making ASHI great and their pride shows. The dedication of the able staff and the volunteers has allowed us to become one of the more impressive professional associations, and others are watching.
As I leave this office, I would like to thank our capable Finance Committee members for their work this year. They received what seemed to be a never-ending stream of e-mails. Most Members would be amazed at the vastness and speed with which such a variety of issues were considered and addressed. Some of the more significant discussions revolved around new projects and developing Membership benefits; issues concerning our International Members; educational providers; insurance; Web site programs; and protecting our trademarks and intellectual properties. Requests for proposals are now going out to the educational providers so that ASHI can assure quality educational opportunities for our Membership. The Chapter Development program offering a discount to new chapter members has been a big success, so we have chosen to continue it. The Harris Bank program, offering our Members credit card services, is fine, but we urge more members to take advantage of it. As we wrap up another year and look forward to our 26th Anniversary, I would like to thank the Officers, Directors and Membership for your support and faith. My best wishes to our incoming Treasurer Don Norman.