ANA elections offer opportunity to evaluate its place in hobby

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Published : 04/17/13
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Every two years the American Numismatic Association holds elections for its president, vice president and a seven-member board of governors.

The elections provide a chance to think about and evaluate the organization’s effectiveness and its role in changing times.

This year, while the president and vice president are running unopposed, 14 individuals are vying for one of the seven ANA Board seats, including four incumbents. The winners will be installed at the ANA World’s Fair of Money in a suburb of Chicago on Aug. 16.

A varied group is running with a diverse mix of backgrounds and experience with the hobby. Dealers and hobbyists are in the mix, with a wide age range and an interesting blend of personalities that should make this a relatively dynamic election season.

In reviewing the ANA’s 2012-13 strategic plan, which defined the ANA’s vision, mission, core values and value positions, one can identify many directions that the new board can travel.

Of course, this is assuming that the fundamental issues that have seriously hindered progress in recent years, including lawsuits, an ambitious convention schedule, issues with executive directors and museum thefts, are resolved or on a path toward resolution.

The challenge is to balance the importance of satisfying current member expectations with the need to help the hobby grow; a balance of traditional member services and outreach.

At this moment the ANA seems to be well-positioned to tackle some long-term goals and start working through some challenging questions including:

➤ How do you make an organization like the ANA relevant to today’s coin collectors?

➤ How can the ANA expand the hobby while maintaining the current membership base?

➤ How does the ANA harness technology to reach new audiences and better connect with existing stakeholders?

➤ How proactive should the ANA be in terms of consumer protection and on taking a stand on matters affecting the hobby?

➤ What’s the role of the coin show and the ANA?

➤ What’s the role of the ANA museum? The strategic plan challenges the board to “define the vision, mission, purpose, and priorities of the Collection and Museum.”

➤ How is effective communication between members, paid staff and elected officials facilitated?

These are key questions that deserve a robust conversation and Coin World remains committed to helping the ANA succeed in its goals.

Each candidate’s biographical sketch and platform will be published in the June 2013 issue of the ANA’s publication, The Numismatist. The ANA has done an excellent job of making election information accessible online through its website, at www.money.org/elections.

To duplicate candidate platforms alone in an issue of Coin World would require nearly 6,000 words, assuming that each candidate submits the maximum allowed 350 words.

Put another way, that’s the space of three features. Since one must be an ANA member to vote in the elections, and since one can opt-in for online voting or receive a traditional paper ballot, Coin World adds little value to the conversation by simply duplicating information easily found by all voting members.

From the candidate statements along with the topics discussed at the ANA Board of Governors Candidate Forum on May 11 at the ANA’s National Money Show in New Orleans, Coin World will seek to identify and describe the issues at the core of this election.

Our goal is to help ANA members make an informed decision by the time ballots are due on July 1.

We will continue to ask the questions that need to be addressed about the ANA’s role in a rapidly changing world, and how the nonprofit educational organization can more effectively meet its stated mission to educate and encourage people to study and collect money and related items.

Best,

Steve Roach

sroach@coinworld.com

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