February, 2004
From the ASHI President.
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Proud and Honored to be Your President

STEPHEN M. GLADSTONE

Let me first say how proud and honored I am to have been sworn in as your 2004 ASHI President. I have never regretted getting involved with this Society so many years ago.

To bring you up to speed, I became a Member of ASHI in 1986, some 18 years ago. At that time, the Society was substantially smaller and the profession was almost a secret. The typical home inspection was a brief run-through of a home, it cost about $75.00, and was usually done by some handy tradesman whose summary usually was a nod and a statement like, “It looks good to me.”

Sure, we had the ASHI Standards of Practice and a dozen and a half chapters, but few knew what others were doing, and there were only one or two inspection schools and few educational opportunities other than some ASHI chapter meetings.

My chapter at that time was the Southern New England Chapter, and what a great experience it was. We met monthly at a restaurant an hour’s drive from my home, and it was really the first chance I had to see real home inspectors and to ask them questions. More amazingly, they freely shared tips and techniques, war stories and troubles.

I finally felt I was part of a larger industry. The ASHI Reporter and the national sponsored conferences and seminars were the major sources for technical information and experience.

I couldn’t wait to be able to attend my first national conference. What an amazing eye-opener that was, and truthfully, I could barely afford to go. My business was just starting to kick in and to abandon home to fly to Florida was a big deal. I re-member worrying whether I should register my wife as a spouse or tell her that I’d meet her after the seminars were over.

Becoming a chapter officer, then president of SNEC-ASHI, was great, but getting involved nationally was quite an honor. I got to work on the Nominations committee, the Technical Journal, and I helped write the logo-use policy. During one national conference, we worked on the logo-use policy for so long, we never got to any sessions.

It was exciting. I met inspectors from all over the United States and Canada. We discussed marketing, business, shared war stories, technical stuff and I would come home with so much info my head was spinning. The national experience opened my eyes also to work we needed to do, and the shared vision of the organization…remember, at that time we were run by a management team with a staff of part-timers located in Washington, D.C.

To have watched the growth as I sat on, then chaired, various committees, got appointed to the newly formed Council of Representatives, elected to the Board of Directors and then up through the ranks, including three years as your Treasurer–it was amazing. As an officer for the last seven years, I watched us grow to 6,800 members, buy and pay off our own building, achieve attendance of 1,400 people at InspectionWorld, support a full-time staff of 15, and begin to publish the Reporter in-house, and now we are entering into The ASHI Experience campaign. Wow!

We truly are on the cusp of greatness, and our history of raising the bar and making ASHI the pre-eminent authority, truly the Voice of the Profession, has indeed arrived.

We are now viewed across the country as a Society providing a service that protects the consumer.

As I said earlier, I am proud to be working as part of the team, with strong and committed Directors. Our path is clear and our strategic planning is working. But don’t forget, it takes many individuals to make this Society great. Wherever you are in the process, C1, C2 or full Member we need you to be our ambassador and spread the word of ASHI and help promote The ASHI Experience.

This is your future. It sets you apart from other inspectors. Get involved, put in some energy, volunteer and actively participate. Who knows…18 years from now (or sooner), you may find yourself showing your kids a copy of the ASHI Reporter and watching their excitement to see your name is listed at the top!      

Wishing you a great and very prosperous new year.