President’s Update to Members October 2013
Published by Pam Sayne
Published on October 18, 2013
PRESIDENT‘S UPDATE TO MEMBERS
OAHI has faced fundamental challenges in the last two years including financial concerns, management systems, pending regulatory initiatives and the departure of some volunteers. A refreshed team of OAHI volunteers are revamping management systems, managing financial planning and taking the lead on initiatives to sustain OAHI’s efficiency and high standards. As the culture of home inspections in Ontario and across the country changes OAHI members and leadership are proud to have a voice in these changes to assure continued success for our members and for consumer protection.
The Board has recently learned that Aubrey LeBlanc, our governance and political advisor/advocate for the past 7 years, will no longer be with the Association. He has accepted a new position as Chief Administrative Officer of the Ontario Building Officials Association (OBOA). We will miss Aubrey’s assistance and his wealth of knowledge related to our industry. We wish Aubrey continued success in his new role, and we are confident of his continued support of the OAHI. Please log on and read his letter in the member’s section of the OAHI website.
Aubrey is leaving us with a successful grant application in which he and David Hellyer, Chair of the Board of Examiners completed. We have received the Ministry of Colleges and Universities Sector Initiatives Fund for a prior learning examination tool for our home inspection industry. This project will help determine advance standing for applicants to OAHI who fall outside the two traditional streams of education and experience which automatically trigger advance standing credits – graduates of Ontario community colleges in home inspection, and licensed building trades. More on this to follow.
I would also like the membership to welcome Jerry Van Eyken (RHI), to the OAHI Board of Directors. Jerry was appointed to the Board at our October 8th, Board meeting. Jerry brings a high level of business skills to the table. Active as a Regional Group leader and on the CAHPI National Lobby Committee, his volunteering to take on additional tasks as a member of the Board will strengthen our Association. With our small number of Directors on the Board and large volunteer mandate, we are grateful for Jerry’s willingness to accept this position.
OAHI is changing from a primarily paper based to an electronic management system.
The OAHI website now has Member self-serve options including an Upload document tab, Members upgrade check box, self registration for training and more. There is a member forum, interactive access for education and information sharing, and access to important documents for member reference. Nicole, our office staff, can assist you if you are having problems learning how use the site. Log in and participate in the latest poll.
Coming to a stride in our volunteer management systems, I would like bring to your attention the volunteers in our Association.
David Leech took on the role of Registrar as a volunteer towards the end of his Board term. This is one of the legal mandates of our organization and he took on the responsibility to maintain our registrar during staffing/management modifications. David is also assisting with the transfer from members’ paper based submissions, to electronic files on line.
Thanks to Murray Parish, OAHI Treasurer, and more recently David Leech, Chair, Art Franzen and Robert Cornish of the Finance Committee, for their clear and accurate information to the Board on our financial status and income and spending according to the budget approved by the membership. As a Board, we are looking forward to sharing this information with all of you. Murray Parish’s accountability in financial management cannot be understated. The strong financial skills and commitment of the Finance committee will keep us on track and within our means.
Robert Simpson, OAHI Secretary, as well as meeting the demands of his position, is developing new skills in assuring corporate minutes are taken and completed for Board approval. Some of you may know that OAHI once had a paid contract for this service. We thank Robert for continuing this volunteer role as Secretary of the Board of Directors and taking minutes. It has saved the Association a considerable expense.
David Hellyer, Chair of the Board of Examiners, is a member of the Provincial consultation process with the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services, reviewing the home inspection industry and the need for mandatory qualifications for inspectors. We are also fortunate to have Blaine Swan, CAHPI President, on this Provincial consultation committee. We appreciate regular updates. It is likely that some of the results of this process will be available towards the end of November, 2013. OAHI will continue to update and inform our membership on the proceedings.
Your OAHI President is on the Canadian Standards Authority (CSA), as a private home inspector, addressing the Standards of Practice with input from all stakeholders across the country. There are also others in this consultation with OAHI and CAHPHI affiliations as well as other Associations and stakeholders. This CSA initiative came as a request from the Provincial Government of Alberta. Other Provinces are watching for the results. OAHI members will be kept informed.
Peter Weeks, after his board term, continues the management of the website. He oversees the e-mails to OAHI directing them to the correct individual. Peter is the contact for Regional Chairs to send notice of meetings, provides updates and notifications of workshops and courses. Policy and training for website access to assist volunteers to do their jobs is in the making.
Peter Weeks, Murray Parish and David Leech have worked with our website developers to get our site to meet all the requirements of our organization. No small feat.
David Cook is a Board member and Chair of the Discipline & Professional Practices Committee (DPPC) with Trevor Welby-Solomon, Laurel Harris, Mike Lipczynski, and Jeff Glanfield on the committee. The DPPC committee meets our required obligations under Provinical OAHI ACT for our members and the general public. The Committee would like to remind membership that in accordance with the by-Laws, all Students, and Applicant members must state on their advertising, the level of their membership. The Committee gets a lot of complaints about members simply stating “Member of OAHI”.
Our Report Verification Committee, Laurel Harris and Peter Moody, are continuing their role and doing a very conscientious and thorough job. We thank Carl Inglis for the training in this area. Note that an electronic communications is saving the organization and members $100s of dollars in courier services. The new management system is becoming financially efficient. We plan on training others for this task as well.
The Regional Group Chairs continue to coordinate the Regional Group Meetings after a bit of time off in the summer months. Their work on preparing education and information sessions providing an opportunity for home inspectors to meet in person is vital to our profession where individuals often work alone. More regarding these volunteers and Regional Meeting in future updates.
This year OAHI is sponsoring the National CAHPI Conference (Nov 8-10) with the efforts of a strong committee mostly from the Ottawa area. See the website for more details. OAHI looks forward to welcoming inspectors from across the country at this conference, as well as the members from other associations and stakeholders. Chaired by Sharry Featherston and Peter Weeks we will recognize the committee members and their contributions at a future date.
The RHI “It’s Time” National Lobby is Chaired by your President with committee members Jerry Van Eyken, Robert Weatherseed, Blaine Swan, and Sharry Featherstone. There are CAHPI Members across the country working on this campaign. CAHPI member organizations – through their memberships – are contacting their Federal Member of Parliament with the brochures (distributed at Regional Group Meetings in Ontario) promoting the RHI. It is time to bring a stronger recognition to this accomplishment. Information to assist OAHI members to participate in this Lobby are available on the OAHI website. You can use your business logo in mailing the available Lobby letter to your local MP. We encourage all to take advantage of promoting CAHPI Provincial and Regional membership, the accomplishments over 30 years and the RHI designation, the highest standard in the Industry.
Nicole Proietti was hired 2 years ago in February in a junior staff position. Her conscientious approach to her job and support to OAHI is demonstrated in her management of daily priorities, assisting volunteers and members, and her dedication to our programming success.
Concluding, the 3 hours a day average I was told the position as President would take was very underestimated. This became a full time volunteer appointment through some of our biggest challenges. However, with every volunteer and new operating system in place and a motivated office staff person, this too is changing. I have great respect and appreciation for all those who are working to maintain OAHI as the largest and leading Association for high standards and accountability.
Bottom Line is here:
More volunteers are welcome. If you would like to join an energetic group of Association volunteers, we welcome you. Help shape your Association as we continue to develop as a supportive professional Association in a climate of rapid change. A reminder that the November 8 – 10th CAHPI Conference, hosted this year by OAHI, is a great opportunity to connect with others and consider your role in the Association. You will appreciate that you are a part of the leading organization in our industry.
If you are interested in committing to be an active volunteer with the Association I would love to hear from you.