Howdy to the Membership,
Thank you for showing your confidence in me by selecting me to finish the 2004 treasurer’s term and to be your treasurer again for 2005. I will continue to do my best to safeguard our assets and to build for the future.
I am very pleased to bring you this year-end report.
Keeping membership dues at or lower than they are currently is a primary goal of your treasurer. Dues had to be raised $50 in 2004, but the ASHI Experience/ Strategic expenditure portion was lowered by $100, so the total dues for 2004 are $50 less than last year. Your board of directors works hard to keep dues and The ASHI Experience costs at a reasonable level, while providing the level of quality information and services the membership deserves and expects.
The ASHI Experience has been working well for those participating Members and chapters. ASHI has remitted almost $200,000 to chapters that requested their share of the monies earmarked for them, and they are putting that money to good use promoting the ASHI Inspectors in their areas. The ASHI Experience has not been cheap, but the goal is to promote ASHI Inspectors (Members and Candidates w/log use) and to assist them with marketing and customer service, while fast-tracking Candidates to gain logo-use status. As an annual expense, participating in The ASHI Experience is still less expensive than trying to individually market ourselves. The Branding/ASHI Experience has had a significant impact on the membership through increased exposure to our customers.
The Chapter Leadership event in 2004 had the largest attendance ever! Participants came away with a better understanding of the ASHI Experience/Branding project, of the commitment of ASHI’s officers and directors to continue this project, and of the involvement of the volunteers who are making it happen. Participants also learned how best to promote and market their chapters and chapter members.
We can be proud of our elected chapter, national and committee volunteers. They unselfishly give their time to make the Society better. The membership also should know it has the most dedicated, loyal and hardworking staff ever assembled. Without the staff’s work, the Chapter Leadership event would not have been a success. The same holds true for ASHI’s everyday operations. Staff members are ready to answer your questions or help in any way they can. I would like you to give them thanks the next time you interact with them.
On the finance side, the Finance Committee has paid off the loan that helped ASHI pay for the branding project. By liquidating investments that were returning less than the interest on the note, we were able to eliminate the loan with its accompanying interest, thereby improving the cash flow while maintaining a substantial asset base. With the help of Richard Bennett, our new director of finance and administration, the Finance Committee is developing policies that will further strengthen the Society’s financial infrastructure. The Finance and Membership Committees have set a goal to increase non-dues revenue to help build our reserves and to offset ASHI’s reliance on membership dues. Non-dues revenue is hard to acquire for an organization such as ours, but your committees are committed to finding ways to do it.
Richard Bennett is a great asset to ASHI, and I have enjoyed working with him on our financial matters. ASHI recently completed its annual audit of finances. These regular audits help assure all of us that our organization is sound and operating as it should be to protect our assets. The membership can rest assured that ASHI has the finances to continue serving us, and that your Finance Committee’s goal is to build ASHI’s reserves and further strengthen its asset base. As our membership grows and The ASHI Experience/Branding program brings greater recognition, more business and increased incomes for the Members, ASHI will soon be the only voice for our profession.
Hang in there; dues may seem to some members to be high and some may not be sure of the payback, but it is coming. ASHI cannot act as the voice of the profession without a cost. We must contribute not only with our checkbooks, but also through our participation.
GET INVOLVED! SPREAD THE WORD. Make The ASHI Experience and all the monies we have spent mean something. ASHI Inspectors and ASHI inspections are the benchmark for the consuming public.