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Volunteer Profile

Dennis Gilson — Volunteer

"One of my most satisfying activities is representing the APS at stamp shows.... I am especially proud to have received a Century Award Plaque for sponsoring over 100 new APS members."

“I moved to State College in July 2000 to become the Project Manager for the Match Factory renovation project. Prior to that, I had served 24½ years in the United States Army Corps of Engineers and another 11½ years as a government contractor in the Washington, DC area.

“I retired in January 2005 after completing Phases 1 and 2 of the Match Factory project and overseeing the move of the American Philatelic Society and American Philatelic Research Library to Bellefonte in May 2004. For the last 3½ years, I have been volunteering my services to various departments at the American Philatelic Center.

“Since 2001, I have been a member of the American Philatelic Expertizing Service (APEX) Expert Committee. My area of expertise is the U.S. Washington-Franklin issues of 1908-1922. I spend about 10 hours a week at the APC working on expertizing and donate my fees to APEX.

“Since 2005, I have taught the APS Summer Seminar course on the Washington-Franklins. I developed the course and earlier this year took it on the road to WESTPEX, where it was presented to a sold-out class prior to the show in San Francisco. It will again be offered at Summer Seminar on June 21-26, 2009.

“One of my most satisfying activities is representing the APS at stamp shows. This year, I was the APS Recruiter at WESTPEX in April and at INDYPEX in June. In previous years, I have represented the APS at BALPEX, Garfield-Perry, AMERICOVER, Filatelic Fiesta (twice), SESCAL, OKPEX, PNSE, NAPEX, PIPEX (twice), Philatelic Show (Boxborough, Massachusetts), and Plymouth Show. I have also been a full-time volunteer at the last two APS StampShows ? last year in Portland, Oregon, and this year in Hartford, Connecticut. I am especially proud to have received a Century Award Plaque for sponsoring over 100 new APS members.”

“I started collecting worldwide and U.S. stamps when I was about 10 years old. I spent my allowance on approvals from the likes of Littleton Stamp Company and Kenmore Stamp Company and on new U.S. issues from the Post Office up the street from where I lived. The highlight of my early years was when my parents gave me a Minkus Master Global Stamp Album for Christmas one year.

“As with most of my generation, I put my stamps away when I went to college. I picked up where I left off after a 12-year hiatus. My worldwide collection is now housed in over 75 regional and country albums. I’ve been a member of the APS since 1977.

“In 2002, I started collecting First Day Covers. The impetus was the issuance of a stamp for the 200th Anniversary of my alma mater, West Point. I soon became hooked on other topics, and now spend as much or more time and money on FDCs as I do on stamps.

“Some of my topical interests are horses, dogs, ducks (including Federal duck stamps), lighthouses, carousels, teddy bears (including Winnie-The-Pooh), love stamps, and anything dealing with West Point, Pennsylvania or Hawaii. I’ve been a member of the American First Day Cover Society since 2003. My other principal activity in retirement is serving as a moderator of the online Virtual Stamp Club.

“I live in State College (Patton Township) with my wife of 39 years and two dogs. We have two daughters who live in Plainfield, Indiana, and Liberty, Missouri, and two grandchildren, with one more on the way.”

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