Voting has begun!

By now, those who are eligible to vote for the American Numismatic Association Board of Governors have either received their paper ballot or the information with instructions how to vote electronically. Please remember that all ballots are due back to the auditor by June 30, 2013.

Scott Barman for ANA Board of GovernorsFor previous elections, I made it a point to learn about the candidates and provided readers with my endorsements and why I endorsed those candidates. Since I am on the ballot, I will not endorse any other candidate this year. I ask that my readers consider my candidacy and those who commit to growing the ANA through honesty, integrity, and a heavy dose to technology in order to attract collectors under 50-years old. Those potential members are the association’s future.

Last night, I posted a letter to ANA members on my election website, vote4scott.info. Please read it and if you have any question, drop me a note. I will be more than happy to discuss any of your concerns.

Thank you!

Memorial Day 2013

Coin Collectors Blog supports:

2013 Five-Star Generals Commemorative CoinsDecoration Day was first celebrated by Freedmen, freed southern slaves, May 1, 1865 in Charleston, South Carolina to honor the service of the 257 Union soldiers buried at the Washington Race Course. Today, Washington Race Course is known as Hampton Park.

The next year, southern states began their own Memorial Days to honor their soldiers who died during the war. No specific date was used but occurred in late April through June. By 1880, there was a more organized Confederate Memorial Day. These celebrations honored specific soldiers to commemorate the Confederate “Lost Cause.”

In the north, the fraternal organization of Civil War veterans The Grand Army of the Republic began organizing Decoration Day celebrations in 1868. Decoration Day was the day to honor the fallen by decorating the graves of Union soldiers with flowers and flags.

The Nisei Soldiers of World War II Bronze Medal

The Nisei Soldiers of World War II Bronze Medal

Memorial Day did not take on national significances until after World War I. Rather than being a holiday to remember those of died in service during the Civil War, the nation began to recognize all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice during all conflicts. By the end of World War II, most of the celebrations were renamed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day. Memorial Day did not become an official holiday until 1967 and its date changed from the traditional May 30 to the last Monday of the month by the Uniform Holidays Act (Public Law 90-363, 5 U.S.C. § 6103(a)) in 1968.

On this Memorial Day, I want to take this opportunity to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while defending freedom at home and abroad. Whether it was wars for this country’s freedom, helping allies overseas, world wars, or helping others settle armed conflict around the globe, it is important we take this day to honor their service that helped make this country what it is today.

World War II veteran Richard Overton, left, is seen in his Army uniform in an undated photograph provided by the City of Austin. Overton, 107, sits outside his Texas home earlier this month. (AP/Austin American Statesman)

World War II veteran Richard Overton, left, is seen in his Army uniform in an undated photograph provided by the City of Austin. Overton, 107, sits outside his Texas home earlier this month. (AP/Austin American Statesman)

To read more about 107 year-old Richard Overton, see this story at FoxNews.com.

Coin images courtesy of the U.S. Mint.
Pictures of Richard Overton courtesy of FoxNews.com.

My take on the ANA Candidates Forum

Those who attended the candidates forum or watched the forum on the web or on YouTube, saw an interesting mix of candidates and a clear set of issues that will have to be addressed by the American Numismatic Association regardless of who is elected to the Board of Governors.

If you did not see it and have about three hours to spare, here is the video from YouTube. It will start 17 minutes into the recording and there is 35 seconds of “pre-production” audio before Barbara Gregory starts the session.

One of the issues that should concern ANA members is that current members of the Board of Governors admitted to violating the ANA By-laws by their statements. One of the issues that were brought up was that there was a five or seven hour closed meeting. The time differs depending on who is asked. To defend the board, current Governor Mike Ellis said that the meeting was to “Bring the day to day operations of the ANA up to speed.” Later, Vice President and Presidential candidate Walt Ostromecki said, that the board was talking about the impression it was giving and “how we as a board can mesh.” While Ostromecki called this a personnel discussion, the Board of governors are not ANA personnel. They are elected officials whose interaction is the business of the ANA community.

ANA Secretary David Sklow asked if the new candidates have read the ANA By-Laws. Not only have I read the by-laws, I made references to them during the meeting. What Mr. Sklow should have asked is why was a 5-7 hour meeting that did not involve “personnel, including the hiring, compensation, and termination thereof; contractual and litigation matters; awards,” as per Article 5 Section 7, following the by-laws?

Mr. Ostromecki called these personnel matters. However, the soon-to-be president did not characterize the discussion as “such deliberations that the Board members, after due consideration, decide merit confidentiality.” If he did, the Board is required in the same section to produce a discussion and vote about going into closed session.

I want to open the Board to the entire ANA. I want the Board to be accountable to the ANA. The Board should set the policy and not manage the ANA. Day-to-day management is what the Executive Director is supposed to do. I do not want to see this board that either wants to micromanage around the Executive Director or order the Executive Director to implement policy a certain way. If we do that, Kim Kiick will have as much success as the previous Executive Directors. This is not something I want to see.

Even if the current Board members have differing views than those responsible for the current problems, they did not call a point of order to show where there were violations in of the by-laws. Either they violated the by-laws willfully or did so by not attempting to enforce the by-laws. In either case, they cannot be trusted to run the organization properly.

Governor Greg Lyon said in his closing statement that those of us who criticize the current Board do not know the whole story. The problem is that the Board has been so secretive that it is impossible to know the whole story. This is the crux of the problems.

When you vote for the next Board of Governors, vote for candidates who will not hold five-to-seven hour private meetings unless absolutely necessary. Vote for candidates who will not hide behind rules, lawyers, and what looks like an agenda beyond the good of the ANA. Vote for candidates who will commit to broadcasting all meetings that do not have to be private so that all members can participate,.

I will be open and honest with the ANA members and the Board. I will not try to micromanage the office in Colorado Springs. In fact, if Kim Kiick came to the board to ask for assistance, I would be more than happen to ensure she had our full support. However, the Board should never usurp her authority with the staff.

The Board should work for an open and accessible ANA. The Board should invest in the technology it takes to bring the organization into the 21st century. And the Board should be the ambassador leaders for the entire numismatic community on the clear light of day and not behind closed door. In fact, I will work with the Board to use teleconferencing service that will allow members to dial in and listen to the meeting. This service will be able to ask questions during the meeting.

After this forum, I am more committed to my proposed first motion to hire an executive management firm that has a verifiable background in helping non-profit organizations to review the entire ANA management structure. You can read more about it in in this blog post.

Please consider supporting those of us who will work to change the ANA for the better, to make it more open to the members, and for candidates who want to bring more to the members rather than play the petty politics that have plagued the ANA in recent history. On June 1, I will publish my recommendation for the Board of Governors based on why I think they would work for the benefit of you, the members of the ANA.

Proof is in these coins

One of the most pleasantly surprising find at the National Money Show in New Orleans was at the U.S. Mint booth. On the right side of the booth, almost in the middle of the floor, was a single display case with a sign that read “Upcoming Products.” In the case was an example of the 2013 American Eagle West Point Two-Coin Silver Set.

The U.S. Mint began its four week sale period on May 9, 2013, the first day of the National Money Show. All orders are being taken via their website or by telephone at 800-USA-MINT (800-872-6468). The two coin set with one American Eagle Silver Reverse Proof Coin and one “enhanced” American Eagle Silver Uncirculated Coin minted at the United States Mint at West Point. Selling price is $139.95 with shipping to begin on September 30.

This set will mark the fourth time that the American Silver Eagle will be produced in reverse proof. Prior to this year, the U.S. Mint produced the American Silver Eagle for the 2006 20th Anniversary Silver Eagle set, 2011 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle set, and the 2012 75th Anniversary of the San Francisco Mint set. As far as I am concerned, the U.S. Mint can continue to produce the reverse proof American Silver Eagle every year.

What made the set stand out what the U.S. Mint calls the “enhanced uncirculated” coin. While it looks like a proof coin, the enhanced portion are the selective frosting of elements. Introduced earlier this year, the new laser frosting technique allows the U.S. Mint to selectively apply the frosting texture to areas of the dies in a matter that leaves fine details of the coins. For the enhanced American Silver Eagles, the selective frosting leaves the folds of Miss Liberty’s skirt mirrored and is used to show off the flag she is holding. Adolph A. Weinman’s Walking Liberty image is one of the best designs every to appear on a U.S. coin. Enhancing it in this manner just makes it pop in a way Weinman could never imagine.

Even if you are “board” with the reverse proof, the set it worth purchasing just for the enhanced uncirculated coin. You will not be disappointed.

But the coin that really caught my eye was on the right side of the case. A 2013 Reverse Proof American Buffalo 24-Karat gold coin. Previously unannounced, it did not get noticed until I posted one of the first pins on Pinterest. After, it seem that the story spread around the numismatic press.

According to the U.S. Mint representatives at the show, the gold coin that was first issued in 2006 featuring the 1913 Type 1 Buffalo Nickel, will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the design by James Earle Fraser.

As striking other reverse proof coins have been, the American Buffalo gold coin is just as striking. It could be called just plain beautiful. Aside from being my second favorite coin design behind Weinman’s Walking Liberty, it makes a big impression as a reverse proof coin.

Since the coin has not been issued, the price has not been set. Since the price is based on the market price of gold, and considering that gold closed today (May 16) at $1,395.05 per troy ounce, and using the United States Mint 2013 Pricing of Numismatic and Commemorative Gold and Platinum Products [PDF] for the regular American Buffalo gold proof coin, the coin would cost $1,740. If the price of gold continues to go down, of course the sales price will go down.

Both coins bring the U.S. Mint back into the forefront of numismatic art. These coins use the best coin designs and brings them to a new level while keeping with their classic elegance without the gimmickry of color, embedded stones, odd shapes, or any combination of extras to sell non-circulating legal tender coins at an inflated price. It would be wonderful if the U.S. Mint could use these processes to enhance future designs. Both coins should be in the running for Coin of the Year honors when they are selected next year (and awarded in 2015).

Last Day in the Big Easy

Saturday in New Orleans started with my sleeping late and checking out of my hotel. After I left my bags with the concierge and picked up a cup of coffee, I walked over to the convention center.

The weather was better than Friday in that it was sunny with a little humidity. If I had hair it would have been a different problem. But it was just cool enough to be comfortable as I walked over in my sports coat that I wore for the candidates forum.

Panorama of the 2013 National Money Show bourse floor at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans

Panorama of the 2013 National Money Show bourse floor at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans

I did a little looking around the floor and spoke with a few dealers. I did take the opportunity to stop by the booth of Miller’s Mint. I see Harry and Joan Miller at a number of larger shows and will see them next month in Baltimore. I did buy a few smaller items from them before the candidates forum. I will take a look at a few more items they have when I see them next month.

On my way to the candidates forum I saw people I recognized from visiting coin shows in the Mid-Atlantic region. Of course I handed them campaign material and went to the forum.

There was a good crowd at the candidates forum that included Executive Director Kim Kiick, Past President Barry Stuppler, retiring Board members Cliff Mishler and Wendell Wolka, and recently fired Executive Director Jeff Shevlin and his wife.

Just prior to the candidates forum, Jake Sherlock tweeted that the forum would be streamed live on YouTube. I wish they would have announce it sooner so that we could have ensured a larger crowd, but there seems to have been a few people watching with interest. There were two questions from the Interwebs. If we can do more of this, broadcast Board meetings, add classes, and Money Talks lectures, this would be a fantastic step forward.

One cool thing about having the Internet interaction was that during the forum, I tweeted:

Jake Sherlock, the ever diligent watcher of the Twitterverse responded:

Can you imagine if the Board can help better organize the use of technology, the ANA can reach more people and expand its education role not only for members but the public.

The candidates forum last more than three hours, longer than the scheduled two hours. A few of us had to do our summations early so that we could go to the airport to catch flights home.

What the Candidates Forum looked like from my perspective.

What the Candidates Forum looked like from my perspective.

I will have more comments on the candidates forum and what was said later this week.

After rushing out of the convention center, I quickly walked back to the hotel, collected my bags from the concierge, and caught a cab for the airport. Going through security screening is always fun, especially when your hip is made of titanium. That hip replacement guarantees that I will be patted down every time I go to an airport.

On my way to the gate I found a shop to buy coffee and headed to the gate. After typing notes on my iPad, I looked over and found Wendell Wolka waiting to board the same flight to Atlanta, where we would transfer to separate flights to head home.

After landing at the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) and fetching my car, I arrived home at 1:00 PM with a rousing welcome from my two puggles Boomer and Tessa. Of course my wife was happy to see me!

In the next few days, I will talk about something I found and the candidates forum. For now, it is time to get some rest!

Hola NOLA!

It was a rainy day in the Crescent City but that only mattered when I tried to leave my hotel to go to the convention center. Thanks to Michael Weir, the Director of First Impression at the Hilton Garden Inn, a group of three show attendees including myself, were able to get to the convention center without being rained on. Mr. Weir gave us door-to-door service dropping us off under an overhang.

Before I continue, let me give the New Orleans visitors bureau fodder by recommending the city for your next vacation. No matter when I have come here, the people of New Orleans have been accommodating, courteous, and fun. And when you are away from home, having fun is the most important part of a visit!

After stopping to speak with ICTA’s Director Elloise Ullman, I picked up a cup of coffee before walking down to Hall G. Before entering Hall G, I went upstairs to the meeting rooms where I found I missed a talk on so-called dollars because I started to schmooze outside of the hall.

My first stop this morning was to see Steve Roach, the Editor of Coin World. We had a nice conversation where we talked about everything from the upcoming American Numismatic Association Board elections to the production of Coin World Next, their weekly publication that concentrates on one topic.

After a lively conversation with Steve and Tom Mulvaney, who is best known as the instructor of the coin photography class with the ANA Summer Seminar. Tom’s work can be seen all over the numismatic industry. Some day I will be able to take the time off to go to Summer Seminar to take his class.

I wanted to tour the bourse floor but decided to finish touring the exhibits I did not finish. While in the exhibits area I ran into Hollie Weiland, counsel for the ANA. She then introduced me to Beth Papiano. This became an interesting conversation following the criticism I wrote about her. We did talk about what I wrote and why. Hopefully, I will have another opportunity to speak with Beth again and maybe I can understand more about what happened.

Lunch was a little hole-in-the-wall poboy place where I had fried oysters before returning to the convention center to try to do more looking around and meeting people. First, I had to go back to the exhibits and see what I missed. My favorite was the Travancore Chuckram Count Counting Boards. It was an exhibit of these metal boards that were used to count small coins. These are mainly form countries in southwest Asia. There were a lot more involved with this exhibit. Hopefully, I will have a chance to spend time carefully reading the text to learn more. Otherwise, I hope the exhibitor will display it again in Chicago.

At 2 o’clock it was time for the open Board meeting. After a delay because some of the governors were caught in traffic, the meeting proceeded with thunderstorms booming in the background. I do not know if that was a message, but considering the controversies of the past few weeks, there may have been something prophetic about the scene.

But the meeting started with an interesting “ritual.” ANA Past President Barry Stuppler invited his “spiritual advisor” Zar, a Voodoo Priest, to bless, spiritually cleanse, and add good luck to Kim Kiick on her appointment as executive director. Upon the end of the “ceremony,” someone in the crowd commented that this should have been done 10 years ago—referencing the problems with executive directors over the last 10 years.

I will comment about the meeting at another time, but one of the central discussions was the ANA’s web presence and the security of the technical infrastructure. I am glad to hear that the board is taking the move to expand the ANA’s technology seriously. Yes, there was skepticism and references to age-specific issues, it does not appear that the current board will hold back progress. There still needs a few more technologically aware members of the board, which is why I am running for the board.

After the meeting, it was back to the bourse floor to shake a few more hands before going to a reception for Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA). Rep. Scalise from Lousiana’s first district and succeeded Bobby Jindal after Jindal became governor. Scalise co-sponsored newly introduced H.R. 1849, Collectible Coin Protection Act. This is the same bill that was introduced last year.

Finally, a walk down the hall to the Stacks-Bowers auction to watch the bidding on the various auction lots. Since most of the lots were out of my price range, I watched the action. The few items I could have afforded, I decided not to be a buyer. Some of those coins were hammered at a price higher than I expected. I would have dropped out before the top bids.

After being exhausted from a long day, I availed myself of the dinner service at the auction including the coffee. Meet a few people outside of the auction room came back the hotel. I did call my wife only to listen to one of my neurotic dogs bark at the thunderstorms throughout our conversation.

Tomorrow is the last day of the show and my last day on the floor. The candidate forum will be at 12 noon Central Time. I heard that the ANA arranged to have the two-hour forum broadcast on the Internet. I urge ANA members to watch the forum. If they have a way for you to ask questions, please try to do so! It is your ANA and you have to let the Board of Governors know how you feel.

I will be flying home after the candidates forum and arrive in the Washington, DC area very late. I will have a third-day update sometime on Sunday.

Cafe au Lait and Beignets

After a late arrival in New Orleans, I walked the block over to the convention center to enter the bourse floor. Hall G of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is a big convention center hall that does not feel “full.” Sure, the National Money Show is a smaller show than others including the World’s Fair of Money, but it does allow for a different group of people to come in and learn more about numismatics.

Since my trip to the show is largely to campaign for the Board of Governors elections, I started to meet and talk with members around the floor. I had taken the opportunity talk with a few people I know and introduce myself to others.

But that does not mean I did not do some looking around.

The biggest news I learned is that the U.S. Mint is planning on issuing a reverse proof American Gold Buffalo later this year in honor of the design’s 100th anniversary. A sample can be seen at the U.S. Mint booth at the show and, of course on Pinterest. The image was taken through the glass of the case it is being display within. On Friday, I will try to take a picture of the coin with the case open.

On seeing the reverse proof American Buffalo coin I was stunned as to how beautiful it is. It has an elegance that you cannot see in a picture. The coin will be released later this year. It will give us time to put some money aside to buy at least one version. If you buy no other gold coin this year, you should save to buy this one. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

Although the sales of the 2013 American Eagle West Point Two-Coin Silver Set went on sale today, the U.S. Mint only had a sample at the show. All sales are being made on line or via the telephone. You can see an image on Pinterest. I will try to take a better picture when I do one of the American Buffalo gold reverse proof since both are in the same display case.

Aside from buying a new loupe because I left mine at home, I just found a few New York-related tokens including a New York City subway token where the cutout “Y” is off-center.

One of the great things about coming to an ANA show is to see people, meet new people, and just have a great time. Some of us went to the French Quarter for dinner. After dinner, we walked a few blocks to the French Market for café au lait and beignets at Café du Monde. Thus, the tradition I started as a college student in 1980 continues—every trip I have ever made to New Orleans included a visit to Café du Monde.

Friday will be some Money Talks sessions and end with a reception for Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA). Scalise is one of the sponsors for the newly introduced H.R. 1849, the bill to update the Hobby Protection Act. The same bill that did not get a hearing during the last session.

Keep a watch on Twitter and Pinterest for reports from the show.

Coins, Currency and Cafe au Lait

Hello from New Orleans: The Crescent City; The Big Easy; NOLA; N’awlins; the self-proclaimed America’s Most Interesting City; and home of the 2013 National Money Show.

After an early start and a change in planes in Atlanta, I made to Louis Armstrong International Airport. How could you not want to go to a place where the airport is named after the great Louis Armstrong! Oh yea!

I just checked into my hotel, freshened up a bit, and giving the phone a chance to charge so I can take pictures in the convention center. While waiting, I created a board on Pinterest where I will be posting those pictures. You can also follow me on Twitter where I will tweet and even post some images.

Of course, I will write an evening wrap-up. So keep your browser pointed here for what happens in New Orleans.

Remember, Saturday is the candidates forum for those running for the American Numismatic Association Board of Governors. I will be there along with the 15 other candidates including the president and Vice President candidates that are running unapposed.

Finally, at some point I have to make it to Café du Monde in the French Market for a café au lait. Going is a personal tradition that dates back to my first trip to New Orleans in 1980.

Time to go to the convention center!

Lew Looses Lewpts

MSNBC on-air comparison of Jack Lew's autographAlthough new currency with the autograph of Secretary of the Treasury Jacob “Jack” Lew have yet to be issued, Treasury documents signed by Lew have been seen with a new autograph.

During his confirmation hearings, it was reported that Lew told Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana) that he made to the president “to make at least one letter legible.” It looks like he has made more than one letter legible based on the image broadcast by MSNBC.

Lew is not the only Treasury Secretary to change his autograph. Timothy Geithner did the same on his appointment. When asked about his autograph, Geithner said, “Well, I think on the dollar bill I had to write something where people could read my name. That’s the rationale.”

Not every autograph on U.S. currency could be considered legible. You can see all of the autographs on small size currency (since 1928) on this page at uspapermoney.info.

I wish Lew kept his lewpts!

A mock-up of what Jack Lew's original signature would look like on a one-dollar note

A mock-up of what Jack Lew’s original signature would look like on a one-dollar note

Jack Lew autograph examples courtesy of MSNBC.
Tim Geithner autograph examples courtesy of American Public Media

The ANA needs more than a new Executive Director

Kim KiickMay Day was an eventful day for the numismatic community. On May 1, the American Numismatic Association issued a press release announcing the appointment of Kim Kiick as the ANA’s new Executive Director.

I will support Kim Kiick as the ANA’s Executive Director as a member and if I should be privileged to be elected to the Board of Governors.

My issue is not with Kim but with the Board of Governors and the way this entire situation was handled.

Since my first comment regarding the firing of Jeff Shevlin, my Inbox has been flooded with reports and allegations of improprieties on all sides regarding this situation. Unfortunately, these are allegation without evidence. Unless someone can provide tangible evidence, any comments about this would be irresponsible. If anyone has evidence, they can contact me via email or hand it to me at the National Money Show in New Orleans next week.

If the evidence points to any type impropriety, I will look for remedies on behalf of the ANA. Remedies can include bringing an ethics complaint to the Board or if employment laws were broken, I can recommend appropriate legal action.

One issue I have is the hiring of Unlimited Potential, a management consulting firm based on Colorado Springs. According to the ANA press release, Beth Papiano of Unlimited Potential will “work with the Executive Director, Board of Governors and staff to increase the effectiveness of each and to improve communications and leadership skills.” While this appears to be the right approach, the selection of Ms. Papiano is suspect.

Sources provided evidence that Ms. Papiano was involved with the 360-degree feedback review of Jeff Shevlin. According to Wikipedia, a 360-degree review “is feedback that comes from members of an employee’s immediate work circle. Most often, 360-degree feedback will include direct feedback from an employee’s subordinates, peers, and supervisor(s), as well as a self-evaluation. It can also include, in some cases, feedback from external sources, such as customers and suppliers or other interested stakeholders.” According to my sources, the report provided to the Board of Governors did not contain reviews from everyone in the primary circle because they were not interviewed. Further, the 360-degree feedback review did not include indirect feedback because as a member of the ANA Technology Committee and an interested stakeholder based on my participation with this committee, I was not interviewed.

In reviewing 360-degree feedback, a Forbes article discusses why these types of reviews fail. If my sources are true, three of the points may have lead to this situation: The 360 tool/questions are too vague; People offer comments that are personal in nature rather than constructive; and Forgetting the strengths and only focusing on weaknesses.

While the Board of Governors will not talk about their deliberations, they should be taken to task about the process. Was the proper questions used? Was the feedback filtered for personal feelings leaving only constructive comments? Why was not everyone interviewed as part of the process? Finally, what experience does Ms. Papiano have in performing these 360-degree reviews?

It appears that experience matters. In criticizing the article that appeared in Forbes, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman published a commentary on the blog for the Harvard Business Review that “Yes, we sigh, there are too many 360 implementations that are pathetic wastes of time, resources, and—worst of all—opportunity.” Was the review a pathetic waste of an opportunity to properly review the organization and why there have been three dismissed executive directors in the last ten years?

I am trying to find out more about Ms. Papiano since her work resulted in the firing of one executive director and involved in the coaching of the current executive director. Unfortunately, for someone who claims to be a “nationally known coach and social systems consultant,” I cannot find any reference of her work before 2011. I am still researching in what context she is “nationally known” because everything I find only goes back for three years.

The Colorado Secretary of State Office has a record for the trade name Unlimited Potential being registered on September 1, 2004. Ms. Papiano is a sole proprietor with no indication of employees even though her company website uses a lot of first-person plural statements.

Does this mean she is not qualified? I am not sure. While trying to find more information about Papiano and Unlimited Potential, I found the profile she entered at Naymz, a site for people to manage their “social reputation” online. According to this information, Papiano has owned Unlimited Potential since 2004. Prior, she was an employee for Quantum (a computer storage company), Sun Microsystem (since purchased by Oracle), and Hewlett-Packard. There is no indication that she has any experience with the management or executive consulting of non-profit organizations. In fact, her Naymz profile does not mention any experiences with non-profit companies. The first sentence of her profile says “20+ years as an organizational effectiveness manager and executive coach inside Fortune 100 companies….”

One thing that bothers me is the obvious mistake of beginning a sentence with a number. While I admit that my writing on this blog has been less than perfect, when I write something in the professional arena I make sure it is grammatically and structurally correct. Mistakes happen, but someone who is responsible for communicating results should demonstrate a better command of the language.

But does this really mean Papiano is not qualified? I continue to be not sure but the search for qualifications continue to raise questions. It is possible that with all the market bluster that she tried to generate for herself over the last few years, that she could be an effective managing consultant. Then I visited the testimonials section of her website to find unattributed quotes and “client results” also without attribution. Maybe I have been living and working in the Washington, D.C. area too long because not having a history that could be verified is not comforting. “Trust, but verify” was a phrase made famous by Ronald Reagan. I think it applies here.

Papiano may be good at what she does but she may not be the right person for the ANA to have as a management consultant at this time. I question whether Ms. Papiano may have been either careless in performing the 360-feedback review, unwittingly complicit in a targeted attempt at having Jeff Shevlin fired, or an opportunist thinking that she could manipulate the situation to get a follow-on contract with the ANA.

In letters sent to numismatic publications and a note posted on the PCGS forums, I called for a management consultant to review the ANA organization. In the letters I wrote “Rather than begin the search for an executive director, I call on the ANA Board of Governors to hire an executive consulting firm to evaluate the operations of the ANA. The firm should have no connection with anyone in the ANA and should be directed to present their findings to the new board at their first meeting during the World’s Fair of Money in August.” Unfortunately, the Board chose to move forward quickly without allowing the new board to review the situation and also chose to retain Papiano.

If elected to the Board of Governors, the first motion I will make will be to hire an executive management firm that has a verifiable background in helping non-profit organizations to review the entire ANA management structure. This management consulting firm will be asked to asses the ANA as follows:

  • Review the organizational structure of the ANA headquarters
  • Review the employment policies for those working at the ANA headquarters
  • Review the employee environment at the ANA headquarters and make recommendations for improvement
  • Review the Board of Governors’ current and past relationships with the employees at the ANA headquarters
  • Review the 360-degree feedback review of Jeff Shevlin and the process which caused his termination
  • Perform a similar review with regard to the termination of Larry Shepherd
  • Review the mentoring plan for Kim Kiick for effectiveness
  • Provide recommendations to the by-laws and/or ANA policy to provide membership with the assurance that the ANA is being properly run

As part of my motion, I will provide recommendations as to who the Board of Governors could hire. These recommendation will consist of management consulting firms that have had verifiable experience working with non-profit companies and no ties to the ANA in any manner.

Of course the Board can vote against my proposal or I could not be elected to the Board of Governors. In either case, I will continue to pursue this issue because the status quo is unacceptable.

Image of Kim Kiick courtesy of the ANA.

Pin It on Pinterest