May, 2009
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Meet the 2009 Committee Chairs


JD GREWELL, Membership Committee chair

JD-Grewell.jpgAlthough I’m a sixth generation native of Colorado, I’ve been a resident of Maryland for the past 50 years. I began performing framing inspections as a shop teacher when my students’ parents requested assistance. At first I was honored to look over the home they were buying, and finally built up the nerve to ask for a fee. Shortly thereafter, in 1972, I met John Heyn of Baltimore, Maryland (ASHI Member #5), and joined his firm where his partner, Claxton Walker, was performing inspections in the Washington, D.C., area.

Once ASHI was established, I had to sneak into the MAC-ASHI meetings. I told those present that I was a ghost and was not really there because my boss after John Heyn said he would fire me if I joined ASHI. Keeping an income kept me a ghost member until I resigned and formed my own firm.

The first order of business as my own boss was to apply and join ASHI in 1979. Now, 30 years later, I know that is one of the best decisions I ever made. Since 1983, when John Cox invited me to become active in MAC-ASHI, I rarely have missed a chapter board meeting, and I have attended every ASHI national conference.

Attending ASHI conferences greatly increased my knowledge, friendships and travel experiences. Because of my willingness to get involved, I served on and chaired a number of committees over the years. At the committee level, you learn a great deal about your fellow members.

I also served on the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (EBPHI) and continue to serve as a subject matter expert writing questions for the National Home Inspector Exam. This always is a mind-warping experience, and I strongly recommend that anyone who is called on to participate do so. Everyone I know who has participated has found the process rewarding.

DAN HOWARD, Public Relations Committee chair

Dan-Howard.jpgI think it’s great for us to introduce ourselves. You should know who works for you. Nevertheless, though I love my job, what defines me is being the husband of Teresa, father to Kelly, Kate, Bobby, Jamie (now deceased), Ed and Danielle, and grandfather of Dominic.

When I started in the home and property inspection business 29 years ago, much of my business was insurance companies calling to make sure that a property was safe relative to claims and risk management. Note and do not forget, we were in the business of keeping people and property safe.

That brings us to now. ASHI and the members of the PR Committee realize we are not in the pre-sale real estate transaction business. We are in the business of keeping people and property safe.

There are inspection opportunities such as inspecting homes for deferred maintenance items that affect transactions in divorces, bankruptcies and sales within a family—all of which create a mostly untapped market. The attorney and banker referral markets have been ignored. The “after the offer is made” inspection is not a smart time for an inspection from the seller’s point of view. Commercial property inspections are a great risk-management tool and planning tool for facilities owners and managers. My wife and I tapped another market by developing a system for inspecting the homes of seniors to help them stay in their homes. We are dedicated to that mission through our Senior Home Safety Network.

As a committee and as an organization, we are here to provide benefit to our members. Benefits can be additional business opportunities with our existing targets or it can mean new businesses using our talents and skills. As a PR Committee, we will ask, “What message and relationships can we create to help achieve more benefit for our members?” 

You get the picture. Marketing, educating and adding areas where our services are needed is a great way to improve our members’ businesses while the real estate business is recovering.

So, in addition to being husband, dad and grandfather, this old-timer will be working with a dedicated and talented committee, ASHI staff and our professional public relations firm to help each of you be more successful!