January, 2005
From the ASHI President.
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Melancholy

STEPHEN M. GLADSTONE

It’s an odd word and a somewhat strange feeling. I suppose, as the year ends, we must look back and reminisce; we must gauge both the success and headaches that have occurred to better evaluate where we are and where we are going. The past year has certainly been a roller coaster ride for ASHI and the inspection profession. As your president, I’m quick to admit I don’t much like roller coasters! I have never really been a fan of killer acceleration and abrupt turns. We’ve had plenty of that this year. Most of the inspectors I met during my eight years on the board of directors, and about 18 years of being a Member, have all demonstrated control issues.
Inspectors typically like to reduce the bumps in the road by being careful, predicting the problems, and avoiding them whenever possible. Some of you avoid them by delegating them to others…that would be us, your volunteer leaders.

Having been given this awesome task to control an aspect of your lives (especially one you feel strongly about) has not been an easy task. Some of you have wondered if the changes we’ve made have been worth the money spent: others have wondered if the directions and philosophical re-direction were the right way to go. Others have questioned everything just ’cause that’s what they do.

But I have to tell you, after the dust settles, the safety bar lifts, and I consider getting off this crazy ride, I have to say… I really have enjoyed being your president.  And yes, if it didn’t mean financial ruin to my business and if my wife wouldn’t kill me, I would probably do this again!

The truth is, in reflection, my team of officers and board members really worked hard for you this last year. They fulfilled their part of the deal to donate their time and take on great responsibilities to help create change in the best
interest of the Society. Those stepping down this year I’m sure will be melancholic as well. Thank you for your efforts.

My committees and chairs spent many hours trying to tackle projects and procedures that will lay a solid foundation for the next few years, and they were successful. They proposed many concepts for the board of directors to consider. While not all could be adopted, their strong debate helped keep our vision of the next few years on task. I urge you all to personally thank the many volunteers who served this year when criticism and frustration about branding, high dues, and constant e-mails about individual and chapter concerns filled their overflowing schedules and e-mailboxes.

It really was great to visit with so many of you at The ASHI Experience rollouts, chapter and regional meetings, and if I attended your chapter meeting or a
conference, it gave me the opportunity to hear your issues and concerns. Some of you were amazed that we were listening and able to fix some of those issues. In fact, some of you were rather surprised when you received phone calls directly from me or an e-mail trying to deal with a situation that troubled you. Sometimes, it’s easy to feel the board is a separate distant body, but if you attended any of our board meetings in Chicago, Atlanta and Albuquerque this year, you would have seen that the directors are just home inspectors taking time off from their businesses to work for you.

And, finally, to all the council reps and chapter officers and chapter committee workers in the grassroots, thank you for trying to figure out your role in The ASHI Experience. Next year, I’m convinced the fruit of our labor will prove that we have made the right decisions. We will be judged for taking the higher path, and consumers will find you on our Web site.

In a year faced with competition from other organizations (both real and scandalously virtual ones), thank you for choosing ASHI to hang your hat on.  We know you want a society that stands for Standards and Ethics, and good educational opportunities, and strong chapters, and good membership services. And, you want prudent stewardship of your dues. I believe our staff has delivered those as well. So thank you to our group in Illinois that works so hard to keep ASHI strong.

And, finally, to our Candidates: Thank you for wanting more from this profession than just a career; thank you for wanting education, mentoring, PR and information. Thank you for helping us raise the bar and having faith in this Society. We need you and want your participation. In return, ASHI pledges to help you become the best inspectors you can become.

Let’s work together in 2005, Candidates, Members, chapter leaders, staff, committee members, COR reps and directors. Let’s continuously strive to make this profession one that protects the consumer, and makes us proud to go to work each day. That is, after all is said, The ASHI Experience. Thanks for a great year and all your energy. I’ll get over the melancholy. Thank you all for the opportunity to serve.