New Orleans ANA is now a part of history. This big event for me was of course the Candidate Forum for candidates running for the ANA Board of Governors.
Jeff Garret (running unopposed for the Vice President job) and Richard Josefiak (another candidate for governor) were not present, but the other thirteen candidates for governor were all there. If you want to watch it, it can be found here, all three hours of it.
A couple of things struck me as the forum went on. One is that there were a couple of candidates who struck me as loose cannon. Another is that some of the candidates have an axe to grind, in particular with regard to the “firing” of Jeff Shevlin.
As I’ve said in the past we do not know and cannot know and cannot be told everything that went into this decision. Whether or not it was justified, the ANA would be sued simply for letting the information get out. The ANA is already being sued for slander because of rumors circulating as to why Larry Sheppard was terminated.
It is entirely possible that the folks defending Jeff Shevlin are completely right and that he was doing a wonderful job and got railroaded. But they are wrong to assume that this is the case based on their friendship with Mr. Shevlin. I personally have heard one side of the story (Mr. Shevlin’s), and although it does sound appalling, it would be wrong for me to jump to a conclusion without hearing both sides. When one serves on the ANA Board, one has to leave one’s prejudices, personal preferences, and preconceptions outside the door. A lot is at stake in running an organization of this size and we don’t need loose cannon or people with an axe to grind getting onto this board.
(However, let me praise them too: Unlike so many people who stand on the sidelines and throw darts at the ANA Board, they are willing to get involved.)
I believe we need a board that will try to figure out what has gone wrong with the executive director recruitment process and day to day performance once hired. I am sure that whatever the answer to these questions is I won’t like it. I won’t like it because I happen to like just about everyone involved. Someone will come out of this looking really really bad, and I don’t imagine it will be anyone I could even guess at today, much less my preconceived notion.
On second thought there is a place for someone with an axe to grind on the board. I do have an axe to grind, myself. But my axe is the good of the ANA. I want to do this because I want to leave the ANA a better organization than when I started. The ANA does a lot for collectors, and the more serious the collector the more it does. My reward for my service will, if I have anything to say about it, a better ANA.