Eight years ago my future wife and I decided we needed a career change. While working a night shift at the newspaper, a friend doing freelance work in our office told us about the company he worked for, Krause Publications, and suggested we might like to look into it further.
Several weeks later we made the hour drive west to Iola to meet with the human resources director and find out more about KP. What we found was an amazing story, the world’s leading hobby publisher based in a community of 1,300 people, producing magazines, books, and shows across a variety of interest areas.
What we also found was that while KP served automotive, sports, outdoor, and antiques enthusiasts, it was clear which collecting community served as the foundation for this unique enterprise: numismatics.
Have you ever been to our office? It’s like a coin and currency research museum.
Upon entering the main lobby, you encounter a cased display of Red Feather Money from the Solomon Islands. In the corner is a Norman Rockwell painting of a numismatist called “The Collector.” Past the front desk is a large plaque listing all winners of the Numismatic Ambassador Award, and a Coin of the Year trophy. Take five more steps and you’ll see a framed copy of the first Numismatic News.
Further into the building is our library. A numismatist could spend a year in there and still leave wanting more.
Numismatics is all around us here at KP, and in Iola as well. If you have any appreciation of history, it’s easy to see that none of us in this company would be here today if Chet Krause hadn’t launched Numismatic News in 1952. Perhaps many of you reading this publication wouldn’t be involved in this hobby to the extent that you are now if not for Chet’s creation.
It is with this appreciation of what has come before that I have entered the role of publisher of KP’s numismatics group. It is an honor to serve such a rich hobby of dedicated enthusiasts, and to serve them alongside the hard-working, knowledgeable members of our staff.
I am not a numismatist. From my past dealings with our numismatic online properties I have a working knowledge of some basic terms, but most of my education in this field will be on the job — and I intend to get the best education possible!
What I am is a media professional who over the course of his career has worked across a number of different subject areas and quickly adapted to each. My first jobs out of college were as a newspaper sports editor. At KP I started as an editor in our construction group, then moved on to work as an online editorial director with numismatics, automotive, and antiques. For the past year I have served as associate publisher of our collectibles group.
Now I have the privilege of leading what our management has termed our numismatics community. The community approach to organizing the company is a novel one that has drawn praise both from employees and media industry observers.
In a departure from our old structure, under the new setup one community leader oversees everything in that subject area. For numismatics, that includes Numismatic News, Coins, Coin Prices, Bank Note Reporter, and World Coin News; our entire outstanding book line; the Chicago International Coin Fair, Chicago Paper Money Expo, and MidAmerica Coin Expo; and NumisMaster.com, NumismaticNews.com, and our email newsletters.
The last few weeks have been a crash course for me, learning as much as possible about our products, the hobby, and our products’ place in the hobby. But there is so much more to learn.
That’s where you come in. I would like to hear from you: what you like about what we’re doing, what we could be doing differently, what new things we could do, etc. No promises on implementing these ideas, but we need to hear them.
I plan on attending as many shows as possible to get face-to-face with the collectors and dealers who make numismatics tick. But if I don’t see you at a show, feel free to contact me by email or mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or 700 East State St., Iola, WI 54990.
One last note: my wife and I are getting the numismatics bug, and hoping to pass it along to our sons. Just last week as a Christmas gift we bought the boys each a set of all 50 state quarters in uncirculated condition, and we know they’ll love them!