Kelsey Not to Renew
American Topical Association executive director Douglas A. Kelsey has
decided not to renew his contract with the organization when it expires
June 30. Kelsey, who also is executive director of the American First Day
Cover Society, added the ATA duties in 1995. The announcement is made in
the January-February issue of the society's journal, Topical Time.
A source tells the Virtual Stamp Club Kelsey feels the ATA
doesn't fit into his future plans as an association manager. Although his
contract with the AFDCS expires on the same date, the source says that
organization is a closer match. The contract with the ATA requires six
months notice, with the AFDCS, 30 days.
According to journal editor and Director George Griffenhagen, the deadline
for applications is March 15. Interviews will be held during April, and a
new executive director chosen by May 1. The successful candidate will
start June 1, with a one-month overlap period before Kelsey leaves.
Those interested in applying for the position should send their resumes and
letters of application to American Topical Association president Dorothy
Smith, 240 South Reynolds Street, #306, Alexandria, Virginia 22304.
Griffenhagen expressed disappointment at Kelsey's decision. "A number of
the Board of Directors contacted Doug, including myself and president
Dorothy Smith, asking him to reconsider," he told the Virtual Stamp Club
Among the accomplishments Griffenhagen cited during Kelsey's tenure as
executive director was the establishment of the ATA insurance program,
handled by former American Philatelic Society insurance plan manager W.
"We will be handling our own conventions starting this year in Falls
Church, Virginia," he added. "Up until now, it was turned over to local
clubs. We're coordinating the entire convention."
However, last Fall, National Topical Stamp Show chairman Steven M. Ripley
resigned suddenly. Ripley is also chairman of AMERICOVER, the American
First Day Cover Society's annual convention and stamp show. AMERICOVER 97
was held in the same hotel that the ATA convention will be held in this year.
Also under Kelsey, the entire administration of the ATA was computerized,
and the most successful fund-raising campaigns in the society's history
were conducted. The organization also published a second edition of its
popular Adventures in Topical Collecting, by Griffenhagen and ATA founder
Griffenhagen says there are no "leading candidates" at this time, and
acknowledges the change in executive director will probably mean relocation
of ATA's Central Office, which is currently in commercial office space in
the Kleindale Office Park in Tucson, and shared with the AFDCS, although
the two organizations maintain separate telephone lines and office
equipment. Under founder Jerome Husak, the ATA's office was located in
Husak's native Milwaukee; when Donald Smith was executive director, it was
in Johnstown, PA, where he lived.
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