Now is the time for all good members to vote for their governors of the ANA. This turn of that infamous typing phrase was not updated to exercise my typing skills. It is to remind ANA members that the ballots you received last months need to be received by the accounting firm of BiggsKofford on or before June 26, 2009. My ballot was mailed last Friday on my way to Baltimore.

While this ANA election is not as contentious as the previous one, it is important that the ANA members be heard. Newly employed Executive Director Larry Shepherd has done very well in facilitating the ANA’s recovery. But there continues to be issues lingering from previous problems. These problems need resolution while further refining the mission of the organization to better serve its members. We all know that the economy is not doing well, but this means that it is a good time for the ANA to address issues that will carry forward to better times.

As I filled out my ballot, I first considered whether the incumbents should be re-elected. Considering how much better the organization is running, I think that most of the incumbents should be retained. They should be allowed at least one more term to allow them to see their work through. Of the incumbents I am endorsing are Joe Boling, Walt Ostromecki, and Wendell Wolka. With all due respect to Chet Krause and Alan Herbert, it might be time to allow for others with different ideas.

To fill out the slate, I am endorsing Mike Ellis, Tom Palmer, Scott Rottinghaus, and Michael Turrini for the Board of Governors. Amongst the list, the most interesting of the candidates is Rottinghaus, a former Young Numismatist award winner. He is the youngest candidate of the list and probably more representative of the future of the ANA than any of the other candidates. I think it is important for the Board to have a different perspective and from what I read, I believe that Rottinghaus will provide that perspective.

Tom Hallenbeck is unopposed as the candidate of the Vice President.

The most interesting race is for ANA President where Patti Finner and Cliff Mishler are trying for the top job. Both are very experienced and respected within the ANA and both would make a good president. But only one can serve in the office.

Since the election of the previous Board of Governors, aside from fixing the business issues of the ANA, a priority has been to have the ANA return to its core mission of education. To demonstrate the current Board’s commitment to education, the board created the Florence Schook School of Numismatics. Schook, a former ANA President who died in 2006, was well known for her commitment to numismatic education. The ANA has been using this as a way to expand their numismatic programs outside of ANA conventions and the Summer Seminar.

But the ANA continues to have business-related issues that include lawsuits and a diminishing membership that must be addressed. Although the ANA is not drawing down its endowment like in the past, a steady hand is needed to rebuild its financial foundation.

When considering the two candidates, the education record of Patti Finner is something that really stands out in this environment. Finner works with many organizations to push numismatic education and is also a fixture at the Baltimore coin shows at the Kids Corner. Her passion for education can be infectious, too. You cannot visit with her and not walk away wanting to help with her education mission.

Mishler is a strong manager. A retired executive with Krause Publishing, Mishler has the background and the knowledge to help lead the ANA through the rest of its recovery. Readers of Numismatic News can read about his numismatic treks mostly through the midwest and how he works with many organizations to help in their success. It would be interesting to see how he could carry that out on a national level.

If Mishler was qualified to run two years ago, I think he would have been the the best person to be ANA president. However, the ANA seems to be turning around under the very capable leadership Larry Shepherd as the Executive Director. With that part of the organization improving, the ANA needs to do a better job with education and retaining members, specifically adults in their 20s and 30s who drop out of the hobby because of other obligation. I believe that education will build the organization, bring in new members, retain members, and start the training the numismatic leaders of the future. With that in mind, I am endorsing Patti Finner to be elected the next President of the ANA.

Whether you agree or disagree with me, please ensure that you mail your ballot so it is received by the accountants by June 26.

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