September, 2010
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

From the Speaker: Council Contributes to Governance


Governance is simply defined as a method or system of government or management. All organizations normally follow some type of hierarchal scheme to govern and manage their affairs. ASHI employs a fairly standard model of governance of Officers and Directors, but with a twist in its use of the Council of Representatives. Additionally, ASHI, like most organizations, supplements its governing mandates with the use of special committees, task forces and staff.

Organizational development theory is always being redefined and rethought in the academic and business arenas. Ever-changing external conditions require organizations to periodically examine their management structures to maximize efficiencies and to better serve their constituents. ASHI has recognized this need for self-examination and has undertaken measures to study this issue. Over the last three years, a number of task forces have been commissioned to compare and contrast ASHI’s governance model with others and report their findings and recommendations.

In response to the implied desire for governance change, ASHI’s Bylaws Com-mittee did forward a proposal in March of this year to address the membership’s governing concerns. The result of that effort shows that, although the desire for change is evident, the process and structure remain in dispute. To alleviate this impasse, the Board elected to impanel a task force to study the governance amendment and report back with a recommended model that would garner majority support from the membership.

The task force was co-chaired by Paul Staron and me, with ASHI members Bob Walstead, John Biegalski, Frank Lesh, Bill Richardson, Jack McGraw and Jim Hemsell serving as contributors, along with Executive Director Jeff Arnold as staff liaison. The task force was guided by the principle that what mattered most in any governance change was what is best for ASHI membership and the society as it builds consensus.

A few weeks ago, the task force presented its model to the Board for review. The Board agreed with the task force’s recommendation and has directed the Bylaw Committee to draft an amendment incorporating the model for final board approval and final vote by the membership.

The task force and the Board are fully cognizant of the reality that the proposed amendment will not be universally accepted. In an organization as large and diverse as ASHI, it is impossible to incorporate every idea or want. The best we can do is to try to achieve a consensus that includes the best practices for governance and fulfills the needs of the organization and members. On behalf of the task force, I urge every member to review the amendment and give it careful, thoughtful consideration. Ask questions and join in discussions. Remember, ASHI is but a reflection of its members, and we all have an immense duty to ensure we fully participate in its governance as ASHI moves into the future.


Contact Info for 2010 CoR Speaker and Group Leaders

Howard Pegelow, Speaker

Bob Walstead, Alternate Speaker

Glenn Gogal, New England/Canada Group Leader, 416-604-1280

Jerry Sanangini, New York/New Jersey Group Leader

Bob Sisson, Mid-Atlantic Group Leader

Ed Massart, Midwest Group Leader

Keven Kossler, South Atlantic Group Leader

Phil Smith, Gulf Group Leader

John Clason, South Midwest Group Leader

John Biegalski, North Central  Group Leader

Alan Blaker, Mountain Group Leader

Skip Walker, Pacific Group Leader

Lisa Alajajian-Giroux, Council Secretary