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Ambassador awards given at annual FUN breakfast

I had the honor of being the emcee at the annual Florida United Numismatists Numismatic Ambassador Breakfast in Orlando today.

Five distinguished individuals were added to a roster that begins back in 1974.

The award is a very special one.

This year’s recipients were chosen for the honor by a vote of the living holders of the award.

Tony Swicer runs the nominating and voting process.

I get to pass out plaques and grin for the camera. I can’t beat this arrangement.

More importantly, I get to rub elbows with the people who make organized numismatics tick.

They make a distinguished group.

See if you don’t agree by taking a look at the brief hobby biographies compiled by Swicer below:

Tony Bonaro – Jacksonville, Fla.

Tony has been interested in coins since childhood. He is a 13-year member of FUN and a 11-year FUN board member. He is the “YN Program” at the FUN shows. Tony has been a scout leader for 37 years and over the last 12 years has helped over 1,800 scouts receive their coin collecting merit badge. He is the YN coordinator at the G Jacksonville CC and he runs the YN program at their semi-annual coin shows. He writes the “YN Column” in FUN Topics and he has received the ANA Point of Light Award, the FUN Presidential Award in 2011 and 2018, and the GJCC Distinguished Service Award. Member ANA, FUN, GJCC. Tony mentored 3 ANA YN’s of the Year: Jeff Swindling, Peyton Souder, and Abby Zechman (2018 winner).

Michael Ellis – Camilla, Ga.

Mike is a member of over 15 numismatic organizations including the ANA, CONECA, NCADD, FUN, NLG, and TAMS. He is a club officer, exhibitor, exhibit judge, speaker, author, and dealer. He was an ANA governor, instructor at the ANA summer seminar, editor of over 25 numismatic books, authenticator/grader at ANACS & ICG. Over ten numismatic awards. There is not enough room to list all of his credentials.

Rod Gillis – Colorado Springs, Colo.

Rod is Education Director at the ANA in Colorado Springs, teaching Coin Collecting 101 at ANA conventions, hosting the Treasure Trivia, and teaching at the ANA Summer Seminar. He manages the ANA Coins for A’s Program and brought the YN Dollar Auction into the 21st Century by going digital. He supports the ANA Money Museum Tours and has exhibited at numerous shows. He is a Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselor. He is a member of ANA, FUN, and the Society of Bearded Numismatists.

Brett Irick – Dearborn, Mich.

Brett has been an exhibitor and exhibit judge for over 10 years (ANA Howland Wood Award Winner). He has held positions in numerous clubs and regional and national numismatic organizations. He is currently ANA Chief of Exhibit Judge Training and Certifier. He is President of Michigan State Numismatic Society and VP of Central States. He has won the ANA 2018 District Rep of the Year, ANA & RCNA Presidential Awards, ANA Glen Smedley Award, ANA Joseph Boling Judging Excellence Award, and the Ontario Numismatic Association Fellow Award. He is a member of 18 numismatic organizations.

David Lisot – Richardson, Texas

David has been in numismatics since 1971. He is a writer, researcher, publisher, cataloger, public speaker, and videographer. He founded Coin Television in 2001. He has produced several award-winning videos. Since the 1980s, he has videotaped over 1,000 lectures and presentations on coins and is still videotaping at all major shows. He worked for Heritage Auction Galleries from 2003-08. He was an ANA Governor in 1994-95. He received the ANA Glenn Smedley award and Presidential award. He received the NSDR Presidential award, CSNS Medal of Merit, FUN Presidential award, and multiple NLG awards. Member of numerous numismatic organizations including ANA, AINA, CSNA, CSNS, FUN, NLG, and more.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017. He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."