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

Meet the 2009 Committee Chairs


We continue to welcome the members who have volunteered to work on your behalf under the direction of the Board of Directors, supported by their committee members and Board and staff liaisons. Your president would like you to know a little more about these important people; therefore, we’ve requested that the chairs introduce themselves. Meet Michael Conley and George Harper.

Michael-Conley.jpgMichael Conley, Technical Committee Chair

I’m a person who is accustomed to external subject matter. When I was asked to write a synopsis of my background and myself for the ASHI Reporter, I took pause as to how I might go about reflecting on my experiences and myself over time. With that, here goes.

I’m a product of the 1960s, after Elvis but before boy/girl bands. I served in the Navy for four years, three months and 10 days; some of that in Vietnam, most of it out of country.

Once out, I had to acclimate to being a civilian again. There wasn’t much call for someone who could launch nuclear missiles. I went into construction, initially as a laborer, then carpenter, crew foreman, superintendent and, eventually, licensed general contractor, which I still am.

Fifteen or so years later, I got bored with construction. Not so much the working with wood, which I love, but the earning a living part. I was a Municipal Building Official & Public Works Director for a while. Got code-certified. The politics of the job was a bit much for my taste. It’s amazing how politics and power can make normal folks insane.

It was at that job I discovered private home inspecting. It was the mid-1980s, and I had never heard of such a thing as home inspecting. You see, being a building official, you get to tell people all the things they can’t do. But as a home inspector, you get to help them make an informed decision on the most important investment of their lives. What a way to earn a living. Flex time, your own boss, outdoors most of the time, every day is a new adventure and experience, earnings are directly related to how much effort you put out, it’s great. And no missiles!

I discovered ASHI in the early 90s and saw the future. I’m active on the Council of Representatives, and I have served as a national director and on many committees, some of which I chaired.

I continue with my business and public speaking on various subjects, including home inspection-related topics such as green building technology, ethics, philosophy, Chinese drywall, wildlife issues, etc. I was a wildlife rehabilitator and Falconer at one time. My wife still runs the facility we started.

I look forward to contributing for as long as my interests can help the cause and promote the industry.

George-Harper.jpgGeorge Harper, ASHI Legislative Committee Co-chair, State Affairs

Thank you, ASHI President Bill Richardson, for giving me the opportunity to serve the society in this capacity. I have served on the Legislative Committee for the last five years, and most recently, the task force for the new ASHI Web site and the Insurance Task Force. Participating in ASHI committee work has been both a pleasure and rewarding. It has given me the opportunity to meet great people who share my goal to raise the bar for our profession. Previously, I sat on the Coalition of California Home Inspectors (CCHI) Steering Committee for 10 years, serving as co-chair for the last five. I’ve testified numerous times before the California Legislature with regard to home inspection legislation, and worked with CCHI’s lobbyist.

Prior to starting my residential and commercial property inspection business in 1991, I was a building contractor specializing in residential custom homes, remodels and commercial tenant improvements. I joined the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) in 1992 and ASHI in 2002. In addition to two terms as CREIA president, I was serving on the CREIA Board of Directors when ASHI and CREIA signed the “Memorandum of Understanding” in 1997, a great move for both associations. And, I participated when the National Coalition of Home Inspector Associations (NCHIA) was formed at InspectionWorld Las Vegas.

During my first term as CREIA’s president, I joined ASHI in the belief that participation and cooperation between national and state associations with similar and high standards was vital to the long-term success of our profession. In addition to receiving CREIA’s highest awards for contributions to the association and the profession, I served as a consultant for both ABC and CBS news, dealing with consumer protection involving the home inspection profession.

I recently returned from living on the island of Maui, where I was employed as a Jurisdictional Code Enforcement Inspector for the county. Outside the profession, my passions include spending time with my wife and family, golfing, scuba diving, auto racing and watching football.