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Who Can Do the Job?
January 23, 2008

The president of the American Numismatic Association, Barry Stuppler, received 37 applications for the job of executive director by the deadline, which passed during the Florida United Numismatists convention. All applications had to be in or postmarked by Jan. 11.

"I would characterize them as outstanding," he e-mailed me yesterday and promised an updated action timeline by Friday.

At the FUN convention he had expressed his hopes at the ANA public forum that interviews could be conducted at the Long Beach convention, which is Feb. 14-16, and a new hire could be announced at the National Money Show, which will be held March 7-9 in Phoenix.

Perhaps the timeline update will show a revision to that, but what I do know is the search committee is moving ahead as expeditiously as possible in reviewing the applications. It consists of Stuppler, Vice President Patti Jagger Finner, Gov. Clifford Mishler and Ron Sirna, who is legal counsel.

Whoever is chosen will have to have the intestinal fortitude to weather the process of working through the lawsuits and legal problems that are plaguing the organization, inspire the membership and staff and work through serious budget problems.

I think someone from the hobby who knows and understands the issues involved would be stronger than a nonhobby candidate. I forecast that this is how the board would lean in my speech to the Sarasota Coin Club.

Any review of ANA history of the last 20 years cannot help but note that the organization has gotten further and further away from its hobby roots and the results have been getting progressively worse.

That doesn't mean that what I think is the way the board will think. The members will make up their own minds, but I hope they do a serious review of how the organization has arrived at its present condition.

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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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