US Stamps

By Donna Houseman

Hobby leaders participate on Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board to help improve content and shape Linn’s future

July 30, 2015 08:04 PM

In the Editor’s Insights columns in the July 20 Linn’s Stamp News monthly and the Aug. 10 weekly Linn’s, I mentioned Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board without giving too much detail.

Linn’s goal is to engage its audience both in print and online and to grow this audience. The role of the newly formed Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board is to assist us achieving these goals by keeping us focused on the needs of our audience and helping us adapt to today’s market.

Members of the board have been chosen for their specialized knowledge of the stamp hobby and their ability to communicate with stamp collectors and dealers.

We have chosen some of the best minds to guide us in shaping Linn’s future and enhancing our role in the stamp hobby. Their ideas and recommendations will complement the knowledge and skills of Linn’s editors and freelance writers and help us provide timely information and engaging content that suits the needs of our readers.

Members of the board bring to the table their own strengths:

Henry Gitner is a longtime avid stamp collector and dealer. He and two classmates began selling stamps while in high school. As a student, he managed the auctions of the American Helvetica Philatelic Society. He continued to sell stamps while in college and became a full-time stamp dealer in 1981. He and his wife Debbie own and operate Henry Gitner Philatelists Inc. in Middletown, N.Y. Henry writes Linn’s Stamp Market Tips along with former Linn’s senior editor Rick Miller.

John Hotchner is well-known to Linn’s readers as a contributing editor and writer of the ever-popular U.S. Stamp Notes column. He collects the United States in depth and worldwide errors, freaks and oddities (EFOs), and exhibits stamp separation methods, U.S. auxiliary markings, the 1934 U.S. and Great Britain Christmas seals. John is a national and international stamp show and philatelic literature judge and an expertizer for U.S. material. He was a member of the APS board of directors and served as the APS president from 1997-99. He is a member of the National Postal Museum’s Council of Philatelists and served on the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee from 1998 to 2010.

James E. “Jim” Lee, noted essay and proof expert and dealer, pens Linn’s bimonthly Essays and Proofs column. He is the founder and owner of James E. Lee LLC in Oak Brook, Ill. Jim has been a full-time professional stamp dealer for more than 25 years, specializing in United States essays and proofs, postal history and fancy cancellations and postal markings. He is immediate past president of the American Stamp Dealers Association, and his enthusiasm for the stamp hobby knows no bounds. He contributes to the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers.

Scott Murphy is president of Professional Stamp Experts Inc. in Santa Ana, Calif., an authentication and grading company for United States stamps. Before becoming president of Professional Stamp Experts, he served in the United States Navy and was a senior expert for Collectors Universe.

Mark Reasoner is current president of the American Stamp Dealers Association. Following retirement from Honda of America Manufacturing, Mark, who resides in Columbus, Ohio, turned his part-time stamp business into a full-time business venture. He became an active member of the ASDA by serving as a director. He was elected president of the professional organization in 2013. An enthusiastic leader, Mark recently announced the formation of a hobby-wide task group to recruit Internet-only collectors and dealers into organized philately.

Kim Kellerman is senior United States describer at Rasdale Stamp Co. Kim’s grandfather Joseph Rasdale founded the Rasdale auction firm in 1932 in Elsie, Mich. Kim’s father and brother took over the firm in 1958 and moved it to Chicago in 1967. Kim and his brother Kevin took over the firm in 2002 and moved it to Westmont, Ill. Kim is a familiar face at stamp shows and an enthusiastic supporter of the stamp hobby.

Don Sundman, owner of Mystic Stamp Co. in Camden, N.Y., is a second-generation stamp dealer. Don is an enthusiastic promoter of the stamp hobby. He has served tirelessly on various committees. He has been a member of the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum Council of Philatelists since 2004 and is a member of the Philatelic Foundation board of trustees. In 2010, he received the American Philatelic Society’s prestigious Luff award for meritorious service to the society.

Linn’s is honored to have such a distinguished board of editorial advisors.

The first panel discussion of the advisory board is scheduled as an open meeting during the APS Stampshow in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The discussion, titled “The State of the Stamp Hobby,” is open to the public.

Join us at 1 p.m. Friday Aug. 21 in room Overlook E in the DeVos Place Convention Center, 303 Monroe Ave. NW. We guarantee an engaging, thought-provoking discussion.