Remember Me

Of Mountains, Stamps, and So Much More

Reno, Campaign for Philately, APS Survey,
and More Educational Opps

also available in .pdf format

     A meriStamp Expo 2017 has come and gone. Hopefully, those who joined us have some great memories and a few new items for their collections. Thanks to the great volunteers, dealers, and members who joined us in the Sierra Mountains for our annual winter show. Our shows are the result of a lot of hard work and that starts with the great APS staff that travels to different locations to support the show and members. In Reno, we were joined by Megan Orient, manager of shows; Ken Martin, chief operating officer; Cathy Brachbill and Janet Houser, our education director and associate, respectively, who did a great job in the youth area; Carol Hoffman, sales, and Jay Bigalke, editor. Also along were Kathleen Edwards, our new shows assistant, and Betsy Gamble, on our library staff, both of whom made it through their first show. We are also grateful for the team in Bellefonte for serving the APS member base with fewer people than usual.

     We would like to thank our host club, the Nevada Stamp Society for providing great volunteers on the ground and enthusiasm throughout the weekend. We had volunteers from all over the country join us in Reno and work tirelessly on behalf of the APS. Megan told me we had one of the largest groups of volunteers at a show in recent memory.
     For this show, we also forged an incredible partnership with the National Association of Letter Carriers, who chose AmeriStamp to kick off the 25th anniversary of its Stamp Out Hunger campaign. Through the campaign, thousands of letter carriers pick up donated foodstuffs around the country and deliver them to community food banks. To date, the program has collected 1.5 billion pounds of donated non-perishable food. Along with nationally syndicated cartoonist, Jeff Keane of Family Circus fame, we unveiled a promotional postage souvenir sheet for sale, with proceeds going to the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. We presented the Food Bank with a check for $1,000 from proceeds and thank to all the APS members for supporting this worthy cause. The Stamp Out Hunger sheet is still available at our website at: http://stamps.org/DisplayPage.aspx?id=36&Search=hunger. For those who weren’t there, you can view the ceremony on our Facebook page, along with the first-day ceremony for the Barn Swallow envelopes that were unveiled in Reno.
     We also recognized Michael Bloom for his hard work in recruiting new members to the APS. In Reno, Michael received the Century Award for signing up 100 new APS members. He was not resting on his laurels and was still recruiting new applicants after he received the award. One of those new members was 16-month-old Sadie Starr.
     In the February issue, I talked about 50-year member Norman Starr, who was planning to come to Reno with his young daughter. I’m not sure how often we have toddlers at stamp meetings, but it was a welcome sight and I hope we have more of it in the future. Norman came by the APS booth with Sadie and signed her up as a member. Hopefully, we can look forward to the day when Sadie gets her own 50-year medal!
     We secured two more financial pledges of support for our efforts. Back in October, I announced the $25,000 matching donation from World Stamp Show-NY 2016 to support the Council on Postal Collectors to work across the hobby with dealers, collectors, the National Postal Museum, Amos Media, and the U.S. Postal Service. APS members have generously contributed to meet the match. In Reno, the Board of the National Stamp Dealers Association, one of the partner groups, pledged $1,000 to meet the match and support the effort. We will be working with other partner groups to generate even more support.
     We also received a matchable donation of $25,000 to support the strategic plan goals of upgrading the APS website and outreach to non-members. I announced we met the goal for that campaign and walked members through how we will proceed (the subject of my next column). In response, the organizers of WSS-NY 2016 pledged another matching donation of $25,000, and we are continuing our efforts to advance our technology goals in 2017 and beyond. Even when we meet the next $25,000 match, we will be working to raise funds to deliver on-demand education through the APS website.
To make donations, you can send a check to:

Campaign for Philately
c/o American Philatelic Society
100 Match Factory Place
Bellefonte, PA 16823.

     Members may also make donations online or by phone. Just visit: stamps.org/online-mail-or-phone for more information.

Member Survey Results
     Late last year, the APS sent out a survey to members, former members, and collectors who have never been members. This is our first large-scale survey since 2007 and the results are in. If you have not been able to see the results, please go to our website at: http://stamps.org/userfiles/file/reports/Survey-Report.pdf to see the full report. More than 3,000 APS members and 800 non-members participated in the survey. For all of you who took the time to participate in the survey, thank you for giving us your thoughts. For those who did not get a chance to participate, we will be sending shorter surveys in the future to get your thoughts on different areas of service. We value the feedback and it has already helped us improve the APS and the hobby. We also owe thanks to the APS members who contributed to supporting the survey financially to assemble focus groups in Portland and distribute the survey. Though the APS board had agreed to budget for the survey, we were able to complete the task without using our general funds.
     Finally, thank you to fellow APS member David Paddock, who has been in the market survey business a little longer than his 30 years as a member. David donated his time and talents to the focus groups, developing the survey, and crunching the results for the survey you see here. The value of the time is substantial, but David’s commitment to the APS and the hobby accrued to our benefit.
     As a veteran of the political world, I have had the pleasure of participating in countless hours of dissecting polls and surveys, trying to make sure the messages are clear. We are doing that with the Membership Committee and the APS Board and where more answers are needed, we will ask.
     The clearest message, as a starting point, is the desire for more education opportunities. This year, our Education Department has worked tirelessly to grow the “On the Road” courses offered around the country. We have eight in the works and more announcements should be coming soon. We are looking at a possible record-breaking year for participation.
     The challenge for most APS members is traveling to shows or clubs to participate in those events. For our busy members who cannot make these events, we are developing online courses that you can take in the comfort of your own home on your schedule. We previewed our first course, a beginner’s course on collecting in Reno, and we will have the finished product online before our August StampShow in Richmond.
     The Education Committee also is mapping out future courses and we will begin the process of building an online video library of collecting courses.
     If you have suggestions, please sare them via the e-mail education@stamps.org.
     As always, I welcome comments at scott@stamps.org or you can send me traditional mail or give me a call.
     Thanks to all of you for supporting the APS!

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