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Ambassador Awards given at FUN

The first class of Ambassador Awards given under the auspices of the Florida United Numismatists occurred this morning.

I was honored to be a part of the Ambassador breakfast ceremony. My presence more than anything was to publicly pass the baton to FUN. It was also to show continuity.

It was a smooth transfer of responsibility from “Numismatic News” to FUN thanks to the hard work of Tony Swicer.

I would like to thank the FUN board for taking on the responsibility for the award.

There is a bittersweet element. “Numismatic News” created the award in 1974. Our last awards were given in 2014.

Clifford Mishler, the award creator, was also present to show his support and to stress the historical continuity.

Ambassador Awards are all about recognizing the contributions of individuals to the well being of the organized hobby.

This year’s class of award winners, that of 2015, has five members in it.

Two of them have been professional rivals of mine as editors of another publication. Beth Deisher and Steve Roach of “Coin World” both were recognized. I believe they deserve the award. I believe that because they were my professional rivals that I did a better job of serving collector readers of “Numismatic News.” Competition brings out the best in all of us. I congratulate both of them.

Mack Martin I have known for many years as a first-rate exhibitor. I have taken photos of him many times accepting a top exhibit award. He has won Best of Show at the American Numismatic Association summer convention twice. The hobby is all the richer for his sharing his knowledge widely.

Sandy Hill has been part of the ANA staff for 21 years. She is a jewel of a person to work with and I am delighted that she was selected this year to be honored. She is not usually in the limelight. She has earned my respect and that of many others.

The fifth winner is George Cuhaj. He was not present. He is attending the New York International Numismatic Convention. I had the privilege of working with him at Krause Publications for more than two decades. He has a first-rate numismatic mind and the Standard Catalog series of world coin price guides benefitted greatly from his years of input.

All winners are to be congratulated.

If you know of someone deserving of this national award, watch for the next call for nominations from Tony Swicer. I will be sure to put it in “Numismatic News.”

As I was adjourning the Ambassador breakfast, Tony Swicer interrupted to surprise me with an Ambassador plaque of my own.

It is an honor.

I hope I live up to it.

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