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Mike Ellis wants fresh start for ANA

The past and present converge again as the American Numismatic Association prepares to hold its biennial mail election in June-July.

All has been quiet on the ANA’s legal front for the better part of two years thanks to the work of former President Walter Ostromecki and current President Jeff Garrett and their respective boards of governors.

Former board member Mike Ellis announced his intention to run for ANA president Jan. 6, 2017, during the Florida United Numismatists convention in Fort Lauderdale.

He was a political victim as the ANA moved forward to settle a lawsuit that had been filed by former executive director Larry Shepherd.

Ellis resigned from the board Jan. 9, 2015, also at a FUN convention.

As I wrote at the time, only a vague reason was given. “He realized he had made a mistake and chose to step down from the board,” were the words of then President Ostromecki.

The suit filed by Shepherd was settled soon thereafter with undisclosed terms.

Ellis remained a member of ANA in good standing with no restriction on his right to run for the board in the future.

An ANA press release later said that “Ellis will continue as an instructor for the Florence Schook School of Numismatics, which includes teaching at Summer Seminar and numismatic events across the country.”

He is ready to come back now to the ANA political fold.

Ellis is running for president on a number of issues.

The Professional Numismatists Guild and the American Numismatic Association are too close, he believes.

“I would like to separate the PNG from the ANA,” he said.

As for legal issues, he is a fan of the present quiet. He wants the ANA “not to go to court again.”

But internally, he objects to the role of the present legal counsel. He wants a new one.

“She’s making a killing off us breathing down our neck 24/7,” he said.

Hollie Wieland currently is ANA’s general counsel.

“I love Summer Seminar. I love all that ANA does with the museum program, the Internet and shows,” Ellis said.

He would like ANA to “concentrate on making those things as enjoyable as they are.

“I feel like I am a very qualified person to help people enjoy their membership in ANA,” Ellis said.

His decision to run for president after having resigned from the board has a recent precedent.

Former President Ostromecki had resigned from the board in 2005. He later returned. He was elected president in 2013. He presently is an ANA board member.

There is no other declared candidate for ANA president, but it is a long way until the March 1 filing deadline for this year's election.

Vice President Gary Adkins might want to move up. His nomination papers were circulating at FUN just in case.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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