US Stamps

APS board appoints trustee, reviews expertizing service

May 15, 2019, 4 PM

By Michael Baadke

The American Philatelic Society board of directors conducted a telephone conference on the afternoon of May 15 to discuss several matters of society business.

Unanimous approval was expressed by the board on APS president Robert Zeigler’s appointment of Hugh J. McMackin III as a trustee of the American Philatelic Research Library, and the proposal of onetime World Series of Philately status for UN Expo 2021, a stamp show and exhibition that will be sponsored by the United Nations Philatelists Inc.

The board also learned that a third-party review of the overall business practices of the American Philatelic Expertizing Service (APEX) is about to begin, an examination that potentially could result in significant changes for APEX down the road.

The appointment of McMackin as an APRL trustee is in accordance with the library’s bylaws, which state that two of the eight trustees shall be appointed by the president of the APS with the approval of the APS board.

McMackin will fill the vacancy that will occur in August when the term of current appointed trustee Roger Brody expires.

The UN Expo 2021 show will take place at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pa., which serves as the headquarters of the APS and the location of the research library. The APS board’s approval means the exhibitor winning the grand prize at the 2021 show will qualify to participate in an upcoming Champion of Champions competition.

The United Nations collector group successfully held a similar show at the Bellefonte facility in 2017.

In his executive director’s report, Scott English said that APS membership was 26,924 at the end of April, a difference of 866 from the same time last year.

“In April we received 116 new applications, that’s slightly lower than last year,” English said.

He added that it was also the first month this year that new applications underperformed the figures for last year.

English said the society is still ahead of last year’s figures by 39 applications and continues to conduct aggressive outreach efforts to build membership.

With regard to finances, English reported that through the end of April the society recorded a $39,000 surplus, or $2,000 lower than budgeted for the year.

The society had projected that 75 dealers will participate in the bourse of APS Stampshow 2019, which will take place Aug. 1-4 at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Neb.

“We’re at 72 dealers [committed] now … we still believe we might be able to pick up the last few to get there,” English said.

English also announced the recent hiring of Gary Loew to head the American Philatelic Expertizing Service.

Loew will begin in his new position full time on July 1, replacing Thomas W. Horn, who is retiring at the end of May but will continue to contribute as a volunteer.

An effort is underway to assess the performance of APEX, the society’s stamp expertizing and certification business.

In this third-party review, the society will work with the Fox School of Business at Temple University, which will have some of its MBA candidates look at the marketplace and business processes with the intention of creating a set of recommendations for the society.

Those recommendations, English said, “could range from improvements to our process, improvements to our marketing, and it may also make a more radical recommendation about the fate of APEX in general and whether we should merge that function with another organization or another service that’s out there.”

The hour-long board meeting concluded following the unanimous approval of a resolution honoring Horn upon the occasion of his retirement.

Over the years, Horn has worked for the society as director of circuit sales, director of special projects, and most recently, director of expertizing.

“We’re going to miss him and his presence here in the building,” English said, “and I’m grateful for the time he’s given to the APS.”

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