By Carl Schwenker
I was surprised to read Cliff Mishler’s sudden announcement that he would not run for re-election to the ANA Board (NN, 12/11/12) and then chose to single out Patti Finner for his wrath without even mentioning her by name. It is unbecoming of a former President and current Governor of a national organization, the ANA, to publicly do so.
I don’t understand why he didn’t just walk off into the sunset and be pleased with his accomplishments.
How many volunteer Boy and Girl Scout merit badge clinics has Mishler conducted for the ANA or for that matter for any member club? Oh yes, he has been a speaker, but has he ever dedicated himself or his time to consistently assist ANA member clubs as she has?
I can personally attest to at least 10 or more times Finner has travelled to Houston to conduct scout clinics and am aware of many other clubs around the country who use her knowledge and experience as a scout instructor and counselor. She’s done many of these as a volunteer and a proud member of the ANA. I can also attest to her willingness to help the Greater Houston Coin Club’s Money Show of the Southwest, where her always-available, year-round counsel to a struggling show manager (me) has resulted in a very successful and growing charitable event. She arrives to help at least a day before the show starts and stays for at least a day after it ends to help with problems and share her knowledge of show administration and security.
What could be the motivation for Mishler’s additional and unnecessary parting shot at the ANA’s previous executive director?
It was the ANA board on which Mishler served that by innuendo and limited public comments accused Larry Shepherd of all sorts of things, but would not provide a forum for him to meet his accusers, nor allow him to defend himself against the charges, which to my understanding have yet to be proven.
Shepherd is a respected coin dealer whose reputation prior to his tenure as ANA executive director was spotless. Mishler made one campaign pledge: to get rid of Cipoletti and then retire from the Board. He changed his mind and chose to successfully run for ANA president specifically to compete against Finner and then stayed for an unprecedented third term that involved the firing of Shepherd.
I remember Mishler’s promise that there would no more lawsuits against the ANA and that during his tenure there would be a policy of transparency when it came to ANA business.
Surprisingly, in his haste to praise all of his “successes” and not mention the past and potential exorbitant legal costs of his campaign pledge, Mishler failed to mention that there has recently been another lawsuit filed against the ANA which may involve decisions made by the President and/or Governors.
I would have hoped for a more diplomatic and classy farewell. But then Cliff Mishler has made his living on the numismatic community. Patti Finner has not and Larry Shepherd is again back buying and selling numismatic items while trying to restore a reputation that was severely damaged by his ANA experience.
Could it be that this seemingly rushed announcement may not really be a farewell so much as a positioning statement for future events?
This Viewpoint was written by Carl Schwenker, whose efforts helped put the Money Show of the Southwest in Houston, Texas, back on the hobby map. Viewpoint is a forum for the expression of opinion on a variety of numismatic subjects. To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.