March     2009
Feature
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors


ASHI Executive Director Annual Report

JEFF ARNOLD

By the time this column appears in the March issue of the Reporter, I will have just celebrated my first anniversary as your Executive Director/CEO. It has been both an honor and a pleasure to serve you.

People who know me well and/or who have worked with me will tell you I relish challenges, and this year has been all of that and more; however, I truly believe I, along with a committed volunteer leadership and staff, have made it a successful and beneficial one for ASHI during some rough times.

We know and understand this past year has been an extremely challenging and stressful one for our members as well, and we, your volunteer leadership and paid staff, are trying to continually enhance the value of your membership in ASHI. Increased member value is the mantra we now are committed to in your society.

What has been accomplished this past twelve months at ASHI? Here is just a partial list of the value that has been added to your membership:

  • For the first time in several years, we actually were up in membership at the end of the membership renewal period (approximately 8 percent).

  • An improved financial picture. The projection at the beginning of last fiscal year was a projected deficit of over $400,000. We ended the year with a deficit of less than $50,000 and are projecting a slight surplus for this fiscal year. This was done by making the staff smaller and more efficient and relentlessly monitoring all expenses.

  • A renewed commitment to develop a stronger relationship between the national society and its chapters by reorganizing the Chapter Relations Department and creating the new Chapter Visitation Program to assist our chapters most in need. Strong chapters will mean a strong ASHI.

  • Creation of The ASHI Foundation, which will add value in the area of education through private tax-deductible donations and grants from corporations and the state and federal governments.

  • A successful IW ’09 that just ended in Orlando, Florida. Over 500 attendees took part in a totally revamped educational program and schedule of events. Many long-time members have told us this was the best InspectionWorld conference they ever had attended, and Las Vegas in January ’10 is going tobe even more outstanding andvaluable!

  • A commitment to working with other industry-related associations and groups.

  • There is now a new, stronger focus on developing non-dues revenue streams so that we can continue to keep the dues cost-effective to our members and introduce programs that can help you build, maintain and expand your businesses.

  • An application to the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) to have a third-party accredited Certification designation and program for our members (the application currently is pending with NCCA and we should know if it has been accepted within the next several months).

  • A new universal home page for the ASHI Web site that directs all visitors through a single, more visually appealing and easy-to-use portal. This is just the start as we work over the next twelve months to completely revamp the entire site and make it more user/member friendly.

  • Continual monitoring of federal issues that affect ASHI through our long-time lobbyist, Randy Pence. This will continue to be very important as the federal government moves strongly to stimulate the housing industry. ASHI will make sure that members are kept aware of how this stimulus can mean possible new business for them.
An effective and successful leader is one who surrounds himself with the best staff possible. A staff who is as hardworking as himself, who is as committed to the organization and members, and who fills in the spots where he has his greatest weaknesses. The ASHI staff is all that and more, and it deserves a great round of thanks for helping to make my first year a very productive one for you, the ASHI member.

In addition to a supportive staff, I also was very fortunate to have your 2008 President Brion Grant as my mentor and hard-working partner throughout my first year. He, along with a strong cadre of other volunteer leaders, really helped make this past year a great success. Many thanks to them all. I look forward to the same results-oriented relationship with Bill Richardson this year.

I haven’t written any columns in the Reporter up to this point because I was spending my first year getting up to speed in my knowledge of ASHI, its members and its partners in the inspection industry. I felt that the membership would want its new executive director/CEO spending all of his efforts rolling up his sleeves and tackling the serious issues that confronted (and continue to confront) our association and profession. It is now my intention to write a short column each month in the Reporter to keep all of you abreast of how your Society is progressing in not only the member value-added programs outlined above, but in new initiatives as well. Continual improvement in all areas of ASHI programs and operations will be the main precept for the coming year and beyond.

I am here to serve you, the member, and my number one personal goal is to make sure that ASHI is a much stronger and better society by the time my tenure here is finished, and that it is the most member value-based and respected inspection association in the inspection industry.