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The end of an era

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From the Inspection Radio blog:

Tomorrow will mark the end of an era at ASHI. Rob Paterkiewicz, long-time Executive Director, will be spending his last day as ASHI's chief staffer. I remember back in 1997 when I first met Rob. At that time, ASHI was renting space in an office building in Arlington Heights, IL. I had responded to an ad in the Chicago Tribune for a non-profit association looking for a Marketing Coordinator. I had just quit my job working for one of the top event marketing firms in Chicago. My last employer had left a bitter taste in my mouth of the corporate and agency world and hearing the phrase "there's a hundred people lined up outside your door who would love to have your job" left a lot to be desired in terms of workplace enjoyment. So, I found myself sitting across from Rob at a makeshift conference room table as he was describing to me the who, what, when and why about ASHI. As I was looking around the room, I questioned whether or not I wanted to work in a place where the phone echoed through the whole office (because it never stopped ringing) and the Executive Director's (Al Leitschuh at that time) footprint was embedded in the side of the office copier.

But Rob quickly dispelled any concerns I had as he spoke about being part of something special - an industry that was starting to blossom and a Marketing position that had never been created before. I was renting an apartment so home ownership was still a distant thought in my mind and the concept of a home inspector as a "guardian of the home" was appealing, but vague. Nevertheless, I believed in Rob's vision for ASHI and its role in spreading the word about the value of a home inspection and the importance of using a qualified home inspector. But more importantly, I believed that I could contribute to something great...something worthy of my time and ambition. As they say, the rest is history.

Nearly eight years, multiple InspectionWorld conferences, web site redesigns, political dramas on a national and local chapter level and yes...even an ASHI Experience branding campaign, that vision never changed. And that was primarily because of Rob Paterkiewicz. It's been a few years now since I left my last position as Director of Marketing of ASHI, but my experiences there left me wiser and grateful to have been part of a team of people who really did give a damn.

While the rumors will continue to circulate as to what kind of person will be hired as his replacement, I hope that he or she will have the same level of commitment to excellence and integrity to inspire great things from the staff, volunteers and members that walk through ASHI's door. Thanks again Rob. I wish you the best.

Carlos Tabora

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Carlos: What a great tribute to Rob. I echo your sentiments and would add that there are many past ASHI presidents who would not have done well without a standup guy like Rob. I know that my presidency was better because of him than it would have been otherwise. While I hope his replacement can fit his shoes, ASHI has lost a guiding force. P.S. You weren't half bad yourself.

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