“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.”-Eric Hoffer
Thank goodness another year has passed. A year unlike any other for our Association and many if not most CREIA Members. Our Association’s finances began last year in the economic RED. Challenges to our organization continued to present themselves throughout much of the year. Unfortunately, there is nothing further We can report at this time on some of these challenges other than the BOD has steered the boat clear of the rocks. The past year found many if not most members working harder than ever before to make less money.
Yet, all things considered, we have much to be grateful for.
It was a year that your CREIA Board of Director’s voted to change the management of our association. In October, we moved from an employee model to a professional management company. Founded in 1983, AdvoCal is a professional association management and business consulting service. We have been privileged to work with its founding partner Carl Brakensiek over the last 13 years as CCHI’s lobbyist. Carl brings 35 years experience in government relations and political consulting. Kacy Wallis, our new Executive Director, has over 12 years of association management experience plus the enthusiasm and drive to develop and organize our association. Moody Jahan, our new Controller, brings 22 years of finance and accounting experience. Dianne Critz, a 19 year member of the AdvoCal team, is the current Legislative Analyst with over 30 years legislative knowledge, our in-house editor and Marketing Director. Dianne’s degree is in business and will guide us in the development of our public relations. Linda Albracht, our jack-of-all-trades, brings with her a 25 year background as a Special Education Instructional Assistant who now serves solely as CREIA’s first point of contact performing all administrative duties. We have also retained the services of Mark D. Alcorn, Esq., an attorney specializing in association law. CREIA's new Executive Office is just a short walk to the State Capitol in Sacramento.
The Board of Directors and CREIA staff appreciate your patience with our transition. In closing the Palm Springs office and moving to Sacramento in late October, there were some lapses in communication and services. As with any change, and during the course of a management transition, there are endless unforeseen details and tasks, and we apologize if those have impacted you negatively.
The staff is hard at work and has made positive progress as the year came to an end. CREIA member badges have been complete and sent to those who have recently renewed their dues, paper invoice reminders for those of you due between October 2010 and January 2011 have been sent, CEC data is current and store orders have been filled. If you find your CEC information listed on the website is not current, please contact Linda in the CREIA office at email@example.com. Chances are the paperwork is missing and she’ll need your assistance in getting it on file so she can bring your records up-to-speed. Rick Hartmann (Education, Conference and Affiliate Committee Member) has generously volunteered several hours of his time to assist in the helping with the backlog of data entry at the CREIA Executive Office. Rick, your good work in our office is greatly appreciated. Should you have any questions regarding your membership, please feel free to contact Kacy via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please copy your Chapter President and Regional Director in your correspondence. This will enable our team to better and more accurately serve you and ensure greater accountability.
CREIA's financial position continues to improve through the competent leadership of CREIA CFO Peter Boyd (State Director, past Region 2 Director, former Sacramento Chapter President, current TWI & Affiliates Managing Member). Peter has enlisted a third-party, professional accountant to prepare the CREIA taxes. This past year the Board formed the Audit and Oversight Committee. This standing committee provides financial and policy oversight to CREIA leadership and management. These measures provide redundancy in ensuring our fiscal operations are accurately documented for Board review.
Even through the challenges that 2010 brought to CREIA, we still managed to make positive steps for our members.
Early in the year, the Board voted to partner with Casey O’Malley and Associates (COA) for the October conference held in Las Vegas. The event was an educational and financial success. I want to personally thank Mike and Kevin for partnering with CREIA in this important event. I offer my personal gratitude for their continued support and participation with CREIA.
Thanks to the good works of our Chapter Relations Chair, Terry Brown (Region 2 Director), a full day’s introduction of your Chapter Presidents into CREIA Leadership was held this past year. Participation of chapter leadership benefits our association in many ways by ensuring quality inspection specific education, providing professional and supportive monthly chapter meetings through communication and support to Candidates and new chapter Members, promoting chapter membership to the consumer and professional real estate community, maintaining a chapter website linked to the CREIA statewide site, and by remaining responsive and accountable to member requests, just to name a few.
CREIA’s new website is almost one year old and is under the able and capable direction of our amazing webmaster Dominic Maricic. Dominic is a computer science major from Cal Poly with an outstanding work ethic and devotion to promote CREIA and the inspection profession through a vivid website and internet presence. Ask.CREIA.orghas already received 1.5 million hits in just less than 18 months. This site continues to cut a new road for consumers to directly contact our membership. There have been over 30,000 direct requests from the Ask.CREIA.org site to the CREIA Inspector Finder on our home page. There is an exceptional opportunity available to you to work directly with Dominic in developing your internet marketing as well. In order to further advance CREIA’s internet presence, a task-force will be needed. Consider volunteering for this important role by contacting the CREIA office at email@example.com.
We have many new and exciting projects that will be unveiled this coming year. In February, for the first time in 10 years, CREIA will conduct a Strategic Planning session. This session will allow us to plan the future course and to better focus our association on our mission, development, operations and membership. The results of this professionally facilitated process will be made available to the membership.
In an effort to further support CREIA candidates, “The Path to Success” program was developed and is currently being rolled out to those new members. This program was the result of countless hours of work by our newly invigorated membership committee co-chaired by Steve Rush and Al Virtue, both longtime CREIA volunteers.
This is a new year and new decade full of potential. Your continued membership and participation is appreciated. I welcome your comments and concerns (firstname.lastname@example.org) as how together WE can improve OUR association.
May this be a healthy and prosperous year for you and yours.
"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving."
W. T. Purkiser