Our Committees Work For YouMany of the extra services available to APS members are made possible through the leadership of volunteers who do their work through APS committees. Some of the committees have regular columns in American Philatelist, so you get to read on a regular basis about the activities of our APS chapters and affiliates, and the progress of our capital campaign. Other committees are much less visible, but nevertheless keep busy providing valuable services to our Society.
The APS has two types of committees. Standing Committees are those that work on a continuing basis to support the mission of the Society according to the charge given them. Ad hoc committees perform the tasks assigned to them, and upon completion of their charge are disbanded.
I have already mentioned three of the APS Standing Committees. The Chapter Activities Committee is chaired by Tom Fortunato. This committee produces a newsletter that goes out to over 600 local stamp clubs that are chapters of the American Philatelic Society. It provides many support services to the chapters, including help with club newsletters, advice about running a successful show, assistance with publicity and a host of other services to make local clubs strong and healthy. Additionally, the Chapter Activities Committee has its own website where past issues of the CAC Newsletter are archived, as well as articles that editors of local club newsletters can access, download, and use in their own newsletters. Access this at:
The APS Affiliates Committee is always visible at our annual STAMPSHOW and Winter Show events, helping to publicize the work of all of the specialist societies that are affiliated with the APS. The chairman, Jim McDevitt, works tirelessly on behalf of the affiliates. Did you know you can search the entire list of APS affiliates and maybe even find an organization devoted to YOUR specialty? It's on the APS website at:
Thanks to your generosity, our capital campaign has raised slightly more than $2 million in the past two years, with our ultimate goal being $10 million. The campaign has been revitalized with the addition of the skill and energy of Steven J. Rod, the chairman of the campaign. Your dollars have been put to good use building the spectacular American Philatelic Center, and we have tried very hard to show you in words and pictures what a great center this is for philately. I encourage every member reading this to make a trip to Bellefonte, Pennsylvania to see it for yourself. I know you will be impressed. But the American Philatelic Center was only PART of the goal of the campaign. As it was first reported to you in November 2003 (American Philatelist volume 117, No. 11, whole number 1234), "A component of this campaign is an 'APS Initiative' that will fund such necessary programs as an aggressive membership promotion, relief for our under-funded youth programs, technology upgrades, and other initiatives...." There is much work left to be done for both the American Philatelic Center and the APS Initiatives.
Three different APS committees are involved with awarding Society honors. The Luff Award is the highest award given by the American Philatelic Society. The Luff Award committee, chaired by Robert Odenweller, seeks and recommends candidates to the APS Board for honorees in three different categories: distinguished philatelic research, outstanding service to the Society, and exceptional contributions to philately.
The Kehr Future of Philately Award Committee, chaired by Mary Ann Bowman, seeks candidates for this award given for enduring contributions to the hobby that guarantee the future of philately. The Committee's recommendations are submitted to the Board for approval.
The Hall of Fame Award recognizes deceased philatelists for outstanding contributions to philately. The Hall of Fame Committee, chaired by Herb Trenchard, reviews candidates and makes recommendations to the Board for approval.
You can find out more about all of these awards and see biographies of those who have won them at:
You can also nominate worthy individuals for these awards directly through the APS at 100 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte, PA 16823.
Two committees are involved in promoting philately and membership in the APS. Nancy Clark chairs the Entry Level Collectors Committee, which seeks to address the needs of beginner youth and adult collectors. This committee has been exceedingly active in the past year working with Washington 2006 for its youth area and in cooperation with outreach efforts being undertaken by the National Postal Museum. In October, Nancy Clark and APS Director of Education Kim Kowalczyk represented the APS at the Smithsonian Institution's Teachers' Night, exposing over 2500 teachers from all across the USA to the advantages of using stamps to enhance class work.
The Membership Promotion and Recruiting Committee's mission is to develop methods to promote membership in the APS as the essential tool for stamp collectors to get the maximum enjoyment from their hobby. It is, you know! This committee is chaired by Wade Saadi.
Have you ever had questions or concerns about the best way to preserve the stamps, covers, and other philatelic documents you have in your collection? Our Preservation and Care of Philatelic Materials Committee, chaired by Roger Rhoads, can help. In fact, you might want to check out the information that is already on our website at:
Stamps can be attractive to thieves because they are small, portable, and sometimes quite valuable. As a service to the entire hobby, the APS Stamp Theft Committee, chaired by Ephraim ("Duke") Day, works with police from all across the country to report and identify stolen stamps.
Our largest committee is the Translation Committee, chaired by Dmytro Bykovetz. The committee provides translation services to APS members in a variety of languages. If you have a document or letter, postal marking, or philatelic article in a foreign language that defies your interpretative skills, our Translation Committee might be able to help you out.
Those APS members who engage in exhibiting their collections know the Committee on the Accreditation of National Exhibitions and Judges very well. This committee, chaired by Ann Triggle, oversees the nationally-accredited exhibitions in the United States, the accrediting of philatelic judges, and the development of criteria by which exhibits are judged. These criteria are published in The Manual of Philatelic Judging, available postpaid to all APS members for $9.60. A listing of all nationally-accredited World Series of Philately Shows and all APS accredited judges is on the APS website. The website has lots of information on how various types of exhibits are judged as well as the complete rules of APS-accredited shows at:
The Bylaws Committee, chaired by Dan Siegel, advises the Board about changes to the APS Bylaws, putting them into proper legal language when necessary and offering advice.
The Ethics Committee is chaired by Alan Warren. This committee is helps the Board interpret the APS Code of Ethics as it applies in various circumstances, and advises the Board when specific questions of philatelic ethics arise.
The International Committee, chaired by Steve Schumann, helps the APS in its mission of representing "United States in the world body of philately." This committee acts as a liaison between the APS, which is our national federation for philately, the Federacion International de Philatelie (FIP) and our continental federation, the Federación Inter-Americana de Filatelia (FIAF).
Although technically not a committee, John Hotchner acts as liaison between the APS and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Through John, the APS has and outstanding and productive relationship with the USPS.
The only APS committee specifically mentioned in the APS Bylaws is the Finance Committee. APS Treasurer Nick Carter chairs the Finance Committee. According to the bylaws, the Finance Committee annually presents for approval by the Board of Directors a budget for the ensuing fiscal year showing the estimated receipts accruing to the General Fund, and the proposed expenditures for the current operations of the Society. The Finance Committee also oversees the investments of the Society.
An ad hoc committee was established in November to undertake the search for a new Executive Director, upon the announcement by Robert Lamb that he would be retiring this June. I appointed Wade Saadi to initiate the search and chair the Search Committee. The Board unanimously approved this appointment on November 12. In addition to being APS Director-at-Large, Mr. Saadi is founder and CEO of Pencom Systems, a company that does executive searches for major corporations.
The Committee developed search criteria, which you will see in an advertisement in this issue of American Philatelist. In the course of this process, four members of the APS Board called a special board meeting to discuss the search criteria and whether these criteria should be called "requirements." The meeting took place in at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte on December 7, the net result is that there was no change made in the qualifications being sought for the new Executive Director, but the word "requirements" was clarified to "qualifications."
Committees and all of the volunteers who serve upon them work hard to make the Society successful and provide you with useful and valuable services. I extend my thanks and sincerest appreciation for their dedicated leadership.