Women in Numismatics to dissolve at the end of 2022
- Published: Jun 29, 2022, 9 AM
Women in Numismatics, a national nonprofit networking group for women working in different areas of numismatics, will dissolve at the end of this year, per a press release from the organization published June 12.
WIN’s final special awards ceremony will be hosted Aug. 17 at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Illinois.
The organization has, according to the press release, accomplished all of its objectives.
The organization’s website now displays the press release announcing the dissolution.
WIN was established in early 1991, according to a history of the organization, to meet several goals:
(1) Raise the professional status of women in numismatics.
(2) Provide a networking forum for women in numismatics.
(3) Provide educational opportunities to women in numismatics.
(4) Gain recognition for women within the industry.
(5) Assist women in obtaining positions within the industry.
As Charmy Harker, president of WIN since 2013, shared in an email interview, “I feel Women in Numismatics has played a strong role in guiding and helping women navigate the wonderful world of numismatics and, with the population of women participating in the numismatic community growing each year, the WIN board felt that the time has come where a female-oriented numismatic organization is no longer necessary.”
Cindy Wibker, secretary of Florida United Numismatist and a charter member and board member of WIN, echoed Harker’s sentiments in an email interview, explaining, “I came to that realization when we were sitting in a WIN board meeting about a year ago trying to come up with a new mission for WIN. We all took several months to ponder the question and none of us could think of anything. That’s when I came to the conclusion that we had fulfilled our original mission, to provide networking and promote women in numismatics.”
Former Coin World editor Beth Deisher shared, in a 2016 article marking WIN’s 25th anniversary, that in October 1990, three young women, Sondra Beymer, Mary Sauvain, and Teresa Darling, met at the Long Beach Expo and discussed the need for an organization to support women in the numismatic industry. Deisher attended what she called a “meeting of the minds,” reflecting that “Their primary concern was that women who attended coin shows, whether on the business side or from collector ranks, often did not know each other. A way to address the problem, they believed, would be to have an organization whose primary function would be to provide opportunities for members to network as friends as well as professionals. They also saw a need to provide education and professional development.” Early the next year, WIN was born.
In 1992, WIN began publishing a journal, initially conceptualized as a newsletter, Winning Ways. Its last issue will be published before WIN’s final meeting at the 2022 World’s Fair of Money.
Harker elaborated on WIN’s success: “Every year since WIN was formed, we have seen more and more women become interested in numismatics, create their own personal collections, attend coin shows on their own, participate in the ANA Summer Seminar and other educational programs, join specialty coin clubs, and be recognized for their outstanding achievements in numismatics. Personally, ever since I started my own business, I have more female collector customers than I ever have.”
According to Whitman Publishing’s internal polling, female readership of A Guide Book of United States Coins (the Red Book) increased from 15% to 17% between 2008 and 2020, which Dennis Tucker, publisher at Whitman, described in an email interview as “a small percentage increase, but significant — it represents many thousands more women who had joined the hobby in just over a decade. WIN did a lot to recognize the contributions of women in numismatics, while increasing visibility and encouraging even greater hobby participation.”
WIN’s final meeting will take place in Room 11 of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, the location of the World’s Fair of Money, on Wednesday, Aug. 17, at 8 a.m. It will feature a “special awards ceremony,” per the press release. The organization will formally dissolve on Dec. 31.
Wibker does not foresee WIN’s dissolution as having a major impact, saying, “At this point I don’t think WIN’s absence will be felt greatly. We have some dedicated members, both women and men, who have always supported us and participated in everything we did. I think that group will miss the meetings we held at major coin shows. And I know the board of directors will miss our get-togethers.”
Harker did not think a similar group would be formed in the future, writing, “WIN has no current plans to create a ‘successor’ organization and we know of no such plans by any other group. However, if any female (or male for that matter) numismatist has any questions or needs assistance, I am happy to continue helping in any way I can — just email me at email@example.com.”
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