Kentucky Real Estate Inspectors Association Inc.

KREIA History

Kentucky Real Estate Inspectors Association
KREIA – Our History – Founded in 1992…

Compiled by Erby Crofutt
KREIA Webmaster 2003 – Present

In 1992, Michael Green of InspectorUSA, Inc. saw a growing need for Kentucky home inspectors to have a state-wide voice along with a source of quality, affordable, and accessible education opportunities. To this end he recruited Mr. Steve Pruitt of Pruitt Property Inspections and Mr. Arlis McMahon of Multi-Line Services to meet with him at a McDonalds Restaurant in Tates Creek Center, Lexington KY to discuss the possibility of forming an association of home inspectors in Kentucky. At this meeting Mike Green presented his ideas concerning the need and purpose of the organization. All three men agreed there was a need and agreed that this new organization would be named the Kentucky Real Estate Inspection Association (KREIA) and that they would be the Board of Directors with Michael Green as the first President and organizing member. (The name came from an existing state association in California called CREIA).

The purpose of the association is to promote excellence within the real estate inspection industry by providing and promoting the following:

  • Provide its members with economical education and training opportunities to enhance their professionalism.
  • Promote and maintain high standards of conduct for its members.
  • Promote camaraderie throughout its membership to create the “Home Inspectors helping Home Inspectors” atmosphere.

Initially, KREIA began meeting monthly in the meeting room at the local Shoney’s Restaurant in Lexington. Meetings included a local speaker discussing a home inspection related topic such as HVAC, Fireplaces and Chimneys, etc. The Board went about contacting active home inspectors across the state and invited them to participate and received a great response.

The Board of Directors also brought on several new KREIA members from the Louisville area, including Faith Greenwell, owner and operator, at the time, of Greenwell Home Inspections.  Faith played an integral role in the growth of KREIA in the early days by lending her administrative, organizational, and leadership skills. She served in every Board position for over ten years. She was the first woman to serve as KREIA President in 1996. 

With the increase in membership, the KREIA Board increased its number of board members and meetings were rotated between Lexington, Louisville, and Northern Kentucky. In 1996 the Lexington Urban County Government passed an ordinance requiring all home inspectors operating in Fayette County to be licensed by the Office of Code Enforcement. As part of this requirement, they requested KREIA’s participation by developing a licensing exam to be administered by the Kentucky Technical College. This local testing & licensing lasted until 2006 when the state licensing program took over licensing responsibilities.

This format of meetings continued until 1999 when the Board voted to begin offering annual education conferences in lieu of monthly meetings. The first education conference was held in February 2001 in Lexington KY. This was a 4-day event and was a huge success. The classes covered multiple topics taught by experts from all over the country. All classes provided continuing education credits for KREIA, the Lexington license and all national associations.

Annual conferences were held from 2001 to 2004 when the Board voted to start having a Spring and Fall 2-day conference each year. Each conference provided the opportunity to get 14 hours of continuing education.

In 2003 KREIA joined forces with the national associations to write licensing legislation that protected Kentucky Home Inspectors and made sure that home inspectors would always regulate the profession. Faith Greenwell led the KREIA Legislative Committee with Mike Weeks that provided support and legislative testimony for Kentucky Home Inspectors Licensing.

Senate Bill 39 was passed by the Kentucky state legislature in 2004 and signed into law by Governor Ernie Fletcher. The law established the Kentucky Board of Home Inspectors (KBHI) as the licensing agency and required all home inspectors in Kentucky to be licensed through the KBHI by July 2006. Several members of KREIA have served as members of the KBHI.

In 2006, the existence of KREIA as a non-profit organization devoted to continuing education was challenged by a for profit school in Louisville. The KREIA Board of Directors, led by Mike Patton, Jim Ball, and JR Bone, employed a lawyer and accountant to formally become a 501(c)(6) non-profit educational organization and successfully defended the organization to the Kentucky Board of Home Inspectors. KREIA was reformed as the Kentucky Real Estate Inspectors Association in July of 2006 retaining the abbreviated name KREIA and the organization motto of “Home Inspectors Helping Home Inspectors” (suggested by Bud Wenk) was adopted.  In August of 2008, KREIA members approved a formal set of by-laws.

In late 2008, KREIA initiated an Affiliate member program, designed to help hold down home inspector education costs, which allowed those companies that provide the home inspection industry with products or services to sponsor and participate in the education conferences. This program gave home inspectors in person access to those companies through one-on-one contact and group presentations at the continuing education conferences.  Those affiliates were also advertised on the KREIA website and KREIA newsletter emails.

In 2009, KREIA President Jim Ball suggested the initiation of the Annual Education Pass allowing attendance at both continuing education conferences for one low cost paid in advance at membership renewal.  This gave the Board of Directors a better means of advance financial planning for the education conferences and provided a more financially stable organization.

Since that time, the KREIA Board of Directors has continued to provide members with top quality educational opportunities and a strong connection to each other through twice yearly continuing education conferences.  KREIA also obtains continuing education approvals from the states of Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee & West Virginia, along with the national associations, to provide a one stop shop for the Kentucky home inspectors living close to the borders and inspecting in both states. Inspectors from those states are also welcome to attend KREIA conferences and obtain approved continuing education for their state’s licensing programs.

While there are far too many to name each one, enough cannot be said about the strong group of many volunteer home inspectors who have served on the KREIA Board of Directors over the years. They have continued to support the activities of KREIA with their volunteer time and efforts. It is through the efforts of all of those volunteers serving on the Board of Directors over the ensuing years that made KREIA what it is today and what will make it continue to flourish as the best source of Kentucky home inspector education.

KREIA Presidents Through The Years

1992Mike Green2012Bud Wenk
1993Bill Harpole2013Michael Hesterberg
1994Jim Aubrey2014Jim Ball
1995Steve Pruitt2015Alex Lockstead
1996Faith Greenwell2016Mike Hesterberg
1997Tom Turner2017Mike Hesterberg
1998Mike Weeks2018Mike Hesterberg
1999Al Carter2019JR Bone
2000Faith Greenwell2020Josh Ross
2001Randy Redmon2021Mike Paris
2002Michael Green2022Kari Cheek
2003Michael Green2023Kari Cheek
2004Tom Turner2024Mike Hesterberg
2005Mike Weeks
2006Mike Patton
2007Lori Keeney
2008Jim Ball
2009Jim Ball
2010Jim Ball
2011Bud Wenk