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Mishler sees promising future for ANA

The recently announced ANA election results, I am convinced, set the organization on the path of continuing to build toward a secure and promising future. We can put the troubling past behind us and move forward with confidence.

With the heavy lifting having been done by the past board, which returns five members to the new board, the mission for the immediate future will be to keep the train on track.

So, just where does the ANA find itself presently, and where is it headed?

The organization’s turnaround over the past two years has been nothing short of phenomenal. In addition to having largely put the legal and financial issues in the rear view mirror, the operating environment at ANA headquarters is once again inviting. Our executive director has led the staff in managing to bring the operating budget into balance, in part through the restructuring of task execution and efficiency improvements at the staff level through natural attrition, but also by trimming unnecessary expenses and redundant or unproductive processes, along with bringing the financial structures of productive programs into proper revenue/expense balances.

Moving forward, I will be committing the new board to steadily building the ANA’s membership and influence, primarily through enhanced interaction with individual collectors and the dealer community, hobby organizations and public bodies, both within the broad hobby community and through outreach to the public sector and governmental units. The resulting gains are likely to evolve so measured as to be all but imperceptible, as the fruit pickings from the fresh plantings will likely generally be modest at best compared to expectations, until one sits back and reflectively compares a point in time past to some future point.
To achieve this long aspired growth, the ANA must work smarter than it has in the past. It must develop and project a tightly coordinated marketing image. The ANA is many things – a library, a museum, The Numismatist, an educational organization, a sponsor of national conventions and a bridge for the interaction of diverse hobby units at multiple levels .

But it is much more, being a central force for the benefit and building of the hobby community. The organization’s activities must be readily identified in all exposures as being part of a bigger unit, making the ANA, in other words, all about education, conventions, publications, library and museum resources, and the fraternal trappings of membership.

We must seek to do fewer new things than we have undertaken to do in the past, but we must do well those things that we commit to. We must resist the temptation to do everything that presents itself as a good idea, lest we end up spreading our financial and personnel resources so thin that our performance is less than ideal. We must extend more than lip service to the need to serve as the coordinator and motivator of broad initiatives aimed at building and instilling higher levels of commitment from individuals and hobby community organizations in driving the appeal and growth of the pursuit.

Thus, while the new or reinvigorated ANA initiatives over the coming two years will likely be relatively few in number, they must be accompanied by high levels of performance commitment.

The mission of the new board, as I perceive it, is to receive and sift through the many ideas that the membership will advance to it, or that will otherwise unfold. My mission as president will be to provide the leadership required to dispatch the ideas that are advanced on an orderly selection basis. The mission of the executive and staff will be to implement the adopted ideas to the maximum benefit of the ANA as an organization by fostering greater growth of the broad hobby community.

So, just where does the ANA find itself presently, and where is it headed?

The ANA stands on firm ground with a future that offers great promise.

Cliff Mishler is the newly elected president of the American Numismatic Association. He resides in Iola, Wis.

Viewpoint is a forum for the expression of opinion on a variety of numismatic subjects. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Numismatic News.
To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Send e-mail to david.harper@fwmedia.com.

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