A six-man search committee has been appointed by American Numismatic Association President Tom Hallenbeck and is expected to soon begin setting in place a process for finding a new executive director for the 27,500-member collector organization with headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Hallenbeck had announced during an ANA Board of Governors meeting Oct. 14 in Pittsburgh that he, ANA Vice President Walter Ostromecki and Governor Wendell Wolka would serve on the committee.
On Oct. 25 Hallenbeck confirmed that since the Pittsburgh session he has named former ANA President Barry Stuppler and ANA members Sam Deep and Mark Lighterman as members of the search committee.
Hallenbeck said that the committee is “currently working on job descriptions, expectations and responsibilities for both the incoming executive director and the board members.”
He added: “We are also working on improving the lines of communications between the staff and elected officials, more checks and balances. We are also developing a survey of the staff members to get their input on the hiring process.”
Hallenbeck said the committee expects to develop a plan and have it ready for presentation to the entire board during its scheduled Nov. 30 telephone board meeting.
The ANA president explained: “We will officially release a press release after we have made some good (and unrushed) policy decisions. We want to make the best decisions for our organization so we have a long-term executive director that will last long after the elected officers come and go.”
The current ANA Board of Governors fired Larry Shepherd on Sept. 20, after having placed him on paid administrative leave on Aug. 20. Shepherd, 61, was named executive director of the ANA on March 7, 2008, and signed a one-year contract. However, the ANA Board offered him a five-year extension in October 2008, which he accepted.
In a statement issued Oct. 6 the ANA Board characterized its reason for ousting Shepherd as a “private personnel matter.”
The only mention of Shepherd’s departure in the public session of the ANA Board’s meeting Oct. 14 was in association with Hallenbeck’s announcement of the formation of the search committee.
However, two ANA members spoke on the subject during a brief Town Hall meeting following the two-hour public board session.
Kurt Bellman, a member of the Red Rose Coin Club of Lancaster, Pa., congratulated the board for its handling of the firing of the executive director.
“You are doing the right things,” Bellman said.
However, Oded Paz, national coordinator of the ANA’s Club Representative Program, questioned the board’s handling of the situation and asked when the board was going to explain the circumstances that caused it to fire Shepherd and deal with the rumors circulating in the hobby community.
Hallenbeck responded by stating that the board “can’t do anything about the rumors,” adding that “it’s behind us.” The ANA president said that the board was moving on and beginning to work on finding a new executive director. He indicated that as a first step the board needed “to define the position.”
Board approves budget
During its Oct. 14 public session the ANA Board of Governors approved an operating budget for its fiscal year that begins Nov. 1 and ends Oct. 31, 2012. The new budget projects revenues of $5,966,833.54 with expenses of $5,966,329.44 and a surplus of $504.10
The new budget projects spending at just $3,006 less than the previous year’s budget, which had projected a $181,315 surplus.
It also projects receiving less revenue — $916,670 versus $1,148, 212 — from dues next year.
ANA Controller Carol Shuman said the estimate is somewhat lower than last year for several reasons:
“First, the 2011 budget’s estimated membership revenues were based on a proposed dues increase that was not enacted. As such, projections were somewhat inflated.
“Second, since the introduction of our Basic Membership — which allows members to read the magazine online as well as on iPhones, iPads and Androids — more than 9,100 members have taken advantage of this option’s convenience and lower cost compared to a regular membership. Our membership revenue estimates for the 2012 fiscal year reflect this change in membership demographic types. In keeping with publishing trends, we feel members will increasingly opt for this format.”
Shuman said the present ANA membership stands at 27,504 for October 2011. In comparison, in October 2010, ANA had 28,396 members.
Shuman explained: “We attribute some of this slight membership decline to the current economic conditions, with members opting to end their memberships for personal financial reasons. Additionally, in the past year, our membership department embarked on a project to increase the accuracy of our membership database by identifying and expunging deceased members. This accounted for a sizable reduction in the membership count.”
The new budget has a greater reliance on transferring money from endowment funds to support operations. The approved 2012 budget transfers $599,882.96 from endowment funds, whereas the 2011 budget drew $461,222 from endowments.
The second largest transfer of money from endowments in the new budget allocates $139,250 for legal fees, $24,000 of which is expected to be spent on services for outside legal counsel and the remainder — $115,250 — is earmarked as salary for the ANA’s general counsel.
The new budget indicates the ANA expects to spend much less in legal expenses in the coming 12 months than in recent years.
The ANA Financial Statements and Independent Auditor’s Report covering the period from April 1, 2009 through Oct. 31, 2010, and 990 IRS forms covering the same period, made public Oct. 14, show legal expenses paid to outside law firms total to $727,835. (April 1, 2009, to Oct. 31, 2009 — $438,086; Nov. 1, 2009, to Oct. 31, 2010 — $289,749.)
During the same time period ANA’s general counsel, paid as an officer of the nonprofit organization, received a total of $322,294.(April 1, 2009, to Oct. 31, 2009 — $197,727; Nov. 1, 2009 to Oct. 31, 2010 — $124,567.)
In planning for future shows, the ANA Board approved the appointment of Catherine Bullowa as honorary host chairman for the ANA World’s Fair of Money scheduled in Philadelphia in 2012 and Mark Wieclaw as host chairman for the World’s Fair of Money in Chicago in 2013. ■