This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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Five new Numismatic Ambassadors were inducted at the 2010 annual Ambassador breakfast held Aug. 12 at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Boston.
Numismatic News editor Dave Harper gave plaques, pins and medals that signify the award to each recipient. This was witnessed by 110 other attendees at the breakfast.
The award, which was created in 1974 by Numismatic News, recognizes hard-working indivduals who volunteer to make organized numismatics what it is and who might not otherwise be recognized with awards given by other organizations.
Nominations are made by anyone in the hobby. Bios of each nominee are written and then sent with a ballot to each of the other award holders. They then vote their choices and the top five selected were named the 2010 award winners.
In his opening remarks at the breakfast, which honors all holders of the award who wish to attend, Harper jokingly noted that technology was rapidly changing the lives of collectors. The U.S. Mint just went on Twitter and Facebook, he said, to illustrate his point, but then explained that historically collectors were always quick adapters to technological change. After Gutenberg printed the Bible on his printing press in 15th century Germany, the second book produced was a coin reference and the third book to appear in Europe was a Chinese counterfeit of the second book.
Below are the full biographies of the five new Numismatic Ambassadors.
Steven Bieda Warren, Mich.
Steven Bieda has a Life Membership in the American Numismatic Association and holds membership in the American Numismatic Society, Michigan State Numismatic Society, Royal Oak Coin Club, Michigan Token and Medal Society, Central States Numismatic Society and Society for U.S. Commemorative Coins. For MSNS, he has served on the board of governors, as well as filling the role of by-laws
chairman and acting legal counsel. Bieda is an active exhibitor
and speaker for MSNS and was president of the Grosse Pointe Numismatic Society. He was a Michigan state representative who helped initiate legislation for the 2004 Thomas Edison dollar through his congressman and senators. It was Bieda’s idea to recognize the role of U.S. coin collectors, whose surcharges on the coin went to the recipient organization, with a commemorative plaque at Edison’s boyhood home in Port Huron, Mich. Bieda also designed the reverse of the 1992 Olympic half dollar commemorative and the official medal for the 125th anniversary of the Michigan State Capitol. He has authored articles for Numismatic News and is a regular volunteer and speaker at numismatic shows. He has made numerous presentations to schools, scouts and senior citizen programs. “Steven is a very outgoing, enthusiastic speaker who clearly enjoys sharing his time and knowledge of numismatics,” a nominator wrote. “His active participation in speaking before non-coin collecting groups about the hobby, activities and memberships with numerous coin clubs, and his status as an author, exhibitor, designer and overall hobby proponent are all testaments to his hobby-building credentials.”
Michael S. Fey Ironia, N.J.
Dr. Michael S. Fey is president of Rare Coin Investments and a member of many national and local numismatic organizations. He has been involved in the numismatic hobby for almost 50 years, in which time he developed a revolutionary concept for coin books with his Top 100 book. Fey attributes coins for free by mail, provides advice to dealers and collectors at every show he attends and also answers questions daily by telephone and e-mail. His newsletter is the most widely read subscription publication for Morgan and Peace dollar varieties in numismatics. He has reported more than 50 new numismatic discoveries and was the first person ever to complete a set of 1878 8TF Morgan dollar varieties. Fey was a member of the ANA board of governors, and served as vice president of the Society of Silver Dollar Collectors. With many publications, speeches and inventions under his belt, Dr. Fey has been a pioneer and major contributor of an ever-expanding base of silver dollar variety collecting.
Dennis Schafluetzel Hixon, Tenn.
Dennis Schafluetzel has held almost every office in the Tennessee and Georgia Numismatic Associations. He is actively pushing these organizations to become more educational in scope. Schafluetzel has served as exhibits chairman for both state groups, which have experienced an increase in the number of exhibits under his guidance. He has also created new exhibit categories, such as the Junior Open category, to encourage more young numismatists to exhibit. Schafluetzel has served as assistant exhibit chairman for the World’s Fair of Money and exhibit chairman for the National Money Show. His own paper money exhibits have been enjoyed by collectors at many shows. Schafluetzel was instrumental in founding the Chattanooga Currency Club. He has written articles for a variety of numismatic publications, co-authored a digital book on Chattanooga currency and has spoken at numerous local and young numismatist clubs. He attends ANA Summer Seminar routinely to become more knowledgeable and readily passes that knowledge through his writing and extensive exhibiting. He is the recipient of ANA’s President’s Award and Glenn Smedley Award, as well as the NLG Extraordinary Merit Award. “He has brought numerous new individuals into our local clubs and has enhanced the collecting enjoyment of our current members with his knowledge, accessibility and friendliness,” a nominator wrote. “If he does not deserve to be an Ambassador of this hobby, then I do not know who does,” another wrote.
Jeffrey Swindling Jacksonville, Fla.
Dr. Jeffrey Swindling’s peers describe him as “an outstanding representative of the hobby.” Dr. Swindling was the Scout committee chairman for the 2002 and 2007 American Numismatic Association conventions and appointed ANA’s national Young Numismatist and Scout Committee chairperson in 2007. He is assistant for Scout clinics at the Florida United Numismatists show. He is an ANA member and serves as a national volunteer and district
representative. He was club representative for the Greater Jacksonville Coin Club. He has recruited more than 200 new members to the ANA and other organizations. He is an exhibitor and a certified judge. He is also on
the staff of the National Boy Scout Jamboree as part of the Coin Collecting Merit Badge program. “His interaction with tens of thousands of Scouts has encouraged many new young collectors to become true numismatists, and has inspired him to become one of the premiere Merit Badge Clinic instructors in the nation,” a nominator wrote. Swindling has more than 50 articles published in numerous hobby publications, including The Numismatist, FUN Topics and Numismatic News. He was the 2007 recipient of the ANA Glenn Smedley Award and the Medal of Merit in 2009 and he has a Presidential Award from the Greater Jacksonville Coin Club.
Scott A. Travers New York, N.Y.
Scott A. Travers’ nominator describes him as giving “dedicated, tireless and hard work for the betterment of our hobby at all levels of participation.” He has served on the American Numismatic Association board as a governor and vice president. He has given educational programs at national and regional conventions from coast to coast and is a frequent speaker at YN programs and National Coin Week events. Dozens of his presentations have been videotaped and are available to collectors. He also educates through authoring widely available books and software programs that help beginning to advanced collectors and is a sought-after expert on national television and for publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Business Week. Mr. Travers has served as an ANA Summer Seminar instructor and has assisted many coin clubs with their programs. He is the recipient of numerous Numismatic Literary Guild “book of the year” awards, the NLG Clemy Award, an ANA Presidential Award, the ANA Adult Advisor Award, two ANA Glenn Smedley Memorial Awards and the Florida United Numismatists A.J. Vinci Education Award.