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ANA membership down

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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The U.S. Mint is not the only organization losing collectors. The American Numismatic Association is as well.

A report given by ANA executive director Larry Shepherd to the board of governors during a telephone conference Feb. 8 had membership down to 28,500, which is toward the lower end of the range of 28,000 to 32,000 that has prevailed for the last 20 years, he explained.

Kim Kiick, ANA senior administrative manager, told the board that an aggressive membership program was in the works. Shepherd said the membership base was aging and it was time to look to youth.

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Shepherd had much better news when it came to the organization’s finances.

The current audit that was being worked on covers the most recent 19-month period. It shows a budget surplus of $1,358,000 before the ongoing legal expenses. Even including these, there is a surplus. (The latest lawsuit trial involving former executive director Christopher Cipoletti was slated to start at the El Paso County Courthouse in Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 23. See separate story.)

The 19-month period combines the short transitional seven-month fiscal year and the following fiscal year that ended Oct. 31, 2010. ANA changed its fiscal year to end on Oct. 31 rather than March 31.

Investment markets have been kind to the ANA. They added $3.2 million in 19 months to ANA assets.

Shepherd said the balance sheet is up 20 percent to $27 million and with the value of the library and numismatic collections included, the total tops $66 million.

In contrast, Shepherd cited the following budget numbers:

2002: – $1,185,000
2003: – $998,800
2004: – $1,278,000
2005: – $634,000
2006: – $537,000
2007: – $1,730,000

This run of negative budget numbers neatly sums up why the membership was so restive in the 2007 elections that they voted out the entire board.

He also said the annual fund appeal was a success.

Vice President Tom Hallenbeck reported on his trip to the World Money Fair in Berlin in January, which he stressed to the board was undertaken on his own dime.

“The ANA’s name is well respected,” he said.

Hallenbeck said it was a “tremendous opportunity to build relationships with more foreign mints and dealers.”

Shepherd hoped that the ANA could build up the number of world mints that attend the summer ANA World’s Fair of Money from the current 13 to closer to the nearly 50 institutions that have booths in Berlin.

“It’s all about process in Europe,” Hallenbeck cautioned.  He explained that not only do you need to meet the right people, but you have to give them time to build the cost of attending an ANA show into their budgets.

Overall, Hallenbeck said, he had “nothing but positive things to say about this show.”

Board member Jeff Garrett suggested it might be wise to undertake an exploratory trip to Asia.

Shepherd said this year that the ANA would participate in the paper money show in Memphis in June. It will exhibit some of the rare notes from the Aubrey Bebee collection.

The ANA 1804 dollar and other rare coins will be displayed at the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists show in May. This, Shepherd said, is a form of thanks for the help ANA was getting for the new autumn ANA convention in Pittsburgh.

Shepherd said he was in the process of getting quotes on a new heating system. Employees were sent home at 1 p.m. Feb. 3 because of the cold.

A water pipe broke in the basement library. It “caused minimal damage,” Shepherd said. Damaged were volumes of periodicals.

The board appointed Positive Protection, Inc, as the security contractor for the 2011 ANA conventions even as consultant Robert Whitman is engaged in evaluating procedures to see if money can be saved on security. Whitman will be attending the National Money Show in March in Sacramento, Calif.

Garrett inquired whether security cameras might be employed on the bourse floor. His question will be directed to Whitman.

The host chairman and assistant host chairman for the new National Money Show in Pittsburgh in October were named by the board. Sam Deep takes the chairman’s role and Don Carlucci will assist him.

Among the other housekeeping matters taken up by the board was the changing of the dates for Shepherd’s pension plan to match the new fiscal year dates previously adopted by the ANA.

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