November, 2010

Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Leadership Opportunities


For Your Society, Your Business & Your Future – Volunteer

Your affiliation with ASHI means you are recognized as a leader in your profession. As a volunteer leader, you are the key to the society's success. Your active participation on an ASHI committee or task force helps enhance and expand our programs and will help in the implementation of ASHI's Strategic Plan.

What's in it for me as an ASHI volunteer?

What's expected of me when I serve?

How much time does it take? What about my costs?

How do I sign up as a committee volunteer?

Download the form from the ASHI Members Only website or request one from headquarters. Complete and return it to ASHI headquarters by Wednesday, December 1, 2010.

Current committee members: If you currently are serving on a committee and wish to continue, you must complete and return the form.

If you are selected to serve on a committee, you will be notified of your committee appointment by late January 2011.


Three Defining Issues: One Ballot

On Nov. 1, 2010, a three-part ballot was distributed to ASHI's voting members. The voting period for all three parts is 45 days, as required to amend ASHI Bylaws. Voting will close on Dec. 15, 2010.

1. Slate of officers for 2011
The Officers Nominating Committee met on September 11, 2010, discussed and personally interviewed, via telephone, all those who had submitted a matrix for an officer position for 2011.

After intense deliberation and a thorough vetting of all the candidates and their qualifications, the committee submitted the following slate of officers to lead the society in 2011:

President-elect: Bill Jacques
Vice president: Charles Gifford
Treasurer: Alden Gibson
Secretary: Mike Stephens

(Note: The secretary and treasurer candidates are transposed in the October ASHI Reporter. The correct slate is published here.)

Additional officer candidates may appear on the ballot via the petition process. Those seeking to be placed on the ballot had until 10 days prior to the election (Oct. 21, 2010) to collect signatures and submit their petition forms, too late to include here the names of any who might have qualified.

Petitions – Officers (Source ASHI Bylaws)
7.2.4   A valid petition containing the printed name and signature of a minimum of 10% of the then ASHI voting members in good standing submitted to ASHI Headquarters shall cause the name of a qualified voting member to be added to the ballot as a candidate for a specified (named) office, provided that:

a. petitions are submitted to ASHI Headquarters on the Society's official Petition Form, and

b. the petition is received via U.S. Mail or facsimile at ASHI Headquarters at least 10 days prior to the distribution of the ballots, and

c. ASHI staff has verified the validity of the petition prior to placing the name of the candidate for office on the ballot.

Petitions, Campaigning and the Election Committee also are covered in Section 15 of the Policy and Procedures Manual.

2. Petitions
a. All Petition Candidates are to complete and submit the official Nomination Matrix Form prior to the official election. Revised 10/26/02.

b. A valid petition containing the names of a minimum of 10% of the then in good standing ASHI Certified Inspectors submitted to ASHI headquarters shall cause the name of the qualified member to be added to the ballot as a candidate for a specified (named) office.

c. Petitions must be presented on a special form available only from ASHI Headquarters and requires the name (printed) and the signature of each petitioner, as well as the office in which the petitioner would serve, if elected.

d. The form must be received by mail or fax at headquarters at least 10 days prior to the distribution of the ballots.

e. Staff will verify the validity of the petition prior to placing the name of a candidate for office on the ballot.

15.9A Policy: Campaigning
1. Campaigning positively by or about any candidate is permissible as long as no ASHI assets are used.

2. Staff, Nominating Committee and Election Committee members shall not participate in campaigning.

3. Nominees or Petition Candidates for an Officer or Board of Director position may purchase mailing labels or lists of qualified voting members' contact information from Headquarters at cost. Revised 10/22/05.

4. Negative campaigning (against candidates or nominees) is not permitted. The Election Committee should preview campaign statements or materials in advance if there is any uncertainty about the appropriateness of their contents.

5. Election and Campaign policies shall be published in the Reporter for three consecutive months prior to the formation of a slate for an election.

15.10A The Election Committee
3. The Committee shall oversee and supervise elections and campaigns and take appropriate action to ensure that they are run in a fair and impartial manner. The ASHI Election Committee is available to review campaign materials.

The committee also slated the following ASHI members for the ASHI Certification Committee: Skip Kelley and Scott Patterson

2. Bylaw Amendment

The ballot will include an amendment to ASHI Bylaws regarding how the society is governed. The full text of the amendment is on the ballot, was available by link in the October and November issues of First Thing, and a recap was published in previous issues of the ASHI Reporter.
Changes to the ASHI Bylaws require that a majority of ASHI's voting members participate and that two-thirds of those voting (66.7 percent) approve the change.

3. Voluntary Standards for Professional Inspection Practices

In a separate section of the ballot, members will have an opportunity to accept two sets of voluntary standards for Professional Practices for Residential Pool and Spa Inspections and Professional Practices for Residential Predrywall Inspections.

The Standards are included with the ballot and are available on

Your Vote Is Important

This three-part ballot represents a defining moment for ASHI. Each proposal is being presented after considerable debate and careful consideration by the ASHI leadership. Voting members are encouraged to vote and to support the proposals.

Questions? Contact the officers or directors listed in the online Membership Directory.

Council of Representatives to Elect Directors

The Directors Nominating Committee is charged with creating a slate of five new, non-officer board members and one alternate from the matrices received from ASHI Certified Inspectors in good standing, who served a minimum of one year on the Council for a term beginning no later than Oct. 1, 2009.

Bob Walstead, Director Nominating chair, reported the committee selected the following slate of candidates to be presented to council representatives by Nov. 1:

John Biegalski, Michael Burroughs, Michael Conley,
JD Grewell, C. Blaine Illingworth, III, Keven Kossler,
Ed Massart, Don Nelson and Howard Peglow

The election of directors is covered in the ASHI Bylaws at 5.5 (Page 6) and in the CoR Policy and Procedures Manual. Director petition candidates are covered in the manual under Article 10.1.7 (Page 18). All are available on the ASHI website.

Note: If the governance Bylaws are amended, election procedures will change with the 2012 elections.

Nomination Process

Questions About Nominating Practices Answered

Originally published January 2002

Voting Members received the following message with their 2002 Officers ballot. This explanation of a basic ASHI practice may be of interest to others who are on their way to becoming voting Members or who are unaffiliated but contemplating joining the Society.

A Message from the Officer Nominating Committee:
Each year, when we establish a slate of candidates for the ASHI Officer positions, the question is raised whether or not we should nominate more than one individual for each position, or submit a single slate to you, the voting member. As you will see, we chose to submit the latter option, a slate with one nominee per position. Also, as we did not receive petition candidates this year, the slate remains as established by the Nominating Committee.

Our committee discussed this issue at length and decided to provide this explanation on why we have chosen this method and why many of the previous nominating committees have taken the same path.

According to the Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, a nominating committee is "one of the most important committees of an organization because it can help to secure the best officers.

The nominating committee should be permitted to use its judgment in selecting the candidates who will give the best service to the organization."

We believe that it is not possible to identify more than one person who is "best" for the position. Clearly, one individual will be better qualified than the other.  Also, since the Officer Nominating Committee is representative of the membership through the participation of the Council, we are qualified to choose and present the optimum slate to you.  Finally, since ASHI provides the opportunity to be placed on the Officer Ballot via a petition process, as well as the ability to vote for write-in candidates, we believe the process is fair to all in the Society.

The following excerpt from the Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure provides further background on single and multiple slates for associations:

"A single slate, meaning one nominee for each office, frequently offers certain advantages provided that nominations may also be accepted from the floor and that election by write-in votes is not forbidden. In some organizations the belief persists that it is more democratic to have two or more nominees for each office in order that there may be a contest. This belief is probably based on the fact that national and state governments have a two-party political system and therefore have a candidate from each party for each office.  But there is a growing tendency for non-governmental organizations to nominate a single slate.

When a nominating committee is required to submit the names of two or more nominees for each office, it often faces a dilemma.  If the committee members decide, for example, that candidate A can offer the best leadership, they are obliged to do either of two things.  They may add another nominee who is not well qualified in the hope that candidate A will be more certain to be elected, or they may add regretfully the name of candidate B who is also well qualified, and sacrifice one of their two best potential leaders by defeat. There is no particular democratic purpose served by nominating several members in order to defeat all but one of them."

We hope you will appreciate and understand our reasoning for choosing to submit a single-slate to you for a vote. Your participation in this process is valuable and crucial to the future of our Society.

Thank you,
2002 ASHI Officer Nominating Committee


Celebrate First Anniversary of Certification
An update from Certification Committee Chair Brendan Ryan

ASHI's achievement of true certification through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies is approaching its first anniversary. As the fervor of making the application and voting on the Bylaw settled down, the ASHI Certification Committee (ACC) has been active.

One of the goals of certification is to raise the credibility and visibility of our members.  Our accreditation has been featured or mentioned in several press releases since January.  Currently, we're working on greater visibility by creating a web placement on the Homebuyers/Sellers and the Real Estate Professional pages of with a link to additional information. Clients are the key to the success of our businesses, and educating potential clients about certification will differentiate ASHI Certified Inspectors from our competitors. Plans include developing informational "You Tube"-style segments as yet another method of increasing visibility.

Another goal of certification is to promote meaningful education to enhance inspectors' knowledge base or to diversify their business. We currently are involved in the market research stage of three different programs that will benefit segments of ASHI membership and potentially persons outside of ASHI as well. These are educational programs for which the committee will develop assessment tools/tests. The ACC welcomes input from members regarding marketable credentialing programs.

The committee is working hard to promote our members and verifiable education programs. It has been an interesting start for a new standing committee and a learning process as well. You can expect to see more visibility to potential clients and real estate professionals concerning the consumer benefits of using an ASHI Certified Inspector and the development of credentialed programs to benefit your business.

For the first time, the 2011 ballot includes two candidates for positions on the ASHI Certification Committee. Remember to vote for the candidates in all elected positions you believe will best represent the interests of ASHI in upcoming years.


The ASHI Chapter Enterprise Award
The chapter in each of two categories with the highest percentage of registered members to attend InspectionWorld is awarded a Chapter Enterprise Award, which includes $750. There are a few additional guidelines, but the purpose of the award is simple — to encourage chapter members to participate in InspectionWorld together. Questions? Contact Russell Daniels at

Tom Byrne Memorial Scholarship Award
ASHI Past-President John Palczuk will announce the first recipient of the Tom Byrne Memorial Scholarship at InspectionWorld Atlanta. Charter Member and Past-President Tom Byrne was committed to educating new home inspectors. In his memory, Carson Dunlop & Associates and The ASHI Foundation will refund the full tuition of the ASHI@Home Training System, currently valued at $3,500, to the student who completed the system with the highest overall marks from December 1, 2009, to December 1, 2010. The recipient must be pursuing a career in home inspection. 

Standards & Code

Call for Changes to ASHI's Standards of Practice
The Standards Committee invites suggestions for changes and additions to ASHI's home inspection Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics (Standards). Those who have submitted suggestions during 2010 need not resubmit.

When submitting a change or addition, please indicate the Standards section affected and exactly how you believe the change or addition should be worded. Please include your name and contact information.

ASHI's Standards are pre-eminent for many reasons. One of those is that it is a living document. Like all living things, it must adapt to a changing environment in order to thrive. On the other hand, change to something that obviously is successful should occur only for good reasons and after careful consideration.

Please submit suggestions and direct any questions to Bruce Barker, Committee chair, at You also may bring suggestions to the Standards hearing at InspectionWorld in Atlanta.

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