New Orleans and the Candidate Forum

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.

2 thoughts on “New Orleans and the Candidate Forum

  1. Paul Williams

    Dear Mr. D’Ippolito,
    Being a life member of the ANA, I am deeply concerned for the future of the organization. I was heartened when Jeff Shevlin was hired, and absolutely thunderstruck when I learned in New Orleans that he had been fired. As you say, we don’t know all the facts, but it’s the rotating door that’s hitting the organization in the ass. Ken Hollenbeck has shared with me the contentious relationships he had years ago with board members and it doesn’t sound like fun being in the midst of it. My personality is not cut out for it. (Disclosure: I am friends with both Jeff and Bill Hyder) The intelligence and egos of coin people are constantly astounding to me. I only reply to your energy to help the ANA with the caution to go slow. Jeff has learned his lesson I fear.
    I was only able to catch a few minutes of the candidate’s forum, because I was one of the few people actually buying coins in New Orleans. I will watch the video and consider my vote.
    Respectfully yours,
    Paul K. Williams
    Reno, Nevada
    LM 1886

  2. Steve D'Ippolito

    I know I find this whole mess disturbing. The problem is I don’t know enough to know what to think, really. Some have, it seems, jumped to conclusions, but I have heard people tell me now that they didn’t expect Jeff to last–they believe he’s unsuited for the job. Obviously Jeff himself and a lot of others beg to differ.

    I know a couple of people at HQ were grumbling a bit about things Jeff was trying to do, but I considered that par for the course. Then, suddenly, THIS, which I heard about at Central States. I talked to Jeff in New Orleans so I know what he thinks happened. I don’t know the other side of it yet. (And won’t ever, most likely, unless I win this election. What stinks though is that I will be unable to tell anyone else! So if it turns out cutting Jeff loose was the right thing to do, I will simply be accused by some parties of being bought off. And if I agree that he should NOT have been let go, then other people will complain.)

    One way or another the present board made a boo boo. Either in hiring him (in which case, they just rectified it), or in firing him. Either way the ANA got a black eye out of the deal. Enough!

    On a side note, I managed to actually find *a* coin to purchase in New Orleans (I’ve been concentrating on Seated Liberty type coins, and for some reason I can’t seem to find anything, even though plenty of what I am looking for should be easy). In this case it was a trade dollar in AU-58. (My wallet–still feeling abused by the purchase of the half dime–appreciated that consideration!)


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