The American Numismatic Association will return to its former practice of providing free tables to member clubs on bourse floors at ANA-sponsored shows.
The decision was voted unanimously by the newly seated ANA Board of Governors during a conference call meeting Aug. 31.
Qualifications and guidelines for a free table will be developed by the ANA staff and then reviewed by the ANA Board. Upon adoption by the ANA Board, they will be published in the ANA’s newly adopted Policy Manual, posted at the association’s website, www.money.org.
The new free-table policy will be in effect for the ANA National Money Show Oct. 13 to 15 scheduled in Pittsburgh.
Clifford Mishler, governor and immediate past president, in seconding Vice President Walter Ostromecki’s motion, cited a number of stipulations that he would like to see included in the Policy Manual:
➤ Limit the number of clubs that can share a table.
➤ Limit the number of badges per table, similar to the policy for the number of dealer badges permitted per table.
➤ Each table must be maintained and staffed during all public hours of a show. Merely displaying literature on the table would not qualify as staffing.
The move to offer free tables reverses a policy of charging clubs for bourse tables, instituted in 2009. The initial fee was $100 per table.
ANA staff reported that at least 16 clubs paid for bourse tables at the August ANA World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill. Fees ranged from $150 to $200, depending on the size of the table.
The new board, headed by President Tom Hallenbeck, voted to table a motion by Mishler and Gary Adkins to reinstitute “early bird” badges for ANA bourses beginning with the upcoming show in Pittsburgh.
For a set fee, an “early-bird” pass would allow early entry to the bourse during dealer setup before a coin show opens to the public.
In January 2010 ANA Executive Director Larry Shepherd, who was placed on paid administrative leave Aug. 20, announced his intent to ban early bird badges from ANA bourses.
ANA had offered early bird badges for more than a decade prior to 2010, but due to rising complaints, Shepherd moved to end the practice. At the time, Shepherd said the primary objection was that the badges allowed “well-heeled collectors” and vest-pocket dealers a chance at the best material and the best deals of the show, before even dealers on the bourse and later the public have a chance at them.
Further, Shepherd said he viewed the decision regarding early bird badges as an “executive” call and not a board policy, indicating he intended to render the decision under his authority to administer shows.
After a survey of dealers and some controversy, Shepherd instituted a modified policy for the March 2010 spring show, allowing early birds on the bourse from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. during dealer hours prior to public admission during days of the show, but prohibiting access during dealer setup from noon to 6 p.m. on the day before the show opened.
The ANA ceased offering the early bird passes after the spring 2010 show.
During the Aug. 31 session Hallenbeck polled board members informally as soon as the motion to reinstate was put forward. Upon hearing that five of the nine members would not support the move to return to the full-fledged policy without more input from dealers and collectors, he asked for and received a motion to table, pending additional research, including committee feedback and input from the numismatic community.
Hallenbeck announced he had appointed chairmen for two ANA committees. Governor Wendell Wolka will head the Personnel Committee and Mishler will chair the Strategic Planning Committee.
Hallenbeck also said that he had appointed three assistant treasurers — Gerome Walton, Kenneth E. Bressett and Ken Hallenbeck, his father — to work with Larry Baber, whom he had announced as treasurer on Aug. 20.
Additionally, he named former governor Joe Boling to the appointed office of assistant secretary, to record minutes in the absence of David Sklow, whom he had announced as secretary 11 days earlier.
Hallenbeck said he had reappointed A. Ronald Sirna Jr. as general counsel.
Barry Stuppler was named as the board’s ex-officio nonvoting past president. The position is usually held by the outgoing ANA president; however, since the immediate past president — Mishler — was re-elected to the board as a governor, Stuppler will repeat in a second term in the position.
The ANA president said he would complete all committee appointments and announce them prior to the opening of the Pittsburgh show in mid-October.
The board also named Chuck D’Ambra as general chairman of the 2012 spring National Money Show in Denver and the Denver Coin Club as the host club for the show. D’Ambra is a past president of the Denver Coin Club. The show is scheduled May 10 to 12, 2012. ■