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Viewpoint: Questions posed to ANA candidates

By Robert Matitia


At the American Numismatic Association's candidate forum March 10 at the National Money Show in Orlando, Fla., I would direct the following questions.

To Mike Ellis, I would ask:

What is your beef with PNG? It seems as if that is the platform that you are running on … Don’t you think that the numismatic community needs to partner more and build bridges with each other in order for it to grow? Putting up dividing walls and infighting will not do the hobby any good, and it certainly wont do the ANA any good either. What is your opinion on building bridges, and how will you do that? Because so far what I have heard is little plans to do anything other than cut off and out the PNG. Doesn’t seem too promising of a platform.

To Gary Adkins I would ask:

What is your opinion on the relationships between PNG and the ANA, and how can we grow together stronger? How can we use each other’s strengths to promote the hobby?

To both I would ask:

1) What are your plans to balance the budget, without depleting year after year the ANA’s endowment?

2) Do you think the recent dip into the ANA’s endowment for enhanced IT investment and website design has shown any return on investment? To me, the website seems as clunky and non-user-friendly as before.

3) What are your plans for some grass-roots efforts to visit every state to promote the ANA? To most collectors, the ANA is very disconnected unless you are a wealthy collector or large dealer or auction house. Our local club has been paying dues to the ANA for decades, yet when I attended an ANA convention in Chicago in 2013, not even one club in my area of Ohio was listed in the binder – yes, binder! Not a laptop database, but a crusty old incomplete binder. We have eight clubs in Northeast Ohio, many of which are paying members of the ANA, but we see no benefit or educational resources that we can draw upon. If there are resources, no one knows about them or how to access them, such as PowerPoint presentations that we can use, etc.

4) The ANA’s online presence is dismal. The YouTube videos are fingernails on chalkboards, and many look like they were videoed with a potato. Amateur collectors and stackers are putting out better content weekly than the ANA. There were interviews with the Legendary Q. David Bowers that were monumental, but the video was horrible. It doesn’t take much fancy equipment; all you need is an iPad or iPhone. Don’t script the videos either. That is not what people on social media want! They want natural vids like you were talking to your buddy about coins, not a scripted, garbled, sweaty presentation. I encourage you to look at great numismatic video content on YouTube and follow the lead from amateur video-makers who have thousands of followers and subscribers and views. The ANA’s videos have piddly, if any, views. Social media, like YouTube, is a way to reach the world at literally the cost of an iPhone. You don’t need to edit and be professional about it. No one is interested in edits, just be natural. And you haven’t done this at all.

This “Viewpoint” was written by hobbyist Robert Matitia.

Viewpoint is a forum for the expression of opinion on a variety of numismatic subjects. To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Send email to

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