The ANA election process is over. The membership of the ANA now needs to get involved. The new board needs to take some immediate steps to improve communication and restore trust.
Now it?s time for all ANA members to get behind the new board of governors (President Barry Stuppler, Vice President Patti Finner and Cliff Mishler, Chet Krause, Ed Rochette, Joe Boling, Radford Stearns, Walt Ostromecki and Wendell Wolka). The membership has spoken. This is the team they want to lead the ANA over the next two years.
But, it will be impossible for this team to get much done if those of us who have up-to-now been on the sidelines don?t pitch in and provide the support necessary to keep the ANA moving forward. Voice your opinions and thoughts, volunteer for committees and where possible contribute to the financial well being of the association.
Volunteering for committees is important. Even more important is communication. Over the last two, three and four elections each and every candidate has run on a platform of ?improving communications? with the membership. It just hasn?t happened.
What?s different this time? The way we communicate is different. We?ve entered, like it or not, the age of instant communication ? iPods, cell phones, instant messaging. The world is connected and the world wants to be kept informed. Both the board and the membership now have a chance to make a real difference in this or any other organization.
In the ANA?s case, we need to improve the means and let the membership know it?s being listened to. Members need to: write to the new governors, attend board meetings, contact them by e-mail, go to the ANA Web site (www.money.org) and express their thoughts in the member?s opinion area. The board needs to: stop hiding behind closed sessions (saving those only for personnel and contract issues); making open meetings really open by not scheduling them on Monday and Tuesday of conventions when the membership has not yet arrived, but instead holding them on Thursday and Friday of that week and not holding them when the bourse is in full swing, instead having meetings from 8 to 10:30 a.m. and again from 4 to 6:30 p.m.; by asking the ANA and other sponsors (FUN, LB etc.) to not schedule lectures, numismatic theater presentations, club meetings, seminars or other activities during those hours; by asking the auction company not to schedule events or sessions during those hours; and by publishing the agenda at least one week in advance of those meetings in both the Numismatist and in popular hobby publications. The new board, if it?s serious about improving communication, also needs to get the Web site fixed and fixed fast so that the opinion area is easy to find and far more user friendly, by publishing all of the minutes of meetings in a timely fashion (within two weeks) in the Numismatist and in the more widely read hobby publications. The board needs to get more members involved in the organization by appointing more members to committees, not by having one person serve on three or four different committees. Members of course must volunteer. Today would be a good day to do that!
There is a lot of work to be done in the next two years and the time to start is now. Those of us who were sitting on the sidelines during the election process now need to get involved. You need to contact these new board members, you need to show your support, you need to volunteer and you need to recruit new members.
One big issue seems to be the lack of support member clubs receive, especially smaller and newer clubs. If you have ideas on how to improve relations with member clubs, or get more members of these clubs to be ANA members, or how to improve the outreach program (regional coordinators) contact the new governors. Over the next couple of months, this group will be reviewing the proposed by-law changes, setting goals and objectives, and making sure the ANA has a viable vision for the future. It really doesn?t matter if these are or aren?t the candidates that you supported, these are the candidates that the membership as group elected. As ANA members its now our responsibility to get involved, get active, voice our thoughts and move the ANA forward. Not an ANA member? Why not join now. Visit the ANA Web site www.money.org. You?ll be glad you did. It?s going to be an exciting time and you?re going to have chance to participate as never before.
Ray Flanigan is a 48-year member of the ANA and active in several local and national coin clubs. He resides in Leland, N.C.
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