As I write this, we are preparing for the July Board Meeting in St. Louis, Mo. As I’ve written in earlier columns, all board meetings are open to the membership, but it requires that the members travel to us, either in Chicago or at our annual conference, InspectionWorld. But the July meeting is special. It is the one time a year that we go to a city the board has selected and conduct a town hall meeting and our board meeting in that city.
It’s our intention to bring the board meeting and its directors a little closer to the
homes of our membership, so the membership can see, firsthand, what happens in a board meeting. If you’ve never been to a town hall meeting or board meeting and one is scheduled within 300 miles of your home in the future, I encourage you to make the trek. This year's meeting in St. Louis had Members and Candidates coming from as far away as New York and Oregon.
Watch the decision-making process
Why bother? Because it gives you the opportunity to see how the board operates and how decisions are made. Decisions that impact. This July, we’ll be discussing many issues; one of the most important is the budget for 2005-2006. It promises to be a lively, animated discussion. But then, most board discussionss are.
Meet your directors
The Town Hall Meeting is different. It’s an opportunity for you to meet the directors and to ask them questions. Questions are submitted from the membership. There is also an open mike set up to allow questions from the floor. For the first time, we are including the entire board in this discussion rather than just the officers. We had a “Meet the Board” event in Austin, Texas, last January, and it was well-received, so we wanted to repeat that for those attending the Town Hall Meeting.
Nominations are open
Speaking of the board, the nominations for officers are currently open and will close August 31st. Any Member in good standing can be nominated for an officer position. If you know someone who you believe would be a good candidate for an officer of your society, download a nomination form from the Web site and nominate him or her.
Volunteer to serve
If you would like to begin your progress to the presidency with a somewhat less lofty start, volunteering for a committee on a national level is a great way to begin your training. If you want to be a director, you must first serve on the Council of Representatives. That’s another great reason (as if you needed one) to belong to a chapter. Chapters nominate Council Representatives, and the Council appoints a committee to evaluate nominees for five positions on the board. The COR then votes on the nominees, and the next year’s directors are selected. It’s not a simple practice, but one that requires a lot of the volunteers’ time.
Become a leader
When I joined ASHI in 1985, I gave no thought whatsoever to ASHI’s leadership or the direction the society was heading. I was just trying to market my business and earn a living doing this new (to me) thing called home inspection. But involvement in my chapter led to increasing business for my company and, eventually, to my belief that I wanted to be involved in my chapter’s leadership. The rest, as they say, is history. For me, there was never a master plan. I’m still surprised when I realize that I’ve achieved what I have. But it also tells me that if you have the desire to be involved in our society, at any level, all you have to do is step up to the plate and volunteer. And I hope you decide to do so.
Have a great month.