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Journal entries from the founder of Legend Numismatics, Laura Sperber, help you stay current with the real happenings of numismatics. A former ANA Board Member, Laura has handled close to $1 billion worth of rare coins to date and has assembled many of the greatest collections ever. Her views and opinions are as "inside" as you can get. Warning: ALL her Hot Topics articles are pretty blunt!
Posted: September 6, 2014 09:04 PM EDT| 0 Replies
Now that I am a year into being on the board, I am sad to admit I have failed to bring any change. I have done little to nothing I promised when I ran for the board. BUT-I do NOT blame the other board members for not working with me, or the board itself. In business I was used to getting my own way and getting things done. So I came in with all this ranting and pent up energy only to hit wall after all. At one point I was so frustrated I thought of quitting. My term as a ANA governor is embarrassing to me. Never before in my business career have I not succeeded at something. I promise that will not be so for my second year.
After some reflection, I have come to the conclusion while its not the immediate changes I want to see, change IS ever so slowly happening at the ANA. The ANA has been brutally run into the ground by prior leadership. Right now it is a very sad organization possibly dying a very slow death. Before ANY changes can be worked on, we need to save the organization itself. The current board of governors in my opinion, IS forward thinking and is working hard to stabilize the ANA. They are not a “rubber stamp: board. I grossly under estimated how difficult and how much work that would be. With each meeting very small progress IS being made.
Jeff Garrett who probably will be the next President just sat down and had a talk with me at Long Beach. He made a great point, instead of blazing with all guns at everything, pick and area and devote my energies to working on that. Jeff’s #1 goal is to fix the membership bleed. My #1 issues have been the ANA Show tied with membership. The problems are just not superficial. They run deep and we have to work on breaking old cultures. We all know that we need to bring the ANA into today’s internet world. We know our marketing is lax. We’re looking at all the critical issues (there is only so much time in the day) of operations. Plus, we are working on organizational issues and infrastructure issues too that have gone limp over the years. The job is massive.
The current board is transparent and really do want the best FOR THE ANA-not for themselves. I also fully support our Executive Director Kim Kiick in the work she is doing. She did an amazing job at the ANA show.
I still want to see the dealers who ruined the ANA be fined, censored, or something. At the very least, they should be suspended for one show. Its also my understanding most of the coins were presold, so its the regular guy on the street as usual who is stuck holding the bag. You have my word I am NOT going to let this issue die with board.
The US Mint has been in touch with the ANA leadership and I can tell you, what happened at the ANA Show recently will NOT ever happen at another. The ANA really got blind sided by everything. The sales got shut down at the show as fast as they could be-security was worried there would be fights and riots if they shut down while the people were there in line. Everything was taken into consideration in correcting that horrible event on the fly. I think the entire ANA staff did one heck of a job!
I am going to take Jeffs advice. Of course I’ll listen and work on everything presented to the board, but I am going to work extra hard on membership and making the ANA Show the once grandest yearly event in the coin world. If you look at the numbers, taking out the Kennedy people, attendance again was down this year. I lose sleep as to why we don’t get 15-25,000 attendees each year. All my life I looked at the ANA Show as a ‘must attend” show where you not only see the biggest dealers, but the educational displays are as good or better them most museums. Specking of education, I have always felt too that the ANA should really expand its seminars/classes to the show-and create a yearly University. Time will tell what we can make happen!
No, I have NOT become complacent at all. I had to learn how things happen in the ANA’s culture. I still would like the ANA to be the leader in consumer protection for collectors. I still want very coin doctor out of business. There are still many issues I will keep on fighting in and outside the ANA until I am at the big bourse floor in the sky! I ran for he board promising change-while I personally have failed to make any significant dents, I can tell you change IS ever so slowly happening. Again, even I did not realize how “sick” the ANA really was. I also did not understand how things worked. You all have my promise I will try harder in my second year-I never give up and I do not quit!
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