On Nov. 4, the United States Postal Service conducted a teleconference with the Linn’s editorial staff and other members of the philatelic press.
The purpose of the meeting was to introduce approved stamp designs for the 2015 U.S. stamp program.
Images of the revealed designs are presented in senior editor Jay Bigalke’s report on page 1.
Leading the meeting was Cindy Tackett, acting director of USPS Stamp Services. Tackett is filling in for Susan McGowan, who has been detailed to another assignment, according to the Postal Service.
Almost as soon as she assumed her new duties, Tackett set about streamlining the processes used to provide information about upcoming stamp issues.
Indeed, she voiced this priority throughout the meeting.
“Thanks very much for you patience during this transition period,” Tackett announced at the start of the meeting. “We are working to lock in issue dates and locations much earlier than before. Our goal is to get the information out to you as soon as we can.”
Hearing those words was music to our editorial ears.
In this age of instantaneous communication, it is essential for us to share news with Linn’s readers as soon as it becomes available. More often than not, this means quickly writing a story and publishing it on Linns.com.
When we learn more, we can immediately update the story. Further details are added before the story appears in print.
Simply put, we cannot afford to be late when reporting the news of our hobby.
Tackett understands this reality and made it clear that she and her team are committed to providing in a timely manner the information Linn’s readers need to make informed collecting decisions.
News of this renewed effort by the USPS should prompt cheers from many in the first-day cover community, who have been frustrated in recent months in their efforts to prepare covers for servicing in advance of the issue date.
When Tackett previewed the 2015 program, I was struck by her enthusiasm, which her colleagues also exuded in abundance.
As for the program itself, it will feature a mix of the familiar — as ongoing series such as Lunar New Year get their next issue — and the new.
One of the announced issues was a publicity stamp for World Stamp Show-NY2016, the decennial international exhibition that will be held in New York City May 28-June 4, 2016.
We were told that the design of the stamp is being created “with the stamp collector in mind.”
Depending on one’s point of view, those words could be considered ominous or exciting.
Tackett did say that the World Stamp Show-NY2016 stamp would be issued at the American Philatelic Society Stampshow next August.
At the conclusion of the meeting, I asked Tackett about her “acting” status as Stamp Services director. Tackett replied that she did not know how long she might be in her new role.
Based on her actions during the past several weeks, we would welcome her permanent appointment.
However, if Tackett is to be replaced, we fervently hope that whoever assumes the reins at Stamp Services will be as dedicated to and supportive of collectors as she is.