By Michael Baadke
The American Philatelic Society officer elections in May will see competing candidates for every position among the officers and directors-at-large.
Along with two candidates each for the positions of president, secretary and treasurer, there are also two competing slates of three candidates to serve as the board of vice presidents, and six announced candidates for four director-at-large positions.
Earlier reports published in the Linn’s Stamp News issues of Oct. 5 and Oct. 26, 2015, provided background for candidates announced up to that point: Ken Nilsestuen for the office of president; John Barwis, Alex Haimann and Yamil Kouri for the board of vice presidents; Mark Butterline and Stephen Schumann competing for the secretary position; Bruce Marsden as treasurer; and director candidates Michael Bloom, Rich Drews, Gordon Eubanks, David McNamee, and Mark Schwartz.
Since then, nomination applications also have been filed by presidential candidate Mick Zais; the vice president slate of Patricia (Trish) Kaufmann, Jeff Shapiro and Robert Zeigler; candidate for treasurer Edwin Andrews; and candidate for director Peter P. McCann.
Mick Zais is currently one of three members of the APS board of vice presidents, a position he has held since he was elected in 2013. He recently served as chairman of the search committee that hired APS Executive Director Scott English, who began in his new position in August 2015.
In an Oct. 27 announcement, Zais said, “I’m running because I believe the APS, while facing challenges, has significant opportunities to grow membership and expand member services. To this task, I’ll bring 45 years of diverse leadership and financial management experience.”
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Zais served for 31 years in the United States Army, achieving the rank of brigadier general. His assignments included commanding general of all U.S. and Allied forces in Kuwait, and commanding general of Operation Provide Refuge, which brought 4,000 Kosovo refugees out of Macedonia for settlement in the United States. Zais was also the Pentagon’s chief of war plans.
He was president of Newberry College in South Carolina for 10 years, with an annual budget in excess of $20 million, and served for four years as South Carolina’s state superintendent of education.
An APS member for almost 40 years, Zais currently focuses his collecting interests on stamps and postal history related to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and the U.S. Army stamps of 1936-37.
“As your President, I will be a force for change,” Zais said. “This means I will work to reverse declining membership by building new outlets for growing our membership and reaching out to more diverse groups. I’ll work to strengthen the partnership between the APS and the 30 World Series of Philately regional shows, our 195 specialty societies, and the hundreds of local chapters across the U.S. I’ll also work to enhance relations with philatelic organizations in other countries and to grow the number of international members.”
Trish Kaufmann, Jeff Shapiro and Robert Zeigler point out that “the Board of Vice Presidents is tasked with the resolution of member complaints and violations of the Code of Ethics. Our backgrounds and experience uniquely qualify us to handle such issues.”
Kaufmann is a full-time dealer, an American Philatelic Research Library life member, a former trustee, and a Tiffany Donor since 1981.
Shapiro recently retired from a 30-year career in nonprofit management, adding that he “strongly represents the collector viewpoint.”
Zeigler, who joined the society in 1973, is a trial attorney who has “vast experience with evidence and due process.”
In a statement, the candidates said, “We want to give back to the hobby. We are life-long philatelists who bring diverse business and collecting experiences which would allow us to be a help to our members, to our great organization and to ensure the future of the hobby we all love.
“With our cumulative 122 years of APS membership, as of 2016, we bring both experience and enthusiasm to the job. ”
Edwin J. Andrews, who is seeking the APS treasurer position, describes his professional experience as an executive manager with select Fortune 500 and 250 companies, as well as executive experience with Ivy League universities including Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a dean.
“I have extensive experience in general management, marketing, strategic planning, financial oversight and budgeting, research and development, and project management,” Andrews stated.
Andrews is a member of the APS Committee on Accreditation of National Exhibitions and Judges, and editor of the new seventh edition of the Manual of Philatelic Judging and Exhibiting. He is a former member of the APS Membership Committee, an accredited chief philatelic judge, and a member of several philatelic organizations.
“My many years of experience dealing with academic and not-for-profit organizations, including financial assessment, planning and budgeting can be an asset to APS,” Andrews stated in his candidate application.
“My general management and not-for-profit board consulting can also assist APS with a fresh perspective gained from serving many commercial, academic, government and not-for-profit organizations.”
Peter P. McCann, a former president of the APS, has filed a nominating application to run for the position of APS director-at-large.
McCann became president of the society in the summer of 1999 after serving four years on the APS board of vice presidents.
“While it is unusual for a past president to return to a Board position,” McCann wrote, “it is clear that APS is at a crossroads, and with new staff leadership, I believe it is poised for a new era of growth. I want to contribute to making that happen, and would appreciate your vote.”
McCann added that his previous service on the board, his extensive contacts in the hobby, his knowledge from his professional life, and his knowledge of the recent history of the APS “can help the APS to move in a positive direction in the future.”
McCann has served for 12 years on the International Federation of Philately (FIP) board of directors, including two terms as the FIP vice president.
He signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 2007, and in 2008 received the Luff award for outstanding service to the APS.
APS officers are elected by the society’s members every three years. The nominating process for the upcoming election will close March 31.
Nomination applications that have been filed by the candidates can be viewed online.
The election ballot will be included in the May 2016 issue of the society’s monthly magazine, The American Philatelist.