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

Northern Illinois' Teaching Tool


The ASHI Web site has its Virtual Home Inspection, and the Northern Illinois Chapter has Jack McGraw’s miniature house. Built by ASHI Member McGraw, Jack’s Home Service, Hickory Hills, Ill., the detailed replica recently drew people to the NIC-ASHI booth at the Elgin Cabin Fever Expo. In addition to being a conversation piece, the house serves as a “teaching aid” when people ask questions about their homes and about home inspections. The chapter also sponsored a smoke detector giveaway to remind visitors to the booth of the importance of home safety.


Photo: Jack McGraw with the winners of the smoke detector


Photo: Jack McGraw with consumers


Photo: Inside the house

Chapter Media Success Stories

Idaho wins over local media in second year
Curtis Liles, South Western Idaho Chapter president, reported the success his chapter had in its second year of existence. He said, “Our local TV news, ‘6 On Your Side,’ asked me to do an interview on radon. After talking to me, they decided to focus on ASHI and the qualifications of a good home inspector, and just touch on radon. They aired the two-minute interview three times over the course of two days.”

The chapter was also successful gaining air time on the radio. Information about home inspectors, mentioning only ASHI, was broadcast on “Homescape,” a Saturday radio show. Liles followed up with a thank you letter, sharing with the station manager how he had been working hard to educate the public for several years. He said, “I also mentioned that if there was anything I could do for them or their show, do not hesitate to ask. They did ask, and will have me on for a six-minute interview about ASHI and its members.”

The chapter has also contacted the local newspaper, and is working with another television station on public awareness. In addition, packages were sent to 165 real estate offices, with letters introducing the Members and Members with logo use.

Overall, the chapter has made amazing progress in establishing itself and its membership in southwestern Idaho. 

Hello, Wisconsin… and Illinois, Michigan and Indiana
Howard Pegelow, Great Lakes Chapter secretary, reports beginning on February 2, 2005: two radio commercials were broadcast during Tom Feiza’s “Mr. Fix-It” show. Feiza, who is also an ASHI Member, did the “tag voice over” at the end of each commercial, broadcasting the ASHI message to approximately 45,000 listeners 8 to 9 a.m. Saturday mornings. The Milwaukee station can be heard in southeast Wisconsin, northern Illinois, including Chicagoland, western Michigan, and the northwest corner of Indiana.

Chapters Share 2004 Highlights

Hudson Valley
President: Douglas Myers
Vice President: Eric Vandenberg
Treasurer: Edward Small
National Board Alternate: John Gerardi
Secretary/COR: Arlene Puentes
Immediate Past President: William Hughes

In 2004, we divided our monthly educational sessions between technical education and business enhancements. The technical topics included water purity, superior walls installation, UFS tank inspections, mechanical inspections and chimney liner inspections. Business sessions included The ASHI Experience, chapter promotion, home inspection business marketing and, at our December celebration dinner, the speaker urged us to “Work Smarter, Not Harder.”

We held our Second Annual Historic Homes Seminar in September, 2004. The two-day seminar featured well-known speakers in the field of historic homes and a tour of a local stone church with impressive structural problems. The response from attendees was enthusiasti, and we received positive local press. The Third Annual Historic Homes Seminar will take place on September 8-10, 2005.

The chapter instituted an e-mailed “Code Question of the Month.” A code question is submitted to a chapter volunteer who re-searches the New York State building code HVASHI-Group-Photo-6.gifand writes the response. To enhance feelings of camaraderie, we had a professional group photo taken at the December celebration dinner (we’re a good looking bunch). We recognize members who have been in the chapter for 10 years or more, and past chapter presidents at every meeting; we gave volunteers chapter awards, and created an “Outstanding Member of the Year” award.

2004 gave birth to a new HVASHI chapter brochure. Because we’re home inspectors, we know when to call in a qualified expert; therefore, we hired a professional designer. The sleek and attention-grabbing brochure is a credit to our professionalism. It will be handed out with HVASHI promotional mugs at real estate conventions in 2005.

Chapter growth and the graduation of Candidates are our priorities. We pride ourselves on the courteous welcoming of visitors, and have formed a committee to put together a study group for the National Home Inspector’s Examination.

In 2004, we displayed our commitment to our local community with financial donations to a “Rebuilding Together” project for a low-income neighbor and two local food pantries.

Hudson Valley ASHI chapter members continue to take a great interest in national ASHI events. Two members attended 2004 Chapter Leadership day and five attended InspectionWorld. More information about our chapter can be found on our always-current Web site, www.HVASHI.com.
—Arlene Puentes

Lone Star
President: Jim Hemsell
Secretary: Nev Nicholson
Treasurer: Allen Anderson
COR: Scott Emerson

The last 12 months have been busy for the Lone Star ASHI Chapter. We held several different seminars around the state of Texas in 2004, and helped host the Annual Conference in Austin, Texas, last January. Our chapter is experiencing growing pains as we continue to push the message that professionalism is important in our industry. We have had mixed success with some of our coalition-building efforts, as Lone Star ASHI has assumed a more prominent role in representing our industry in the state.

The chapter is excited about the Chapter Funding Program and the strength it brings to help compete in the Texas market. A nine-month advertising campaign using The ASHI Experience ads have started to raise awareness about The ASHI Experience among the Texas real estate professionals. The year of 2005 promises to bring new horizons as we grow to help support the ASHI members in Texas.
—Jim Hemsell

North Central Ohio
President: Phillip Wells      
Vice President: Shawn Sebring
Secretary: Tom Gaba          
Treasurer: Steve Conrad

The year of 2004 was an active and productive one for our chapter. We started with 26 members and ended with more than 60, in-cluding Candidates. The increase in our num-bers strengthened our voice within national ASHI by entitling us to a second member on the Council of Representatives. We saw one of our chapter’s founding members, David Tamny, advance to ASHI secretary.

A great deal of effort went into incorporating ASHI branding concepts into promoting the members of our chapter. We redesigned our chapter membership brochures to use The ASHI Experience and “ We Speak House” tagline. Approximately 10,000 brochures were distributed with the photo ads to real estate offices across Northeast Ohio.

We made several advancements to improve our accessibility to real estate agents,
brokers and buyers. Tom Gaba developed our chapter Web site (www.ncohioashi.com), and we purchased a professionally designed chapter display booth. The booth was used at several functions involving the Akron-and Cleveland-area board Realtors®.

Educational Co-chair Tony Scolaro set up a chapter phone line (800-961-ASHI) and volunteered the use of his office secretary, Lisa, to handle phone calls and inquiries about local ASHI Inspectors.

Public Relations Chair Dave Macy initiated a program to involve chapter officers in providing continuing education classes to local Realtor® boards, with a focus on the benefits of using ASHI Inspectors.

Shawn Sebring developed a quarterly news-letter delivered via e-mail to keep all members up to speed on chapter news. Shawn also put on our first chapter Christmas party, which was a huge success.

On the education front, Chair Craig Haas put on a successful and profitable spring
seminar in Cleveland. Craig, Tony and the entire chapter board worked together with the Great Lakes Chapter to hold a joint seminar in Toledo in November (also a huge success).

Tony, Tom Gaba and Steve Conrad continue to hold monthly meetings, from September to May, providing three MRCs per session. We be-gan a lending library by purchasing the ASHI at Home® study series for our members.

I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of our chapter and grateful for the hard work of all who volunteered. I could not have asked for a better group of guys to work with!
—Phillip Wells

Northern Rockies
President: Doug Zimmerman
Vice President: Hal Aasen
Secretary/Treasurer: Keith Alltucker

Our chapter is one of the older ASHI chapter, yet probably is still one of the smallest.  We became a chapter in 1989 with six members and, though we’ve nearly doubled in size, we all carry multiple duties and positions in the chapter.

Currently, I am the president and past secretary/treasurer. Hal Aasen is the vice president, a position he has held for a while and does very well at. Keith Alltucker is the current secretary/treasurer, and he is doing a great job. He’s also a past president. Almost everyone in the chapter has held a leadership position, and I’m proud of our chapter members because they are always willing to help with chapter duties and functions.

Northern Rockies chapter covers most of the major cities of Montana. I would like to inform everyone that Montana is very large geographically, and it is in the United States. This was a long-standing joke when I was on the ASHI Board of Directors in the 1980s and early 1990s.

The chapter meets on a quarterly basis because of the long traveling distance. Some members travel over 200 miles, one way, for a one-day meeting and training session.
I feel the greatest accomplishment of the year 2004 and all of the past years is the dedication of everyone in the chapter.
—Doug Zimmerman