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ANA can be great

Congratulations to Kim Kiick on her new job as executive director of the American Numismatic Association.

Yesterday, the ANA announced that she was taking over the post most recently vacated by Jeff Shevlin. Shevlin served just 10 months.

I have always enjoyed working with her over the years and I wish her good luck.

The ANA needs a strong executive director to put an end to the instability that has plagued the institution. By the same token, the new executive director needs all ANA members to give the organization a helping hand in any way they can, even if it is just expressing good wishes.

I do not assume ANA members are without memory. The events of the 21st century have been mostly disastrous for it. We members will carry scars for a while.

However, if the ANA is ever to get it right it must start with the membership not holding the past against the new executive director.

We must give her a chance. Finances, which have been a serious problem in the past, have been mostly stabilized, though the key question now is whether a sizable chunk of revenue can continue to be generated annually from payments by auction firms for rights to hold the official ANA convention sales.

Times have changed. Online auctions might render public outcry convention auctions obsolete. If that is the case, a new and very large hole will open up in the ANA budget.

Technology can also be a friend. A state-of-the-art website will be welcomed by members and might prove to be a tool for attracting new members that have no memory of the organization’s recent travails, or of the 20th century's way of doing things.

It is my hope that Kiick will lay out a plan with two or three readily understood goals and then set to work to implement it.

Nothing will rally the membership more than the realization that some good work is being done in their name.

The sooner that work is started, the better.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."