April, 2017
Opinion
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Why I Volunteer

PAUL STARON



I was honored and very humbled to receive ASHI’s John E. Cox Award for outstanding contributions to a chapter at ASHI’s InspectionWorld® in January. This recognition caused me to pause and take a look at why I volunteer, so I wanted to share with you the reasons why I take time away from my business, my family and myself to give back to our profession.

All of us, somehow, have found ourselves in the profession of home inspection. (Or maybe the profession found us?) I’ve still never met anyone who says that they dreamed of being a home inspector when they were growing up, but we all eventually found this profession. And a noble profession it is. We have the privilege of using our knowledge and skills to help people with one of the largest purchases of their life. We help them find the right home where they will live, perhaps raise a family or mark a new chapter in their life. We matter. And our profession matters. Additionally, I believe one of the reasons we are here on this earth is to help people. We help people when we inspect, we help people when we volunteer in our community and we help people when we volunteer for ASHI.

During this year’s IW, I was reminded of some of my inspirations and what helped to drive my passion for making ASHI and my chosen profession better. 

Almost 20 years ago, I volunteered to serve on my first national committee, Public Relations. Ron Passaro from Connecticut also was a member of that committee. Ron is so passionate about our profession that, in 1976, he founded ASHI. His vision of bringing our profession together to form the ASHI Standard of Practice and to share experiences are the cornerstones of ASHI to this day. It was great to see Ron at IW this year and I hope that he continues to attend IW for many years to come. We should all thank him, as ASHI may not have been formed without him.

During the recent ASHI Board of Directors meeting, I was reminded of the passion of our current leadership, of which I’d like to recognize a few: Jim Funkhouser, who helped energize the Council of Representatives; Don Lovering, who tirelessly gives back to our profession and is now serving as ASHI Treasurer; and Tom Lauhon, who serves as chair of the Standards Committee and was honored with ASHI’s Ironman Award. There is so much strength in our leadership, even with our diverse personality types. Director Bruce Barker, a self-proclaimed “extreme introvert,” was honored with ASHI’s President’s Award and has done an amazing job to further our profession. Incoming Board Member Bryck Guibor has been a tremendous inspiration to me because of his work in Arizona and nationally.

So, how about you? How do you give back? We all face the challenge of time management, and it is easy to become preoccupied with our business and the next inspection. There is no doubt that my volunteer efforts have cost me a few inspections over the years. But there is also no doubt that my volunteer efforts have added greatly to my business success. The maxim “the more you give, the more you receive” rings true. In direct and often indirect ways, my business and my life have benefited greatly from the volunteer work I’ve done, the people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve shared.

I encourage you to join your local ASHI chapter if you’re not already a member. Ask the chapter president how you can help. Start with a couple small tasks and start making a difference. Many hands make the load lighter and I believe ASHI’s primary strength is in the quality of the individuals who call themselves ASHI members. 

Paul Staron has been inspecting since 1994 and is president of Valley Building Inspections in Scottsdale, AZ. He has served as chair of the ASHI Public Relations Committee (2005-2006) and as a member of the ASHI Board of Directors (2008-2010). In 2010, Paul received ASHI’s Ironman Award. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (2011-2017).