I just received an email from the American Numismatic Association saying that the Board of Governors announced that they will not extend the contract of Executive Director Jeff Shevlin.
“After considering the Board’s mission and objectives, the Board of Governors concluded that Mr. Shevlin was not the right fit to lead the Association going forward,” Hallenbeck said. “The board felt that it was in the Association’s best interest to sever our relationship and seek new leadership for the Association.”
Unless Jeff did something wrong that the Board is not telling us, this is the wrong decision bordering on downright foolish!
I have had a working relationship with Jeff for more than a year participating with the ANA Technology Committee. I have found Jeff to be incredibly accommodating and wanting nothing but the best for the ANA. He had taken on the role with the ANA Technology Committee as a volunteer before being interviewed and hired as the organizations after being a college professor. In our conversations, he described being the ANA’s executive director as his dream job.
Jeff relocates to Colorado Springs to take over an organization whose last two executive directors were “dismissed” for various reasons. Both of his predecessors pursued legal action against the ANA. Christopher Chipoletti’s suit was settled a few years ago, Larry Shepherd filed his case last December.
What did Jeff do wrong to not be renewed?
Jeff initiated the work to start to bring the ANA into the 21st century by looking at its technology infrastructure. He is concerned that the aging population of the ANA cannot sustain the organization that is not attracting enough younger members. Jeff knows that the way to engage the younger members is to use technology to get them involved and keep them engaged.
Jeff is an enthusiastic ambassador for the hobby. Nicknamed the “So-Called Guy” for his interest and work on So-Called Dollars. So-called Dollars are medals approximately the size of a silver dollar that were struck to commemorate a U.S. historical event. Jeff and Bill Hyder co-wrote Discover the World of CHARBNEAU SO-CALLED DOLLARS. Jeff was a collector. Jeff was one of us.
Maybe that was his problem. Jeff was a collector and not a dealer. While dealers are an important part of the ANA, the dealers do not have buyers without a strong collecting community. Dealers need the collectors as much as the collectors need the dealers. However, the dealer population is limited compared with the potential number of collectors, researchers, and other interested people that could be members of the ANA.
From my perspective, Jeff was doing everything right to help the ANA recover some of its past problems. The ANA has to be an all inclusive organization and think about the collectors and not just the business. The ANA needs to be more open and be able to reach out. The only way to do that in today’s environment is to use technology. Jeff understood that and understood that the ANA has to look at the organization as a whole and find balance.
This move represents everything that has been wrong with the Board of Governors over the last 10 years and have shown that this board has done little to work on the issues that I referenced in my platform.
Rather than set clear policies and goals (one of planks of my platform), the current Board seemingly used Jeff to figure out what to do next. This is NOT how to run a national organization. There are no clear goals, policies, or objectives. If they were the Board would not be in this situation.
Unless the ANA Board of Governors has something more tangible than saying that Jeff “was not the right fit,” it appears that the Board of Governors has once again failed the ANA membership making it time to replace the entire Board of Governors.
Good Comments and questions !
I would just add – His problem can’t be ” Jeff was a collector and not a dealer” that was Larry Shepherd’s problem – All dealer, nothing for the collector. Maybe we need someone who is not a collector or a dealer… No, that was ” Chippy” Chipolitti. He did not know or care anything about coins. He was just a …..
Also, don’t forget Jeff left everything he had in Calf. to take his ”dream job” at ANA. His job, his coin dealing, his kids, his LIFE. He already has bought a house here in Colorado Springs and his wife quit a very good job in Calf. to be with him. Real nice !
I agree whole heatedly. Replace the whole board. They really did get it very wrong this time. Jeff is one of the most dedicated, honest individuals I know. The ANA board of directors really screwed up this time.
I first joined the ANA when I was 10 years old many decades ago. I have always respected and admired the work it does. But I have to say I am getting tired, as Scott clearly is, with reading about personnel problems and firings all the time. I think the ANA owes its membership more information about what happened. At a certain point one starts to wonder where the problem comes from. It’s like a person who has trouble with all of his friends. Eventually they have to ask if maybe it’s me and not them.