By Clifford Mishler
I would like to register some constructive words, along with a few that are critical, in rebuttal of Ronald Brown’s “Blurring of lines between ANA, PNG raises concerns” assertions in his “Letters” submission published in the April 4, 2017, edition of Numismatic News.
As a former board member (2007-2013) and past president (2009-2011) of the American Numismatic Association, and having since 1950 been continuously exposed to and involved in the hobby, business and politics of our community, I roundly reject Brown’s assertion that “any person running for office in the ANA must pledge their allegiance to the ANA and void any other membership activity.” Most of us are not possessed of singular involvements.
We are all members of a wonderful hobby community. We seek the same things: enjoyment, satisfaction, fulfillment, experiences, passions or other rewards. We may be hole-fillers or slab enthusiasts, we may be interested in the historical underpinnings or the artistic appeal, we may be a mom-and-pop dealer or a national show circuit dealer, we may be youthful initiates or seasoned veterans, perhaps even writers or publishers.
What we all need to be is supportive of the likes of ANA, PNG, ANS, ICTA, TAMS, SPMC and all the other organizations that serve our community from the bottom up, starting with your local coin club and storefront dealer. What we should never be is dismissive or derisive of the other stations in our community.
In maintaining that to serve on the ANA board, any “stakeholders of coin businesses should put their business holdings into blind trusts for the duration that they hold office in the ANA,” Mr. Brown appears to haul from the radical political left, to frame how I read his expressed attitude, in keeping with contemporary political posturing. What our hobby community needs is not divisiveness, but compromise and understanding.
While I’ve since 2013 been only an outside observer of the ongoing development and evolution of the ANA, after having served on the ANA board through six challenging and troubling years, I must commend the boards and officers on the wisdom and bearing they’ve evidenced as a body through the past four. That is in some significant measure, in my opinion, the result of the participation of successful businessmen.
Mr. Brown opines that the presence of PNG members on the ANA board represents “elitism” and “many possible conflict issues.” My belief is that these individuals have brought sorely needed business experience to the board. Each and every one of them got their start as collectors and have the hobby community at heart ... with the desire to leave behind a richer legacy as tokens of their service.
You and every member of our hobby community will benefit if ANA members pick their choices for the president and seven officers to be elected by carefully reading and assessing the biographical sketches that will be published, for what they reveal about the business success of the candidate, not his collecting, membership or other narrow credits.
And, remember, we must all, each in our own ways, be partners in perpetuating this enriching community.
This Viewpoint was written by Clifford Mishler, Numismatic News columnist, past Krause Publications president and past American Numismatic Association president.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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