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ANA delay mystifying

The American Numismatic Association has a problem. It’s not what you think.

This week the board of governors announced it had put executive director Larry Shepherd on administrative leave Aug. 23.

This was three full days and then some after the action was taken Aug. 20.


During the three days the telephone lines and Internet connections of those average members who are concerned about the ANA were buzzing with speculation.

Much of it was groundless.

But the ANA leadership’s extreme delay in getting the word out is inexplicable.

The executive session of the board was called into session at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, Aug. 20, the final day of the World’s Fair of Money.

How do I know?

I was there.

The press was invited.

After discussion of an issue that is of little interest to my readers, the press was asked to leave.

Then the board turned its attention to other matters. One of these apparently was Larry Shepherd.

So why did the board not contact the members of the press once it had acted? I was on the bourse packing up the Krause booth until 4 p.m.

If not that, why was a statement not issued then?

Text of the statement, if you don’t recall it from my Wednesday blog is this:

“American Numismatic Association Executive Director Larry Shepherd has been placed on administrative leave during an organizational review process, President Tom Hallenbeck has announced.”

It takes the board of governors three days to come up with this?

Why did they leave the board room at the convention center without having an agreed statement? The board members were present. Larry Shepherd was present. ANA staff was present. The legal counsel was present. Ex-governors were present.

Yet three days passed.

I waited until Tuesday morning before I posted my first blog on the topic after hearing more and more speculative scenarios from others.

The ANA board of governors cannot control how the membership will react to its actions, but it can control the degree to which it is perceived as a serious body with a professional approach to tackling the issues it confronts.

Taking three days to issue a one-sentence press release is neither serious nor professional.