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Good start to 2008 by ANA

I think the American Numismatic Association board of governors should be commended for the public forum it held Jan. 12 at the Florida United Numismatists convention in Orlando.

President Barry Stuppler showed a command of facts and a sense of humor as he took questions. He had anticipated a need to provide what he called the “Presidents Report on the State of the Association,” which he handed out to those in attendance.

It is an eight-page handout with solid information in it. This is the first time it has ever been done. I don’t remember that anyone said thank you, but I do remember that he was criticized for not handing it out sooner.

I think the criticism is symptomatic of some pent-up frustrations from prior years rather than a legitimate one. Stuppler took it in stride and kept moving forward.

It was announced that the ANA board would meet four times a year on a regular schedule. The first meeting would be in January at the FUN show, the second at the National Money Show, which is usually in March, the third at the World’s Fair of Money that occurs in a July-August time window over the years and an October meeting at headquarters in Colorado Springs.

Hobbyists should be able to very easily attend the meetings if they are at the conventions.

It takes effort to put the ANA back on a course that the members will approve. There is frustration about lawsuits expressed by the membership, but the legal counsel, Ron Sirna, had a very good metaphor. He said litigation is like riding a toboggan. Once you start downhill, it is very difficult to do anything other than complete the ride.

Living in Wisconsin as I do, I thought it was a very apt observation. He said the ANA was working on this issue as diligently as it can but he was not going to share his legal strategy with the public.

That seems logical. You can’t show all your cards in a poker game before the betting stops.

The board showed a constructive seriousness of purpose and was not defensive. Will that lead to success? There is no way to know, but it seems like a good start to me.