By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek....
This is the sixth in a series of journals that we’re preparing in the lead-up to the August ANA elections. We’d like to thank Georgia Numismatic Association member and American Numismatic Association District Delegate Richard Jozefiak for his participation.
Richard Jozefiak is a collector, a numismatic author, and an active member of the Georgia Numismatic Association who also serves as a District Representative for the American Numismatic Association. He currently works as a defense contractor, which allows him ample opportunity to travel across the United States and abroad. On many of his trips, he tries to take in the numismatic scene in the locations he is visiting.
Jozefiak joined the ANA in 1990 and became an ANA club representative in 1992 when his job took him to Florida. Over the years, his passion for coins and the ANA led him to take on an expanded role in the organization.
In the late 1990s, Jozefiak moved to Northern Virginia and joined clubs in Washington, DC and the surrounding region. In 2000, he was transferred to Huntsville, Alabama, a location without a coin club, so in 2001 he launched the Madison County Coin Club.
Jozefiak’s approach to the challenges the ANA faces comes from a grass roots perspective. His familiarity with local and regional organizations, coupled with his active involvement in the national club, leads Jozefiak to believe that he has the toolkit necessary to do what’s best to shape the future of the ANA.
The following profile and interview was developed based on our in-depth telephone interview with Jozefiak.
The Situation on the Ground
If the ANA is going to grow its rolls, it has to understand the situation on the ground. This is the perspective Richard Jozefiak shared with us when we spoke last week.
Jozefiak told us a story about the Georgia Numismatic Association’s 49th Coin & Currency Show, held April 19-21, 2013 at the Northwest Trade Center in Dalton, Georgia. ANA Executive Director Jeff Shevlin was invited to attend the show and was scheduled to give a presentation about the ANA on Saturday, April 20th at noon. Two ANA staffers were also slated to attend.
At the last minute, the event’s organizers were notified via email that a scheduling conflict had arisen and that the Director could not make it. No further reason was given and no other official from the ANA stepped forward to attend the show on the organization’s behalf. The ANA staffers Rod Gillis and Doug Mudd filled in for the absent Shevlin and did a great job representing the ANA, but Jozefiak wonders (and we do, too) whether the ANA should have tried to send a Governor in his place. Unfortunately, a high profile opportunity to hand over a sizable donation to a high-ranking elected ANA official was missed.
The Jozefiak Platform
The core platform Jozefiak is running on is simple as he defines it. It is comprised of four major themes, all of which focus on the organization strengthening its ties to local coin communities. He seeks to: bring stability of leadership and vision to the ANA; go forward with the organization’s strategic plan; improve fellowship among members by improving the ANA’s website; and finally, put volunteers on the ground to interact with local and regional clubs to give grassroots collector organizations access to the leadership of the ANA and face time with the individual governors.
Jozefiak says that voters should know that he brings with him years of operational experience, which includes planning, budgeting, and developing programs and initiatives. One such idea, which may bear fruit for the future fiscal health of the organization, is an effort to list the ANA in the Combined Federal Campaign, an annual charity drive that includes thousands of charitable organizations and has a high participation rate amongst all Federal employees - including members of the Armed Services. “It’s a no cost opportunity for the ANA,” Jozefiak told us. “The CFC is a high profile fund drive with more than four million people who can contribute. We are trying to get into the program by 2014”.
Growing the ANA by thinking local
If the ANA is going to grow, Jozefiak believes, it needs to follow the model implemented by the Georgia Numismatic Association, which has an active membership, many of whom are also ANA members. “In fact, the ANA’s participation in our show gave us a 20% increase in vendors over the year before. It also translated into a 22% increase in attendance.”
He cited this as evidence that the ANA can do more at a local level to be relevant to ordinary collectors. “Many people I talk to don’t understand what they get out of an ANA membership. If they don’t read the magazine and can’t travel to coin shows or to the ANA’s headquarters in Colorado, what’s in it for them? We need to position the ANA so that it’s viable to these people. If we can meet the expectations of the modern collector they will want to be part of the ANA.”
Jozefiak acknowledges that the ANA already has a wealth of great programs, including Summer Seminar, the Money Museum, and the ANA lending library, but it can do more to be a local resource for collectors. “Being remote these days is simply not viable”.
Moving beyond past controversies
Jozefiak also thinks the ANA needs to regain the trust of its members. “We have to look forward. The way things were done in the past were [sic] not good for the ANA. The Board should learn from their mistakes and try not to repeat them again. When you work in a military-type organization, like I have, the first thing you learn in command is that you just don’t boot out commanders without exceptional reasons- you need stability in the organization. People need to have confidence that the organization is stronger than its personalities. Right now, people would be forgiven if they thought that their ANA dues simply went to pay off lawsuits and other frivolous expenses.”
Jozefiak doesn’t know why the Board ousted Executive Director Jeff Shevlin. Nobody knows outside of the Governors themselves and the organization’s senior leadership, and they aren’t talking. Shevlin himself has kept mum. Jozefiak feels that silence on the matter feeds into the stigma that currently surrounds the ANA.
“The ANA needs new governors on board. The ANA needs new ideas. At a minimum there will be three brand new people, whether there will be more depends on the voters.”
The ultimate responsibility for the future sustainability of the ANA falls not on the governors, but on the voters. We are the ones who have the responsibility to shape the organization with the decisions we make this August.
“You can make all the suggestions you want. If you don’t vote, it doesn’t matter.”
Flip of a Coin:
With the reverse of one bearing a clockwise wreath and a beer mug and the other bearing a counterclockwise wreath and the word ODEON, the Gustavus Lindenmueller Civil War tokens have been surrounded by mystery and controversy since they were issued sometime in the first couple years of the Civil War. Though larger than a cent, some argue that the pieces were meant to be redeemable for goods and services at one of Lindenmueller’s businesses. Others think they might have been redeemable for cash. That is, until Lindenmueller himself refused to accept them, or so the story goes. Whatever their origin, these peculiar Civil War-era curiosities have intrigued collectors for generations.
Have a collection of forgeries and counterfeits? A black cabinet, if you will? Well, while ownership of fakes is a murky legal area, possession without the intent to defraud is settled law. United States v. Cardillo (1983) and United States v. Ratner (1972) are two key cases on the matter.