April, 2005
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

InspectionWorld Austin Highlights


Capable and Committed: The Right Stuff for ASHI

It’s a familiar face that graces this month’s cover of the magazine. Although Don ASHI_set_095.gifNorman was sworn in as ASHI president  only three months ago, many members know his face and more know his name. His high profile is no fluke. Because ASHI’s bylaws include a president-elect in the process, the face at the top is always a familiar one.

Norman served as president-elect in 2004, and as vice president, treasurer, secretary, director, chair of national committees and president of his local chapter in earlier years. The last step was preordained, because the president-elect assumes the presidency the following year.

Flatten that learning curve

A one-year term doesn’t give a president much time to become accustomed to his new duties and to effectively lead an organization with an ambitious strategic plan and a strong public and media presence. But in fact, Norman, as were most of his predecessors, had been in training for the role for years. 

Past president Danny Maynard, Inspect Inc., Greenwood, Ind., explained why a system that usually produces only one candidate for each officer’s position and not many more for the directors positions works for well for the society.  

“Our bylaws require us to have a Nominating Committee chaired by a past officer. The Council of Representatives (COR) selects committee members, who are charged with finding the best possible officer candidates. A similar committee, chaired by a COR member and composed of council representatives, is charged with finding the best possible director candidates.”

Once the committees have recommendations from the membership, they screen the nominees using guidelines such as the following:
  • Track record – attendance at meetings, service on committees, dependability and overall quality of service

  • Willingness to sacrifice – able to afford a possible loss of earnings while serving; to devote the personal time required for the duties; to spend the necessary time away from home and family; and to make a long-range commitment

  • Lack of conflicts of interest

  • Communication/people skills

  • Executive and administrative capacity

  • Demonstrated leadership qualities
Two reasons for one candidate

The committees are charged with selecting the most qualified person for each position. There are several reasons only one person is nominated for each position.

First, there are only a few nominees left after the guidelines have been applied. Second, committee members tend to reward those who have made the investment of personal time and effort. In general, as someone moves through the ranks of leadership, he or she gains knowledge of the organization, the membership, the industry and the outside factors influencing ASHI. Committee members recognize that a person becomes more valuable to ASHI through these experiences.

Through years of service, Norman has demonstrated he is capable of leading and is committed to ASHI.

(Partially excerpted from “How to be an ASHI Leader,” by Danny Maynard, ASHI Reporter, June 2000)

Ideas Flow at Meet the Board of Directors Roundtable

Have you ever wondered why ASHI’s leaders took a specific action or if they are concerned about the same things you are?

In January, 2005, InspectionWorld attendees who selected “Meet the 2005 Board of Directors” from Friday evening’s Roundtable options had an opportunity to raise what- ever issues were on their minds with both returning and newly installed leaders, in an informal environment.

The roundtable format encouraged the free flow of information and ideas. It proved to be particularly well-suited to discussing some of the concerns that were raised, such as how ASHI should respond to the dirty tricks-style of promotion, so popular in today’s political arena and now being used by some in the home inspection market.

Both leaders and attendees appeared to be energized by the interaction, and after discussing this particular topic, some were overheard expressing renewed resolve to educate home inspectors, real estate practitioners and consumers on the need for ethics and expertise in the profession.

The time spent at the roundtable was so productive that ASHI leaders have made the commitment to be back again in 2006. This year, there was talk about the Candidates membership category, the role of chapters and the best ways to counter dirty tricks-style competition. Next year, there will be new hot topics, but one thing is for sure, attendees and leaders will once again share information, engage in lively conversation and have the opportunity to learn from each other. Will you be there?

InspectionWorld Austin -- "We Are Experienced"

The evaluations have been analyzed, registration numbers have been finalized and, by all accounts, the information tabulated shows another successful InspectionWorld. Over 1,000 people descended on Austin, Texas, the second week of January to answer the question, “Are You Experienced?”

This year’s conference satisfied attendees’ desire to increase their professional development oppor-tunities, network with their peers, and view the best products for the home inspection profession.

The 2005 education program offered 36 breakout sessions spanning four tracks – Back to Basics, Commercial and Special Topics, Advanced Technical, and Business Development & Service. Rave reviews have been recorded for the majority of these sessions, which featured some of the best and brightest educators in the profession. If you missed any of these sessions, or are just looking for a refresher course, conference audio tapes are available for purchase at www.allstartapes.com.

The education may be what drove attendees – who each earned 17 MRCs for the week – to Austin, but the social and networking opportunities served as a means for them to interact with their peers. From the opening night reception, “Experience Texas,” to the closing night President’s Gala, food, beverage and conversation flowed to enhance the InspectionWorld experience.

This year’s trade show was our largest yet, with 74 companies occupying 124 booths. Our exhibitors represented the best products for the profession, from tools to software to laboratory services, and with this year’s new extended exhibit-only hours, a lot of business was done over the course of the three-day event.

By the way, if you happened to be caught by the lens of our roving photographer, or if you just want to see who was, be sure to visit www.tombrahlphoto.com, where all conference photos are available for viewing and purchase.

Overall, InspectionWorld 2005 was an educational and social success, and ASHI is committed to repeating that success next year, as InspectionWorld descends upon Fort Lauderdale, FL, January 12-14, 2006. More details on next year’s conference will be coming soon.