Follow up: FAQ on ANA’s Online Education #Fail

The feedback from my post, “Why the ANA does not have online education,” was interesting. About 10-percent of the readers (based on collected statistics) commented to me via email. That is a lot of feedback for one post! The comments ranged from a virtual headshake to anger for being “disrespectful” to the ANA president.

Unfortunately, nobody will go on the record with their comments. Please remember that I welcome all comments and will allow you to post any criticism you want. I accept and post all feedback, especially if you disagree with me. All I ask is that you keep it clean.

I want to answer two questions publically:

1. You’re the head of the IT Committee, why don’t you do something about the situation?

I am not longer the chairman of the IT committee, and I am no longer a member of the committee.

In late November 2019, ANA President Steve Ellsworth removed me from the committee after seven years of service.

When Ellsworth called to tell me, he did not give the exact reason. His statements as to why he made the decision were vague and ambiguous. Later that same day, I had to send him an email for clarification.

I assume that he did not want me around. After all, I came out against his candidacy before the end of the last election. But Ellsworth had a problem. How could he remove a recipient of the Glenn Smedley Award from the position that was the reason for the honor?

Unfortunately, I gave Ellsworth a way out. After he took office, Ellsworth changed a few things, including wanting status reports and a strategic plan. When he told me about the strategic plan, Ellsworth said that the ANA did not have one in many years and should come up with one.

At the same time, my business picked up. I was working 18 hour days, instead of my usual 14 hours, and had to hire more people. While my business was good, it did not provide enough time to devote to the ANA. I was hoping to catch up in late October, but that did not happen.

With the ANA not being a priority and my inability to deliver whatever Ellsworth wanted, I gave him the excuse to get rid of me.

Ellsworth’s move was a bit punitive, but it pales in comparison to what he hass done to the Exhibition Committee. That is a story for another time.

2. Can’t the ANA use something like Zoom to create classes?

YES!

They can also use software like Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, WebEx, and Skype. Any video conferencing software and presentation slides that can be shared can create an instant class environment.

Google Hangouts and Skype are suitable for small classes. Although both are known to have bandwidth issues, keeping the courses between 7-10 people make these an inexpensive option.

Zoom is the current darling of the industry since they have a free tier. While Zoom has some excellent features, its security issues have shown they are going through significant growing pains. It is like watching your teenage son grow six inches in two months while his voice is changing. Eventually, he will evolve, and so will Zoom.

WebEx and GoToMeeting are the old stalwarts of the industry. Both have the advantage of being mature and familiar to many in the business world. The significant difference between these services and Zoom is that Zoom makes it easier to connect to a meeting.

Another option is YouTube Live. Classes can be live streamed with any number of people tuning in. Interacting with a YouTube Live stream is via comments only, similar to Facebook Live, but it is something that the ANA can use.

Here is an idea: How about a YouTube Live class for Numismatics 101? After the live class, leave the video online with an email link to allow future viewers to send questions.

There are better ways to hold online classes. Blackboard and similar software have better options. But to start, do something!

Why the ANA does not have online education

Online EducationOn Wednesday, April 8, 2020, the ANA announced the cancellation of the Summer Seminar. The announcement came two days after Colorado College, the site of the Summer Seminar programs, announced limited access to the campus for summer activities because of the novel coronavirus.

As COVID-19 spreads across the United States, most states have a stay-at-home order in place, preventing people from venturing out. Schools, businesses, religious services, and minor medical appointments are meeting online. Services like Zoom and Microsoft Teams that were once the domain of a few companies have dramatically grown.

Colleges started to move to online courses almost 20 years ago. Lower grades followed with classroom software that enabled virtual lessons. Entrepreneurs found a willing market and started to create an online curriculum to help parents home school their students.

The question is that if this is available to colleges, schools, corporate training, and seminars were online, then why the ANA is not able to offer Summer Seminar online?

ANA President Steve Ellsworth killed an attempt to create online education.

In 2017, then ANA President Gary Adkins initiated the proposal to bring online education to the ANA. Although the concept was good, the process was fraught with members of the Board of Governors thinking they knew better than the headquarters staff and the Technology Committee.

The membership does not give the ANA staff enough credit. The ANA is a complicated organization with a constituency from the novice collector to the largest auction houses. Very few organizations have a mission as broad as “numismatics.” Yet, with dwindling resources, the staff in Colorado Springs manage to keep the ANA running. When someone from the headquarters, including the executive director, says something that would make it easier on them, I will pay attention.

The question of, “What do you want?” became a nagging question. Nobody can tell us what they wanted? How can the Technology Committee write requirements for a system that we do not know what it is supposed to do? The direction was supposed to come from the Education Committee. Participation from the Education Committee ranged from non-existent to inconsistent. We tried to get better input, but they did not seem interested.

The Technology Committee came up with something that resembled requirements, questions about what online education systems can do remained. Executive Director Kim Kiick suggested that we send out a Request for Information (RFI) to potential vendors.

As part of the RFI, the ANA requested that the interested vendors come to the 2018 World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia to demonstrate their system. Three vendors answered the RFI, and three vendors came to Philadelphia to show their systems.

Two of the three demonstrations were informative. These were companies that provide online educational services to schools, training services for companies, and seminar services for many organizations. The third was a smaller company with a limited educational background but more knowledgable about numismatics.

The company with a limited educational background either was not able or chose not to provide a demonstration of their system. Since some members of the Board favored this company, they were given additional opportunities to answer how their system would meet ANA requirements.

For the next four months, there were significant discussions about what to do next. One member of the Board of Governors was pushing to use the company that could not provide satisfactory answers. It appeared as if this Governor had an agenda to have this company do the work rather than finding the right solution.

The cost was a significant concern. Creating any significant technical project has a very high upfront cost. Every aspect of the initial installation, configuration, integration, and initial operations has a higher price than continual maintenance and incremental updates.

Every indication that working with the company that could not provide satisfactory answers to our basic questions was a penny-wise solution. The company would be able to transition some existing software and make it work quickly. Where that decision would have been pound foolish would have come from the recent crisis because the questions that they could not answer would have been key to maintaining the system in this environment.

In other words, for a short-term win, the ANA would have been hit with a significant black eye when the COVID-19 pandemic drove everyone looking for online content. The proposed system may not have been able to scale, it was not mobile device friendly, and the authoring process is too restrictive to move quickly.

By December 2018, the Board agreed to open the process to competitive bidding. I worked with the headquarters staff to draft a Request for Proposal (RFP). The completed rough draft of the RFP was passed around for internal review.

Unfortunately, the process slowed down because of time restrictions for the understaffed headquarters and the volunteer Tech Committee. There was also a slowdown following the 2019 Board of Governors’ election. After the election, there was little guidance as to how the new president and Board wanted to proceed. The impression was that the new Board did not want to move forward.

The new Board of Governors took control at the 2019 World’s Fair of Money. Instantly everything stopped. Standing committees, whose members are appointed by the president, were left in limbo. There was little communication from President Steve Ellsworth, and nobody was sure what to do next.

It took over a month to hear from Ellsworth. Few people who were talking behind the scenes heard anything. It was known he wanted to make changes, but he was not communicating with anyone who would be impacted.

The silence was curious. The ANA announced the results in early July, and the World’s Fair of Money was four weeks later. Ellsworth was already a member of the Board and knew his way around. Why did he not have a transition? Instead, everything stopped for one month.

In early September, Ellsworth sent his guidelines for the Technology Committee. Missing from his objectives was online education. Regardless of the time and effort that occurred before the World’s Fair of Money, ANA President Steve Ellsworth eliminated the online education program.

According to his goals, it was to be replaced by an e-commerce system to sell goods from the ANA Shop in Colorado Springs.

Which is more important, the American Numismatic Association, a federally chartered organization to provide numismatic education, creating an educational initiative, or selling trinkets from the store? I will leave that as an exercise to the reader.

No 2021 Silver Dollars For You!

The 2021 commemorative coin calendar is full and it does not include a commemorative Morgan or Peace silver dollar.

Last October, Congress passed the Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act of 2019 (Public Law No. 116-65) to be issued in 2021. In December, they passed the National Law Enforcement Museum Commemorative Coin Act (as part of Public Law No. 116-94). With two commemorative coin programs in 2021, there is no room for the 1921 Silver Dollar Commemorative Coin Act.

The odds of Congress creating a third commemorative program for 2021 is less than 1-percent.

When H.R. 3757 was introduced, the American Numismatic Association sent out a press release and asked the members to write their member of Congress. The numismatic press also carried that mantle at the beginning. Some suggested that a commemorative Morgan Dollar could be struck at the former mint in Carson City.

But that was in July, 2019, prior to the World’s Fair of Money.

During the World’s Fair of Money, a new Board of Governors was installed to allegedly lead the ANA. Since then, there has been little said by the ANA about H.R. 3757. This is the opposite of the response lead by Farran Zerbe.

Zerbe’s proposal for what became the Peace Dollar led to the appointment of a committee that lobbied Congress for the coin’s creation. It was not an easy road for the proposal, but Zerbe persisted, and a bill was passed.

Zerbe, who was ANA President from 1908 t0 1910, showed extraordinary leadership in getting this bill passed.

Many others have stepped up to represent the community with the support of the ANA and the hobby. Amongst the community’s achievements are the Bicentennial coins and the 50 State Quarters program.

Where is that support today?

Where has the ANA been since August 2019?

Like the 1921 Peace Dollar, a 2021 commemorative coin would not only highlight history but make sure the public knows about the ANA’s place in that history. It would introduce new collectors to one of the 20th century’s best designs and the ANA at the same time.

Aside from the public relations boost, 40-percent of the program’s surcharge would be paid to the ANA. With a mintage limit of 500,000 coins with a surcharge of $10 per coin, a potential $2 million could have been added to the ANA’s treasury.

A one-time payment of $2 million would provide a cushion of 35-percent, based on the ANA’s published 2019 budget. It would furnish a down payment on new education initiatives and outreach to promote the ANA’s growth.

The ANA has been business-as-usual with little said from the current Board.

It is difficult to understand why the ANA Board of Governors would let this opportunity pass. Is this a sign of leadership we are to expect during its two-year term?

Some random thoughts…

Although it has been a while since I have posted something outside of the Weekly World Numismatic News, it does not mean that I have been idle. Here are some random thoughts:

Glenn B Smedley Medal

2019 Glenn B Smedley Medal

First, I want to thank the American Numismatic Association Board of Governors for awarding me the 2019 Glenn Smedley Memorial Award. It is an honor! I wish I could have been there for the award ceremony.

ANA President Steve Ellsworth asked me to continue as Chair of the Technology Committee. I accepted his appointment. Steve has a different vision for how to move forward. Change is a good thing and will work with him and the Board to do what is best for the ANA.

There continues to be work to do for the ANA to add technology to the numismatic experience. One of the areas I would like to include more technology are the exhibits. After speaking with one person familiar with the exhibiting process, I think there are ways to add technology without technology overshadowing the numismatic content. I will have a proposal shortly. Stay tuned.

2007 Somalia Motorcycle Coins
I love these coins but is this the direction the U.S. Mint should go?

Not long ago, U.S. Mint Director David Ryder said that there might be a chance to add color to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins. I have had a mixed feeling about adding color to coins. There are some cases where the color acted as an enhancer. Other times, some mints produced coins that were discs with prints. I will wait until the design is released to decide how I feel about the Mint’s attempt with color.

There are many collectibles whose values have declined over the last year, including some collector coins. One area that remains low are those collector sets produced by the television hucksters or the private mints. These firms overhype the value of their wares to convince buyers that they should purchase them as an investment. Recently, I handled an estate with several items purchased from QVC and the Franklin Mint. All of the coins were overpriced. The family was upset when I provided my valuation. I will talk about this more in a future post.

Another article idea that is inspired by my business is the difference between collecting and investing. Although some people like to try to mix the two, most of the time, the result is that the investor does not create a compelling collection while most of the collectors create value without trying.

I sold my silver Pandas. I lost interest after the composition was changed but the hype has kept the prices up. Hype is not a long-term strategy.

Recently, I decided to liquidate part of my collection. As part of the process, I realized how much I have learned over the years. It is a real case of “the more you know, the more you realize what you don’t know.” I learned several lessons during this process, including not to trust my judgment. In one case, coins I graded years ago were over graded. If I would have used the tools and knowledge, I have today, and the grades would be different.

Finally, I am still waiting to find a “W” quarter in change. I have yet to see one. Most of the people I know that are looking for these quarters are roll hunting. If I were into conspiracies, I would suggest that the Mint did this on purpose to increase the demand for quarters. People would demand rolls of quarters, forcing the Federal Reserve to order more.

Considering the U.S. Mint is a government agency, I bet they are storing most of the quarters in Area 51! After all, if we are going into conspiracy theories, we might as well go all of the way!

Weekly World Numismatic News for August 25, 2019

Glenn B Smedley Medal

2019 Glenn B Smedley Medal

Since the numismatic news has been light this week, I would like to answer some of the criticism received for last week’s post about my not attending the World’s Fair of Money.

The allegedly offending paragraph began, “One of the reasons I could not be at the World’s Fair of Money was because I was attending two seminars from another show.” (emphasis added)

First, every critic missed the first four words: ONE OF THE REASONS. It was not the only reason. I disclose a lot about myself and my life outside of collecting on this blog. I do not reveal everything. Attending the seminars was only one of the reasons. The other is I have a business to run.

Regular readers know that I started a business last year that is not numismatic-related. While my company does handle some numismatic items, these are not my focus. To maintain a new business, I have to make decisions that I may not like today but will help me in the future. I decided it was not in my business’s best interest for me to leave to attend the World’s Fair of Money.

Critics suggested that I could have attended the virtual seminar from my hotel room in Rosemont. While it sounds logical, let’s look at reality. Hotel Wi-Fi is not conducive to attending an interactive workshop for three hours. Hotel Wi-Fi services are not designed for that type of service. It may support downloading your latest streaming movie, but it does so with the support that you do not see. Since this is not a technical blog, I will tell you as a retired computer person that what you see and what is reality are very different.

Then there’s the question of being cost-effective. I run a startup business. While I have early success, it takes a lot of resources to build a business. I asked about the cost-effectiveness of sitting in a hotel room for a six-hour seminar. The answered varied but did not answer the question about whether the cost adds up.

Nearly every one of the naysayers in email and those who commented was established, dealers. All are over the age of 50. None would answer the question as to whether they would have attended a show that was not related to their business in their first few years of business.

I suspect that many of them have suppressed their early struggles as they have become successful.

I applaud each of their successes. But each has forgotten that the success came at a cost. Even though I might be around their age, I am running a new business and am enduring the struggles they faced at a younger age. It is more difficult for me now than it was for them in the past.

Some who have engaged in a conversation, I asked whether they understood my point? They did not get it!

Where is the outreach beyond the four walls of the convention center? Why is the entire show confined to the convention center? Why is there no attempt to get other people interested who did not attend or could not attend?

The bottom line is why is the ANA not broadcasting the World’s Fair of Money online to a broader audience?

It is possible to contribute the ANA without attending a convention. How do I know this? I have the Glenn Smedley Award to prove it can be done! I did not set out to win awards. I set out to improve the ANA and make it accessible to more people. I set out to move the ANA into the 21st century with technology. I see technology as the force that will promote the ANA.

I also see the Luddite attitude of some as the force that will be the ANA’s demise.

There are many issues the ANA faces, and I am concerned about how the organization’s use of technology will affect its future. I have three concerns that the ANA should address:

  • Broadcasting from the National Money Show and World’s Fair of Money. With all due respect to the older members, sometimes it is not possible to show up. With the technology available, the ANA must start broadcasting from the show floors, meeting rooms, and even the auctions. News, interviews, activities, and just plain showing off to an Internet audience will keep current members engaged and spark new interest.
  • Online education must be expanded to include courses for the experienced collector and non-collector. The ANA must go beyond was previously discussed. It did not go far enough. The effort was like trying to smell a rose at arms-length because there is a thorn on the side. The ANA must commit to bringing robust education services online or stop trying to dabble.
  • Aside from expanding technology in these areas, another enhancement would be to add technology to the exhibits. With all due respect to the exhibit committee and those who have created great exhibits, static displays are in yesterday’s museums. Museum and other exhibits are not becoming interactive. Even the Manley Library exhibits have rotating displays the allow visitors to view both sides of the object. Under current rules, it is challenging to add electronic aids to exhibits. Having access to electricity for each of the cases must be an option for exhibitors. Having access to the Internet must be an option for exhibitors. Add this capability and watch the exhibits really pop!

As of now, I believe I am still Chair of the money.org Committee, the former Technology Committee. If ANA President Steve Ellsworth chooses to allow me to continue in this position, I will work to help the ANA move forward with these goals.

And now the news…

 August 19, 2019

A Utah businessman paid $1.32 million for a dime last week at a Chicago coin auction. It wasn’t just any 10-cent piece; the 1894-S Barber Dime is one of only 24 that were ever made, according to Stack’s Bowers Galleries, which held the auction Thursday night. Only nine of the coins are confirmed to still exist.  → Read more at ktla.com


 August 20, 2019

The oldest coins minted for colonial Australia have gone on show at the Royal Australian Mint, allowing visitors to lay eyes…  → Read more at the-riotact.com


 August 21, 2019

(MENAFN – Newsroom Panama)  The 50 cent coins  that were minted to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of Panama City, 500  → Read more at menafn.com


 August 21, 2019

The prosecutor said that Louis "The Coin" Colavecchio "is effectively unable to enjoy life without conceiving new criminal ventures."  → Read more at providencejournal.com


 August 22, 2019

Gold prices have been hitting a fresh high everyday since Tuesday.  → Read more at indiatoday.in


 August 23, 2019

The penny will go on show for the first time at Saffron Walden Museum on Saturday August 24  → Read more at bishopsstortfordindependent.co.uk

Coin Collectors News
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Weekly World Numismatic News for August 18, 2019

2019 Worlds Fair of \MoneyThis past week the World’s Fair of Money was held in Rosemont, just outside of Chicago. I wish I knew more of what happened, but the coverage of the show was its usual light to non-existent.

For years, I have been calling for the ANA to broadcast from the convention. For many years, I have been saying that when the collector cannot go to the show, the show must go to the collector. Nearly every other industry that holds a significant show finds ways of broadcasting part of the show to people who cannot attend.

One of the reasons I could not be at the World’s Fair of Money was because I was attending two seminars from another show. These were classes that are required so that I can become a licensed appraiser. Rather then travel to the show, I was able to view these seminars as they occurred. The conferencing software also allowed me to ask questions.

For next year’s show, I would like to see the ANA start to broadcast the Money Talks programs. All business-related items like the meeting of the Board of Governors session could appear on a live stream. Let’s start with that before I go into the rest of my wishlist.

And now the news…

 August 10, 2019

The Royal Mint has revealed no new 1p or 2p coins were struck over the last year. Is the future of copper coins under threat again?  → Read more at which.co.uk


 August 12, 2019

The government’s latest wheeze to convince us that Brexit means Brexit was announced this weekend. Sajid Javid is drawing up plans for millions of 50p coins to be issued when the UK leaves the EU later this year.  → Read more at independent.co.uk


 August 14, 2019

To ensure you the best experience, we use cookies on our website for technical, analytical and marketing purposes. By continuing to browse our site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.  → Read more at antiquestradegazette.com


 August 15, 2019

Sen. Roy Blunt wants a commemorative coin to honor Negro League Baseball when it celebrates its 100 year anniversary in 2020. The Missouri Republican talked about his coin push during a tour of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, this week.  → Read more at rollcall.com


 August 15, 2019

A woman from Asten found a very peculiar coin when she emptied out her purse after her vacation on Wednesday. A 2-euro coin, with the image of Princess Beatrix on it, that had also been minted with an image of an eagle with a swastika under it, De Gelderlander reports.  → Read more at nltimes.nl

Coin Collectors News
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The ANA Election is Over, Support Your New Board

The American Numismatic Association election is over and the membership has made a choice. Steve Ellsworth will become the new President of the American Numismatic Association at the World’s Fair of Money in August. Ralph Ross will become Vice President.

Although these were not my choices for leadership, I will support them for their two-year term. Both men deserve the support of the entire membership regardless of what you thought about the election.

The ANA is at a critical juncture in its modern history. There is a societal change happening that is affecting many hobbies and traditional institutions. It is a change borne out of changes in ideas, ideals, and how the new generation thinks about hobbies and their traditions.

The status quo is no longer acceptable. Millennials and those identified as Gen Z, who graduated from high school this year, grew up in a different world. In their world, money is electronic, stamps are utilitarian only used when necessary, and the concept of formality is reserved for a noncontroversial post on social media.

With the Millenials and Gen Z now in that numismatic black hole between being a Young Numismatist and their reawakening when they get older, it is time that the ANA adapt to the new world order of technology.

Adapting traditional hobbies between the past and technology will be difficult. Ask the philatelic (stamp collecting) world how technology has upended what they built. Technology has changed many aspects of our lives, and if numismatics do not change along with it, numismatics will become a minor aspect of the hobby community.

Making this bridge between the traditions of numismatics and the future is what the new ANA leadership and the Board of Governors will need your help. The only way the ANA will change to meet the needs of the membership is for the association to speak out. Members, especially those that are not of AARP eligible age, must be the ones to speak to the Board and let them know what the ANA has to do to have a healthy future.

Overall, 19,737 ANA members were eligible to vote in this election; 31.06 percent of eligible voters participated.

One of the most significant issues is that the membership is not engaged. Maybe it is time for the ANA members to get off the sidelines and become involved.

Members must open lines of communications with the Board of Governors and let them know what you think. They cannot perform their jobs without knowing how to respond to the membership. Your input will help President-elect Ellsworth, and the rest of the Board set their agenda.

Help Ellsworth and the Board have a successful term. Let them know what you think. As a member you can contact the ANA directly. When you do, please keep it respectful and include your membership number.

Those who want to add their comments to a public forum, the ANA gives you that opportunity. Go to the ANA website, register, and post your message as an open blog post. Yes, the ANA website has a blog section for you to post whatever you like. Keep it clean, respectful, to the point. If you can add details to your ideas, I am sure the Board would appreciate the help.

In case you did not know, the ANA website also has a section of numismatic forums for collectors to talk with other collectors about numismatics. For those who are not happy with other forum sites, you might want to take the opportunity to see what the ANA has to offer.

If all else fails, you can write to me. Although I am one voice in the numismatic wilderness, I am a collector who wants to see the ANA remain a thriving home for numismatic collectors. You can write to me directly or post a comment here.

It is your ANA.

Your ANA needs your input.

Support the new Board and help them find their direction.

Hey ANA Members, it’s time to VOTE!

The countdown to the July 1 deadline to vote for the next American Numismatic Association Board of Governors approaches, it is time to look at the candidates and determine who can best lead the organization forward.

For the first time in many years, there are races for President, Vice President, and Board of Governors. This year this is a choice. Here are my choices:

President

For ANA president members have the choice of COL Steven K. Ellsworth, ret., or Donald H. Kagin, Ph.D.

Ellsworth is currently a member of the ANA Board of governors and the owner of Butternut Coin Company, which moved from Virginia to Tennessee. Ellsworth has been around but has many strong opinions that have irritated several of the ANA’s constituency. Recently, during the National Money Show, Ellsworth made statements that exhibitors and the exhibit committee interpreted as hostile to them. Unfortunately, when he had the opportunity to clarify his position, his tone turned combative while making accusations of there being a clique amongst the exhibitor community.

Kagin grew up in the numismatics business, the son of a very prominent member of the ANA. But Kagin is not without his issues. He was a member of the Board of Governors during the fiasco with Executive Director and Legal Counsel Christopher Cipoletti in 2007. Then there were the Larry Shepherd issues that led to more embarrassment. For the subsequent election, Kagin said that he and the Board made mistakes and he wanted another chance. Kagin lost the election during a “throw the bums out” feelings by the membership.

Over the last few years, it appears that Kagin has learned from his mistakes. Sometimes it takes falling on your behind to be able to learn from those mistakes. It also seems that his vision for the ANA has matured since his return to the Board.

The Coin Collectors Blog endorses Don Kagin for ANA President for his sober vision and less combative personality, which is necessary for the ANA.

Vice President

The race for ANA Vice President is between Dr. Ralph W. Ross and Thomas J. Uram.

Although I have briefly met both gentlemen, I cannot say that I have had an extensive conversation with either. The personality dynamics are very different. Although that should not be a determining factor, the differences make it a consideration.

Ross has been a member of the Board of Governors for some time. He is a teacher by trade, which can be beneficial to figure out how to spread the word about numismatics beyond the ANA. In reality, where has he been? In my interaction with the Board, Ross is its quietest member. We do not hear much from him or about him regarding his position on the Board. He is just there.

Uram has been an active participant for some time. He is an exhibitor, judge, and has acted as a coach to exhibitors. Having someone on the Board who understands the exhibitor community may be good for the ANA.

Uram is not a professional numismatist but has had a long career in the financial services industry. Given the ANA’s propensity for having consistent financial problems, having someone around who can make sure the ANA stays fiscally stable may be a good idea.

Finally, Uram is a member of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) as an appointee of the Secretary of the Treasury. Although I have been a critic of the CCAC and not a fan of the Secretary, having someone with that type of experience could have its advantages.

Therefore, the Coin Collectors Blog endorses Tom Uram to be the next Vice President of the ANA.

Board of Governors

There are ten candidates to fill seven seats. Three people will not be serving on the Board. I will not comment on every one of the candidates in this space. I will provide some thoughts on what has gone into my decision.

First, I do not endorse Mike Ellis and his return to the Board. Although I believe in second chances, some have to come with a significant amount of contrition and time. It has not been long enough after “he had made a mistake and chose to step down from the board.” Any person who had to step down from the Board of Governors because of “mistake” must be required to jump a higher hurdle to return. I am still waiting for the jump.

While I have nothing against Greg Lyon, this would be his sixth and final term on the Board. After ten years as a member of the Board of Governors, it is time to step aside and allow new people into leadership.

There are endorsement forthcoming for Muriel Eymery and Shanna Schmidt. Eymery, who is from London, would bring a very different perspective to the ANA that is very necessary. Her view on foreign collectors and the world of numismatics outside of the United States would be an asset to an organization that appears insular. This type of diversity would benefit the ANA.

Schmidt is a dealer with a specialty in ancient numismatics and has a background beyond numismatics. Aside from adding diversity to the Board of Governors, which is very necessary, the line in her biography that attracted me was that her “master’s thesis was on the cultural-property debate as it relates specifically to ancient coins.” It is a topic that I have commented on several times and wish the ANA would involve itself with on behalf of the numismatic community.

Based on the considerations, the Coin Collectors Blog endorses the following seven candidates for the ANA Board of Governors (in alphabetical order by last name): Rick Ewing, Muriel Eymery, John Highfill, Cliff Mishler, Paul Montgomery, Robert Oberth, and Shanna Schmidt.

If you are an ANA member, go vote!

If you are not an ANA member, you should consider becoming one!

ANA’s 2019 Election Cycle

Members of the American Numismatic Association who opted into online voting should have received the election announcement via email. If you think you did request the electronic voting option and did not receive your notice, check your spam folder.

Those who are not signed up for electronic voting should receive a paper ballot in the mail shortly. Deadline to vote using either method is July 1, 2019.

2019 ANA Election Notice

This year, there are races for president, vice president, and Board of Governors. In addition to the races in all categories, three women are running for the Board of Governors, and five of the candidates are running for the first time. Two are running again after having served in the past.

Three of the current member of the Board of Governors are running for higher office, meaning that there will be at least three new Board members.

Maybe there should be at least four new board members.

It has been a long tradition in United States populist society to “throw the bastards out” dating back to the antebellum South where the southern Democrats ran dirty campaigns and even fixed ballots to weaken the Whig Party that was anti-slavery. Newspapers at the time suggested that if the pols do not protect the southern traditions then vote them out.

Just remember, dirty politics pre-dates the founding of the United States as an independent country. In the 1820s, the movement found a rallying cry.

The ANA has had its “throw the bastards out” situation a few years ago after former ANA Executive Director Larry Shepherd file a lawsuit against the ANA and fired Jeff Shevlin as executive director. It was clear that there were problems, which attracted a large field fo candidates for the seven seats on the Board of Governors. I was one of the candidates.

There was quite a change in made in that election. Unfortunately, a few of the members that were voted in during that election remain. As someone who likes to see change and believes in term limit, anyone elected in 2013 should be retired from the Board of Governors. It has nothing to do with their qualifications, but there is a time for new ideas to replace the old.

Numismatics is not a dying hobby. For as long as physical currency is in use, there will be someone to collect those items and the billions of coins already in collections around the world. But there is some trouble in the hobby.

The ANA has to figure out its long-term direction in the context of today’s society. Kids are no longer checking mom and dad’s pocket change looking for coins. They are not encouraged to do so, but there are no incentives for them to begin. There is no long term encouragement.

We have to adapt to a new way of thinking. Unfortunately, very few of the candidates’ statements show that they are seriously thinking about the future.

Change begins with change. It is time for those who have served to retire from the Board and let others step forward. Let’s thank them for their service and allow them to move on.

It may not be a revolution, but evolution is necessary.

In a few weeks, I will post my endorsements.

Until then, I welcome your thoughts.

The envelope, please…

This evening I was loading my truck to make a delivery. At least once per week am running out the door after closing to deliver items when my cell phone rang. After lifting a large desk into the bed of my pickup truck, I was initially dreading the call. This customer has canceled before after I loaded the truck.

But this was different. The call was from American Numismatic Association Executive Director Kim Kiick. As chair of the Technology Committee, or I think we are now called the money.org committee, we discuss issues that arise making a call from Colorado Springs not surprising. After securing the desk, I did not listen to the message. I just called her back.

Today’s call was different. Kim was not calling me to discuss an issue but to give me the news that the ANA Board of Governors has selected me to be the 2019 recipient of the Glenn Smedley Memorial Award!

WOW!

I was and am still SHOCKED! And very honored!!!

First, from the ANA’s website: “The Glenn Smedley Memorial Award was created in memory of Glenn B. Smedley, a collector’s collector, to recognize individuals who have devoted their efforts to the betterment of the ANA.”

I became a member of the Technolgy Committee a few years ago after publishing many articles on this blog about how far behind the ANA was in the use of technology. It was a chance to put-up or shut-up.

When the chair of the committee resigned, I was asked to succeed him. That was not a problem. I continue to believe in the mission of the ANA, and I believe that the only way to bring in younger members is to find ways of making the ANA more technology aware. I was not doing this for awards–especially now that I am trying to run a business.

I am rarely overwhelmed. Then I went to the website to see the list of past recipients and I am in absolute awe of the decision.

The award will be presented at the World’s Fair of Money this August. I should probably make arrangements to be there!

THANK YOU TO THE ANA BOARD OF GOVERNORS FOR THIS HONOR!

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