American Numismatic Association Board of Governors election ballots were due to the accounting firm last week. Although I have no contact with the ANA or their accounting firm, I assume that the ballots are being verified and counted. As this is happening, some of us are speculating what the outcome will be.
Dave Harper, editor of Numismatic News, speculates that based on his version of “conventional wisdom” incumbents should make up at least half of the upcoming ANA Board of Governors. However, after attending the ANA candidate forum in Charlotte and reading the editorial comments in publications like Numismatic News, this may be a case where the ANA electorate is looking for a change.
The questioning at the candidate forum made it clear that the audience was ready for a change in the board. Those what distinguished themselves as someone who wanted to improve the ANA with change were embraced while incumbents and those with close ties to the current Board were not seen in a positive light.
Considering the forum and subsequent publication coverage of this election, my version of conventional wisdom says that the ANA electorate wants a change. This would indicate that other than the president and vice president, who are running unopposed, it would not be surprising to see one member of the current Board or someone with an associate with the current Board be elected. These candidates do not represent the change members seem to desire.
I admit that I voted for change. I withheld my vote for president and vice president out of principle because they are members of the current Board of Governors. The balance of my ballot was used to vote for those who are not on the current ANA Board of Governors. When I cast my ballot, I voted for Joe Boling, Michael Doran, John Eshbach, Cliff Mishler, Walter Ostromecki, Radford Sterns, and Wendell Wolka.
I admit that Walter Ostromecki is an emotional choice. Although I did not vote for him during the last election, I do not believe that Ostromecki was treated well by the current Board during his dismissal shortly after his term began. I want to give him a chance to serve a full term.
Joe Boling and Cliff Mishler are experienced with the ANA with Boling being a judge for the ANA exhibits. Both have strong backgrounds with a passion that could not be resisted. Mishler comes off as a gruff person. But after having a conversation with him, it is easy to tell he as the passion and intelligence to help the ANA.
John Eshbach, Radford Sterns, and Wendell Wolka are three who impressed me at the candidate forum. Eshbach was plain spoken and passionately to the point. He is an “old timer” who can be a great contributor.
Sterns and Wolka were outspoken in their use of technology to improve the outreach and communications to the ANA membership. Wolka really seemed to understand my concerns that the ANA can leverage technology as a tool and involve membership who have the background to provide advice. I gave Wolka my business card noting my interest in helping the new Board with technology and planning. We will see if Wolka follows through if he is elected.
Michael Doran also impressed me in Charlotte. However, following that forum, Doran published statements in support of the current Board. Doran’s views were interesting and understandable from the perspective he gives. Since dissent is good for debate, I thought that Doran would help provide the fodder for the debate without including any current Board members.
There are other good candidates, but this is the slate I chose. Regardless of who is elected, I will borrow a phrase from John Wayne: I may not have voted for every member who is elected for the Board of Governors, but they are a Governor on the Board of my ANA and I hope they do a good job.