Many of you will never know what it feels like to be the President of this Society. I’m sure there are some who envy me and a larger number who are happier I volunteered so someone, anyone, would take the task! Truth is, I have been honored to serve as your 22nd President, and I value the time and trust placed in me this year. Amid the brouhaha of our second year of branding and cries of high dues, we really have had a heck of a year. This year, ASHI has truly been in front of the press, in front of the real estate community, and well-received in the responses we have been measuring from consumers.
This was the year of a tremendously successful media tour, and the creation and distribution of our public service messages and accompanying film footage. I was quoted about ASHI in a zillion magazines, and I got to travel from Albuquerque, to South Africa, to all over the country meeting with chapters and stakeholders trying to solve problems and developing new relationships. We were well received at the National Association of Realtors® show in Florida, we are working more closely with the insurance providers, we developed new educational relationships, and we expanded InspectionWorld by providing more client service and technological educational offerings. We worked on federal government projects that came to fruition this year with our lobbyist. We developed white papers that helped to cement our role as the voice of the profession. And we had to put up with an unnamed competitive organization trying to attract our members with smoke and mirrors and empty credentials. The Branding, to many members, is begrudgingly working… maybe we spent too much or moved too quickly for some and the backlash hurt its progress, but the referrals are coming in stronger and stronger. The Web site is selling your credentials to the public, and the advertising and public relations are working with the money going back to the chapters. It’s starting to be harder for nay-sayers to ignore the fact that the branding is working. This was also a year of growth in staff and some changes in direction. We are more actively pursuing new Membership and retaining old. We are supporting the chapters more and listening to chapter needs. And I know we have been responsive to those needs. As I reflect on the year, I am saddened it is coming to a close, I am grayer for it, but happy we are working more cohesively than in previous years, and pleased that Don Norman will take the helm at this important time for ASHI. Thank you all for your hard work on many levels. We really have had a great year full of accomplishments, and I have been proud to serve alongside so many of you.