US Stamps

By Michael Baadke

APS executive director reports on membership, finances, McCoy stamp mystery

April 22, 2016 02:36 PM

  • The American Philatelic Society is the largest stamp collector group in the United States.

By Michael Baadke

The American Philatelic Society executive director’s most recent report to the board of directors shows a decline in membership during the first quarter of 2016, but indicates an increase in new applications that exceeds the number received at the same point in 2015.

APS executive director Scott English gave his report from Akron, Ohio, in a board meeting conducted April 19 by telephone. He informed the board that membership in the first quarter of 2016 stood at 31,489, which is 788 fewer members than at the same time in 2015.

The number of new applications received in the first quarter was 513, which is 169 more than were received during the first quarter last year.

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Efforts to enroll members at stamp shows and club meetings have generated new applications, said English, who was attending the Collectors Club of Akron meeting that evening.

In response to a later question from director-at-large Kristin Patterson, English noted that the APS is involved in negotiations with an organization that has “about 1.2 million members” to undertake a co-branded membership outreach for both groups. Because the plan is not finalized, English declined to go into detail, but offered it as one example of continuing membership efforts.

On the subject of the 2016 APS budget, English reported that “At the close of the first quarter budget for 2016, the APS revenues exceed projected budget by $17,700, at the same time, expenses exceeded budget by $9,000.”

General revenue was reported as $18,400 less than expected, identified by English as a reflection of receipt of membership dues and how members are sometimes slow to renew their dues. At the time of the meeting, 2,339 members had unpaid dues, English reported, adding that the collection of dues “sort of underperforms” early in the year, but will catch up later.

English also addressed the upcoming World Stamp Show-NY 2016, describing to the board some of the seminars that will be conducted by APS staff during the show, and how the APS has been working with the show organizers.

He also reported on the recent discovery of an Inverted Jenny error stamp believed to be the position 76 stamp from the McCoy block stolen more than 60 years ago.

English cautioned that the investigation is still ongoing, with involvement by the New York office of the FBI. The stolen stamps from the McCoy block today legally belong to the American Philatelic Research Library. A news story in the May 9 issue of Linn's describes the recent events.

English noted that the society is assisting the FBI, which included providing membership records.

English gave particular credit to Mystic Stamp Co. president Donald Sundman for revitalizing interest in the case. Sundman offered a reward two years ago for the recovery of the two missing stamps from the McCoy block of four.

APS past president Wade Saadi, who is president of World Stamp Show-NY 2016, provided members with an up-to-date report on the show’s progress, saying “everything’s moving along very well,” and tendered an invitation for volunteers who would like to assist at the show.

At the conclusion of the open session, the APS board reconvened in a closed session. The next scheduled board meeting is June 28, and will again be conducted by phone.

Related articles:

APS elections underway for board of directors and library trustees

APS, APRL consider options for library funding

APS board approves five-year strategic plan