With more than 75 chapter leaders from 48 chapters, the Leadership Training Conference held October 16-17 in New Orleans was a success. For several years, the Chapter Relations Committee has promoted the conference as a two-year training cycle for up-and-coming leaders and this year, more than 80 percent of the attendees were first- or second-timers. They enjoyed spirited sessions on ethics, legislation, volunteer recruitment/training, communications and invigorating chapters with bold plans. Two first-time attendees shared their thoughts about the conference.
Greater Omaha Chapter sent Steve Vaccha
Every year, the Chapter Relations Committee provides three conference scholarships for representatives from struggling chapters.
Steve Vaccha from the Greater Omaha chapter received one of this year’s scholarships. He described the special session conducted by David Sherwood, Chapter Relations Committee chair, for scholarship recipients:
“This meeting was the most influential and meaningful to me. David spoke to each of our concerns, helping us to flesh out our concerns with our groups, and he brainstormed with us about solutions.
“David’s enthusiasm is obvious and sincere. He shared his attitude and his journey of being part of a chapter that improved in numbers and participation. I noted he stressed completing small steps and being excited about everyone completing even a small task for the good of the group.
“Solutions are hard to create and find for all situations. It is attitude and positive energy that create movement in any group, which leads to solutions. This is what I learned from David, and this was reinforced during the entire leadership conference. I came away from the conference with new ideas, appreciation for ASHI, and a desire to create something positive here in Omaha.”
After returning home, Vaccha was elected chapter president.
Photo: ASHI Chapter Relations Committee Chair David Sherwood (far right) held a special training session for those who were attending on chapter scholarships.
SNEC-ASHI attendee shares highlights
Following the conference, Kevin Lawler from SNEC ASHI, wrote, “I would like to share a couple of highlights from the two presentations that really got me thinking.
“The first was “Are your Ethics up to Code?” presented by Deborah Long. Deborah takes the topic of ethics to levels that I had not thought about in the past. Ethical behavior is inherent in all of us and is something that needs to be practiced to be perfected! She discussed the six levels of ethical development and showed us ways to help ourselves and others continue to move beyond our current level and into higher levels. I highly recommend attending one of Deborah Long’s ethics seminars if the opportunity presents itself.
“The second was “Creating and Operating a Vibrant Chapter,” presented by Dave Sherwood and Warren Tomek. The overall theme of the presentation was that negative thoughts breed negativity and positive thoughts breed positivity. Dave and Warren introduced the theme using the Star Wars concept of the “Dark Side” and “Light Side,” complete with fog machine and Darth Vader costumes! Well done, guys!
“Successful leaders understand that positive thinking is more productive. Successful leaders also have the ability to affect each and every person they encounter in a positive way.
“I have always been impressed with SNEC ASHI’s leaders and members. Three years ago, when I attended my first SNEC ASHI meeting, Don Burbank and Ellery Kington greeted me and I was introduced to other members along the way. I found it easy to enter into conversations. I was impressed with every member’s willingness to share information. Most importantly, I felt welcomed.
“At the conference, I had the opportunity to speak with home inspectors from many different states, and I found that not all chapters are as well-structured as ours. I am proud to be a member of SNEC ASHI and I look forward to helping the chapter continue to grow!”