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ANA Delay Mystifying
August 26, 2011

The American Numismatic Association has a problem. It’s not what you think.

This week the board of governors announced it had put executive director Larry Shepherd on administrative leave Aug. 23.

This was three full days and then some after the action was taken Aug. 20.


During the three days the telephone lines and Internet connections of those average members who are concerned about the ANA were buzzing with speculation.

Much of it was groundless.

But the ANA leadership’s extreme delay in getting the word out is inexplicable.

The executive session of the board was called into session at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, Aug. 20, the final day of the World’s Fair of Money.

How do I know?

I was there.

The press was invited.

After discussion of an issue that is of little interest to my readers, the press was asked to leave.

Then the board turned its attention to other matters. One of these apparently was Larry Shepherd.

So why did the board not contact the members of the press once it had acted? I was on the bourse packing up the Krause booth until 4 p.m.

If not that, why was a statement not issued then?

Text of the statement, if you don’t recall it from my Wednesday blog is this:

“American Numismatic Association Executive Director Larry Shepherd has been placed on administrative leave during an organizational review process, President Tom Hallenbeck has announced.”

It takes the board of governors three days to come up with this?

Why did they leave the board room at the convention center without having an agreed statement? The board members were present. Larry Shepherd was present. ANA staff was present. The legal counsel was present. Ex-governors were present.

Yet three days passed.

I waited until Tuesday morning before I posted my first blog on the topic after hearing more and more speculative scenarios from others.

The ANA board of governors cannot control how the membership will react to its actions, but it can control the degree to which it is perceived as a serious body with a professional approach to tackling the issues it confronts.

Taking three days to issue a one-sentence press release is neither serious nor professional.

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Recent Comments
On August 26, 2011 Ray Lockwood said
Dave, I couldn't agree more with your concern about the three day delay. I did my own investigation by contacting four of the ANA Board members. I concentrated on the three new ones and one veteran who is a very good friend. All I came up with was essentially what Greg Lyon told Coin News...that the charges against Larry Shepherd were serious and known to the old and new Boards and that a third party was going to investigate. That's still ALL we know. So much for transparency.
On September 9, 2011 Sid Nusbaum LM 1712 said
It is now Sept.9, 2011 . Are we going to find out what the charges are against Larry Shepherd or be kept in the dark ?

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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