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Chat with APS Presidential Candidate Nancy Clark ["NancyC23"]
May 7, 2003, 7:30 p.m. EDT

[Note: This transcript has been edited slightly, fixing some typographical and spelling errors, and removing administrative messages like arrivals and departures. A few off-topic comments have also been eliminated. Not everyone attending the chat spoke.]

DICKSINE: Last time I was asked to be on a committee, I "mysteriously" was absent when the listing was published and never heard anything further.
DICKSINE: I have chaired two committees: New Issue and Literature.
Lloyd: Under which administration?
DICKSINE: Both while I was on staff.
DICKSINE: In fact, I take all credit for killing the Black Blot.
NancyC23: Was the New Issues the "black Blots?"
Lloyd: During the 2001 election, the staff was told to stay out of the elections.
NancyC23: opps. sniped.
DICKSINE: We stayed out just for self-protection. Staff should NEVER be active in an election.
Ada_M_Prill: Has someone crossed that line this year, Dick?
DICKSINE: I have no idea...
Lloyd brought up the subject.
Lloyd: In 2001, a staffer was overheard talking to his wife about the election in a restaurant during a show....it became that year's brouhaha.
DICKSINE: In my Attila world, that would be a fireable offense
Lloyd: I think everyone here knows the ground rules, but this is Nancy's show. OTOH, let's not attack Janet [Klug, the other candidate for president], but ask positive questions.
Lloyd: No making fun of typing or grammar or spelling :)
Lloyd: Logging is on, and a transcript will be published.
NancyC23: Seems to me that staff HAS to protect their jobs and work together and in an even-handed manner for the Society's benefit.
DICKSINE: Nancy, what is the single most pressing issue facing APS right now... the one you would address first?
NancyC23: The purpose of the APS is to serve its members...all of them, from beginning collectors to advanced collectors and dealers. During my two terms I have worked to help the Society do so in a financially responsible way.
NancyC23: I also think a consensus needs to be built among the leadership in dealing with the new headquarters.
Lloyd: How can you build a consensus when almost every director is elected individually?
NancyC23: To have disagreements among Board members is expected and even encouraged. To act independently of the consensus speaks poorly of both the commitment and congeniality of a board. A management and planning session allowing opportunities for Board and Staff to work together would be a great benefit.
DICKSINE: Sorry, but "consensus" should not require a lockstep. At the same time, there are lines which I believe have been crossed.
Foster_Miller: Nancy - you may have already been answering this question...will you agree to support the actions of the Board once they are taken and not take actions such as a newspaper ad against a board decision?
NancyC23: I did not say a "lockstep" or agreement was required. But once a consensus is achieved it is unproductive to continue along a different road.
DICKSINE: Do you equate consensus with a vote?
NancyC23: In the past there have been many times when my vote was not the majority opinion. And yes, I did move on from there with the majority opinion.
NancyC23: not necessarily. But a majority vote is a consensus.
Lloyd: What recourse does the APS president have if other Directors don't...cooperate?
NancyC23: Foster, you asked specifically about a newspaper ad response. No. I would not take that action. It is divisive and hurts the group
Lloyd: What recourse?
George_T__Fekete: Nancy, there is a lot of talk about increasing the number of collectors. What have you personally done to introduce non-collectors to the hobby?
Foster_Miller: Nancy - another question that I've asked in all of these candidate chats - what is your opinion on the future of winter shows? Are you willing to lose a small amount of money to bring the APS to various parts of the country and promote nontraditional areas?
NancyC23: The idea is to build the idea of working to the Society's mutual benefit prior to a decision,
Lloyd: I'll keep track of the backlog of questions, btw
CATSRME2: OK, I'll jump in while waiting for another chat. I've been a stamp collector for decades and only have seen the price of my collection decline. What's the use of continuing collecting stamps?
NancyC23: George, I have worked to create local clubs and a state federation. I've worked in classrooms in the Eastern states. I have personally worked in stamp shows and at the international level have introduced over 98,000 people to the hobby between Olymphilex and the Salt Lake Games.
CATSRME2: bring that question back at 10 tonight and I will be happy to debate that with you.
CATSRME2: oh oh, might be involved by that time
CATSRME2: But i'll keep your offer in mind, I've been wondering what to do
DICKSINE: Nancy, is it a question of bringing people into the hobby or bringing more existing collectors into the APS?
Lloyd: We have our general stamps chat tonight at 10 p.m. EDT
NancyC23: John, I think it is important to travel so that members in places other than those with high concentrations of members can be involved with and benefit personally from a good size show in their neighborhood
CATSRME2: i'm confused
NancyC23: I think that we need to promote the hobby first. Promoting membership will come from those efforts.
Lloyd: We have an election coming up for the nation's biggest stamp org. Nancy is running for president, so we're grilling her :)
NancyC23: sizzle, sizzle
Lloyd: That was Foster's question on shows, I think, so Nancy is caught up on the backlog. Other questions?
CATSRME2: ah - so a newcomer can't grill as to the prospect of one's extensive stamp collection
NancyC23: I don't know whether my stamps are losing value or gaining. I collect them for the shear pleasure of the hobby.
hfowler3: I have been asked by a couple of collectors "why belong to the APS?"
CATSRME2: So, Nancy, as president, do your stamps cost more than the cost of the pages you have to keep them in?
hfowler3: What will do to better promote the APS benefits?
Foster_Miller: Nancy - I think that most of us would agree with your answer - we collect for the fun. If I happen to make money on something, all the better, but the fun is what keeps me going.
NancyC23: Why belong to the APS? There are so many benefits of membership. Use of the library. Receiving a marvelous magazine monthly, using the sales division and the online division, the expertizing...the list goes on
CATSRME2: Ah, ok, i'm just a collector, not a dealer - i'll gracefully bow out
hfowler3: I agree but it seems that the word is not getting out to enough collectors
Lloyd: Specialists don't always see those benefits, Nancy. They feel their specialty society is enough. Why join the umbrella society?
DICKSINE: I believe those who are not members, in bulk, are the generalists.
ANGORE: I do not understand the response "I'm just a collector, not a dealer.." Did I miss something?
NancyC23: Now there you have a point. What do you suggest? I know there will be articles in a travel magazine, AARP and a well-known children's publication. Our best way to spread the word is our selves! Our dealer members also do a great job of spreading the word.
hfowler3: I think i missed it too
Lloyd: Just someone who wanted to ask about her stamp collection, and we wanted to ask about politics :)
DICKSINE: I don't agree. There has to be a plan that can be developed that will show success. That is what a staff is for.
Lloyd: OK, Dick - you don't agree with....what?
DICKSINE: that the best way to spread the word is ourselves.
NancyC23: You don't agree that we need to focus on collectors first?
Lloyd: Collectors or members?
DICKSINE: I don't agree that we (APS members) are the best source of new members.
DICKSINE: That just is not working.
NancyC23: Ah. Well, the studies Frank Sente [APS director of administration] has done over the years past do agree. But then we have recruited a lot of members recently due to our Internet presence...which I think is of great importance
DICKSINE: Studies are based on the actual number of new members...not whether new members offset losses or beyond.
DICKSINE: That is self-serving.
NancyC23: We need to get the word out that stamp collecting is fun, fascinating and worthwhile. We also need to keep our current members happy and serve their needs.
ANGORE: The USPS will claim there a lots of collectors -- not just members of APS.
NancyC23: Incidentally, I think the AskPhil site is very helpful.
Foster_Miller: I think that Dick's question is how do we get the word out to the people who don't know an APS member, probably never heard of the APS, and may not even attend stamp shows (perish the thought).
Teamcat: I don't want to put words into Nancy's mouth, but I think she is answering that service to existing members takes priority over recruiting and servicing non-members.
Foster_Miller: George, yes, Nancy answered my question
NancyC23: I think the USPS is right...there are more collectors than are members of any existing stamp organization
DICKSINE: Given that, Ken, how low can the APS membership number go before there is a problem?
Lloyd: Nancy, did you say above there WILL be articles in AARP, a travel mag, a kids' mag? Already arranged?
hfowler3: I know that there are a great many "closet collectors" that never go to shows, don't belong to clubs. How do you plan on reaching those collectors?
NancyC23: Yes. Already in the pipeline. Highlights is the kid's mag
Teamcat: Dick, this is Nancy's night, but I'll be happy to answer you directly any time, or on the message board.
Lloyd: General chat at 10 p.m. :)
Lloyd: Were you involved in those articles?
NancyC23: There has been a real blossoming of joint efforts to attract people to the hobby and to the Society. This is resulting in some wonderful opportunities being realized.
Lloyd: Or a $10,000 PR firm?
DICKSINE: Bad analogy... there are other solid possibilities.
ANGORE: I am sure other collectible hobbies are facing the same situation
NancyC23: No firm was required. Kim, APS director of education, approached a travel mag, Highlights approached a mutual friend, and the USPS was approached by AARP
Lloyd: Wow. Three different directions.
NancyC23: Teamwork works wonders!
DICKSINE: Were they coordinated or just happen?
hfowler3: What about the people who don't read travel mags, too young to get AARP, to0 old to get Highlights?
NancyC23: I was fortunate enough to host a meeting last summer where several of the leaders in promoting philately met and devised a game plan. It is this network which had input from many people across the country and in the world, which is enabling the process.
Ada_M_Prilll: What follow-up do you plan from last summer's conference?
NancyC23: Well, there are also efforts to develop programs for people who are recovering from strokes (small motor) and for people who are starting down the sad road of Altzheimers, through nurse training here at Spellman College.
Lloyd: Involving stamps?
DICKSINE: Great... is this work staff-based or coming through volunteers?
Foster_Miller: Another question I've been asking - do you support the proposed bylaws change that would allow suspension of members indicted by a government on civil charges (and my apologies if I didn't state it correctly)?
NancyC23: Follow-up seems to be my middle name! The StampCamp USA book (for community use) is due to come out in October, a new beginners book is due to come out in August, and other plans are still in the planning stage.
NancyC23: The Spellman efforts are largely due to staff at Spellman. And yes, stamps are the tool. We also are working on in-service for teachers. In fact this summer we will run an in-service at Penn State, using philatelic materials to teach about Lewis and Clark.
NancyC23: Foster, yes. If we do not protect our membership from people who are under indictment, we are not doing our job for our membership.
NancyC23: I value due process. But suspension is appropriate protection for our members.
ANGORE: I think some publications seem to accept advertising from members under suspension, etc? Is that an issue?
NancyC23: Yes.
ANGORE: Should APS do anything about it - like ask them to not allow them to advertise?
NancyC23: My arms are getting tired. How much longer?
Lloyd: We're scheduled for another 15 minutes. Is your hand still broken?
NancyC23: Yes. The cast is getting heavy.
Lloyd: Well, are there more questions?
ANGORE: did anyone ask about the MF? I was late.
Lloyd: No, not directly.
Lloyd: I have one about the Match Factory, though: Nancy, can the project BE stopped now?
ANGORE: I noticed some of the people running are opposed to the MF and if elected may pose an impediment, how would the prez try to resolve this conflict?
JOHNFLANNERY: No questions here, but thank you for this and the preceding candidate chats.
NancyC23: I personally support the development of the Bellefonte property into the American Philatelic Center. Once the current building is sold I believe there can be no turning back
Lloyd: And Al's part of the question?
NancyC23: Management training and planning sessions should help. Without this, moving ahead in a productive manner will be difficult. If the Society leadership can not agree to work together for a common end, there are real problems.
Lloyd: Can the APS afford an extra Board meeting at State College? (for management training/leadership)
NancyC23: We can not afford not to have such a meeting...we must work together.
ANGORE: I assume the prez has to help bridge the gap....
NancyC23: That is part of the leadership role.
Foster_Miller: Nancy - one last question I asked the other chats - I feel that the campaigning for APS offices starts too early. Since you announced your candidacy about 18 months ago, what do you think?
NancyC23: I agree. You'll find that the Board vote was unanimous to lessen the time for nominating.
Lloyd: Doesn't the campaign really start when someone announces?
ANGORE: Why is this a problem?
Foster_Miller: And an interesting response from Nancy
ANGORE: I have people running unofficially for a long time....I do not understand the significance.
NancyC23: I guess the definition of "campaigning" can change.
ANGORE: Is it just chasing the seconds
NancyC23: It is unusual for any member running for office to not have the required seconds. shame_less: if you start too early people can forget your running
DJS127: Nancy, what will you do to stop the personal attacks in APS politics?
Foster_Miller: Nancy - any suggestions on how to make the election process more "civil?"
ANGORE: OK. what specifically about the campaign time is too long?
DJS127: Foster, I guess we think alike! shame_less: Yes, Nancy, tell people to grow up
NancyC23: Janet and I both resolved not to run campaigns with personal attacks. Neither of us has crossed that line. shame_less: You all have to work together
DJS127: What positions do you differ with Janet? I know Janet from her articles, this forum and I even bought from her on eBay. But honestly except for the ads in Linn's I know nothing about you.
NancyC23: When I announced, a "retired" APS president advised me that while we might be clean in our campaigns, our supporters would not necessarily do so without policing. shame_less: you all have great ideas
DJS127: It's hard to keep supporters in check?
Lloyd: David, Nancy outlined several of her positions earlier....
DJS127: Sorry I will read the minutes.
Lloyd: Well, if those are all the questions, and Nancy's cast is getting heavy....
DJS127: Will you continue to have APS winter shows go around the country?
ANGORE: I still do not understand what about the official campaign is too long shame_less: I think Nancy will do a fine job
Lloyd: Al, the people most concerned about the length of the campaign are in the room, but holding back because it's Nancy's chat.
Foster_Miller: Nancy - THANKS for answering all our questions - hope you don't have to wear the cast much longer
Lloyd: David, that was answered, too.
NancyC23: I think the management on the development of the Bellefonte property is responsible. I am pleased to have balanced the budget. My method of management is to have experts advise and staff follow through.

Chat ends 8:35 p.m. EDT

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