?As some regional and state organizations reach a national audience with their coin shows, should they be required to extend opportunities for leadership beyond their stated geographic region?
For example, the Central States Numismatic Society covers a 13-state region. Its annual spring convention is a major show and its associated auctions are among the largest coin auctions held during the year.
The CSNS bylaws stipulate that all officers and governors must be at least 18 years old and reside in the Central States region. The bylaws further limits the number of elected officials from any one state to keep things balanced.
These types of restrictions serve a valid purpose of keeping resources in the region that the members live in. It also presumably keeps travel expenses down, providing more money for educational opportunities that can extend throughout the region by involvement with local clubs and seminars, and beyond the region through the group’s publication.
Those who are challenging groups like CSNS and Florida United Numismatists to expand to become national organizations cite that the majority of revenue comes from their conventions and auctions, which are populated in large part by dealers and auction houses who may live outside of the region defined by the group’s geographic definition.
The hobby has multiple national organizations. Regional and state groups have a useful and relevant purpose in the hobby: to promote education, camaraderie and collecting with people who live in geographic proximity to one another.
Limiting leadership to those who live in the region is neither arbitrary nor capricious. Rather, limiting leadership to those individuals who maintain a meaningful presence in the state seems to serve a valid purpose that ultimately benefits the group’s membership.
To require state and regional groups to expand to include leaders from outside of their region seems to punish organizations that develop successful programs that extend beyond the region, while adding little benefit to the membership that the group ultimately serves.