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Newcomers take over ANA board

It was a clean sweep for the anti-incumbent slate in a tension-filled election campaign to select the 2007-2009 American Numismatic Association board of governors.

The results were announced July 25.

Voted into office were seven newcomers led by veteran hobby publisher Clifford Mishler, with 4,609 votes; followed by Chester L. Krause, 4,518 votes; Edward C. Rochette, 3,541 votes; Joseph E. Boling, 3,442 votes; Radford Stearns, 3,073 votes; Walter Ostromecki 2,882 votes, and Wendell Wolka, 2,850.

Even before the results were released, it was known that Barry Stuppler would be president and Patti Jagger Finner would be vice president. The two ran unopposed after the anti-incumbent faction failed to field candidates.

That left the battle to be fought over the seven governor’s chairs.

“I am overwhelmed by the knowledge and experience of the numismatists on the new ANA board of governors,” said president-elect Barry S. Stuppler, “and with three of the new governors being members of the ANA Numismatic Hall of Fame on my board, I feel like the quarterback of an all-star team.

“The next two years are going to be very exciting for the ANA,” Stuppler concluded.

“The people who took the time to vote have prevailed,” said Patti Jagger Finner, vice president-elect. “Out of 32,000 members, apparently the true supporters of the ANA voted.”

Finner wonders if the incoming members of the board know what level of commitment of time and money that it takes to serve on this board and be effective.

“You really have to love the hobby to serve the ANA, especially in the light of the last two years,” she said.

What is the priority of the new board members?

“A complete audit of the last five years,” said Mishler. “Well, you know, there simply has been a lot of controversy or whatever, a lot of questioning of the way money has  been spent, comparisons to previous administrations and all that kind of good stuff. It is time to clear the air from a financial standpoint.”

Chet Krause echoed the call.

Outgoing president William H. Horton Jr. said, “I think the process worked well. Whoever the newcomers are on the board, I wish them all the best. Now they will see what it is like to sit on the board. It is not as easy as you think it is. The election is over. I understand all the campaign stuff, but now you have to sit down and dig in and do what is overall best for the hobby and the association.”

The election sweep pushed out incumbent governors Alan Herbert, 2,243 votes;  Don Kagin, 2,068 votes, and Remy Bourne, 1,900.

Should a winning governor be unable to serve out his term, Herbert, as next highest vote getter, would serve out the term.

The incumbent board in the prior two years did a number of things to rile the membership. The first was a fight with Mishler and Krause over the naming rights to the ANA museum. It was only after an old press release was discovered that backed up the Mishler-Krause claims that the board backed down and granted their wish that the museum be named after Rochette.

Another high profile issue that galvanized opposition was the expulsion from the board of Gov. Walter Ostromecki in October 2005, just weeks after his swearing in. Lack of a full explanation for the action at the time helped to fuel a sense that the board was somehow not following the wishes of the ANA membership, which had so recently put Ostromecki into the office.

The most recent brouhaha was proposed bylaws revisions. The anti-incumbent faction suspected that any revisions would be used to disenfranchise the membership even before there were any specific proposals put forward.

The current board promised publications of the bylaws proposal so the membership could review it, but this sparked yet another controversy.

Hand-inserting the bylaws proposal in the same envelope as the election ballot delayed the mailing of many of them until the middle of June. This unexpected delay simply fueled suspicions of the anti-incumbents, who daily traded e-mails about who had or had not received an electoral ballot.
To these specific issues was the general sense that the ANA was spending beyond its means and the executive director was paid too much.

Membership had until July 19 to mark the ballot and return it to BiggsKofford, the Colorado Springs, Colo., auditing firm, handling the election. The president and executive director were to be informed of the results July 24 and a public announcement followed July 25.

The other  losing candidates and vote totals are as follows:

Anthony Tumonis, 2,048; Carl Schwenker, 1,891; Arthur Fitts, 1,867; Michael Doran, 1,836; John R. Eshbach, 1,829, and Don Dool, 1,235.

Perhaps the membership was not as indignant over bylaws changes as at first expected by the anti-incumbent group. More than 10 percent of the membership expressed its view on the bylaws by mailing the form back to ANA headquarters, said Christopher Cipoletti, ANA executive director.
Of the 3,456 responses, 62 percent backed the new bylaws, or 2,124 yeses.

Those opposed were 25 percent of the respondents, or 876
Partial agreement or partial disagreement, depending on how you look at it, was registered by 13 percent of the respondents, or 456.

Cipoletti said 33 forms were marked in contradictory fashion or were blank. He also said these forms would be available for the press to view at the ANA convention in Milwaukee.

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10 Responses to Newcomers take over ANA board

  1. Leon Saryan says:

    I was flabbergasted to read Jagger Finner’s comments suggesting that the incoming board members are somehow unaware of the level of time and commitment that will be required. The background of each of the winners shows very clearly their years and decades of dedication. It seems that we have the best ANA board in years, and I wish them all success in guiding the Association.

  2. Mrs. Finner and Mr. Horton’s comments are of no surprise, since their regime cronies were given the boot by the ANA membership. The new President and VP have little choice but to work with the new board. I only hope that all of the controversies will be a thing of the past, and that the new board will do whats right in the direction of the ANA. Lets be supportive of this new board.

  3. andylustig says:

    With a new board so clearly hostile to the Executive Director and perhaps biased against various plans and projects unfinished by the outgoing board,I fear there will be an unhealthy and strong tendency to clean every possible slate. Of course I hope I’m wrong, but I’m not taking any chances. I will pay close attention to the board’s actions, attend as many meetings as possible, and – if necessary – make quite a pest of myself. I encourage all other members of the ANA to do the same.

  4. Mark says:

    What was the number of votes cast for President and Vice President?

  5. William says:

    I just might have to rejoin the ANA agin then. I sure didn’t like who was running things before and all of the contrversial junk that was going on behind cloosed doors. I quit them because I just didn’t think that the ANA was for the collecter any more only for the Rich Lawyer type like who was running things …

  6. Dave Harper says:

    Because the president and vice president ran unopposed, all that the audit firm did was assure itself that each got at least one valid vote and that is the official count for each.

  7. James says:

    The election results are great news! Finally, there might be some real fiscal oversight at the ANA, but the bylaws change stinks to high heaven. Sure, the first few pages look fine, and that’s about as far as anyone is going to read. The old board may as well have given the new board a road map to find financial impropriety. Hint: look at related-party transactions approved by special meeting committees of less than a quorum of board members. Check out these gems:

    "SECTION 4.4 Removal. Any officer or agent may be removed
    by the Board of Governors whenever in the Board’s judgment the best interest of the Association would be served thereby, but removal shall not affect the contract rights, if any, of the person so removed."

    It seems like someone thinks he’s going to be fired, and wants to "clarify" the fact that the board will have to pay him for the amount due under the remainder of his cotract.

    "Section 5.1 Indemnification
    (a) Scope of Indemnification. The Association shall indemnify each Governor, officer, employee and volunteer who serves the Association at the request of the Association to the fullest
    extent permissible under the laws of the District of Columbia…
    (b) Directors & Officers Liability Insurance. The Association does and shall maintain directors and officers liability insurance, which provides insurance coverage for claims made
    against Governors and officers when acting in their official capacities for the Association.
    (c) Savings Clause & Limitation. If any provision of the Act or these Bylaws dealing with indemnification shall be invalidated by any court on any ground, then the Association shall nevertheless indemnify each party otherwise entitled to indemnification hereunder to the fullest extent permitted by law or any applicable provision of the Act or these Bylaws that shall not have been invalidated."

    In other words, someone thinks there’s a good possibility that the new board is going to find something worth suing him about, and wants to make suing him more difficult by requiring the ANA to indemnify him. Judges usually don’t like provisions like that, so you have the savings clause, which actually contemplates the situation where a judge determines that the indemnity provision is invalidated in court. Very self-serving and suspicious, IMHO.

    "SECTION 5.3 Conflicts of Interest
    The Association may enter into a contract, transaction or other financial relationship between the Association and a
    Governor or officer, or between the Association and a party related to the Governor or officer, or between the Association and an entity in which the Governor or officer is a director or
    officer or has a financial interest; provided that either:
    (a) The material facts as to the Governor’s or officer’s relationship or interest and as to the conflicting interest transaction are disclosed or are known to the Board of Governors or to a committee of the Board of Governors that authorizes, approves or ratifies the conflicting interest transaction, and the Board of Governors or committee in good faith authorizes, approves or ratifies the conflicting interest transaction by the affirmative vote of a majority of the disinterested Governors on the Board of Governors or committee, even though the disinterested Governors are less than a quorum…"

    So, as long as a committee of governors at some point knowingly approved a conflict of interest transaction, it’s OK.

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