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News for the New Year!

I am so excited about the year "2006" appearing on my calendar. For the past ten years a core of dedicated volunteers has been working to produce an international extravaganza of philately in Washington, D.C. We are now just under six months away from the show's opening and I, for one, am getting very energized. I hope to meet as many APS members as I possibly can during the show, which runs May 27 - June 3. For more information contact www.washington-2006.org or write Washington 2006, P.O. Box 2006, Ashburn, VA 20146-2006.

Speaking of international shows, in November your APS Board selected New York as the host city for an international show in 2016. It was a tough decision. Both New York City and Columbus, Ohio, made excellent presentations and provided enormously detailed reports to aid the Board in making the decision. New York was ultimately selected as being the more cosmopolitan of the two and better able to attract international visitors. The New York City venue was also preferred by the American Stamp Dealers Association. It is the dealers' booth fees that underwrite the bulk of the cost of having shows.

Other board actions took place at a meeting held at our headquarters in Bellefonte, PA during the weekend the new, and I might add spectacular, Education Wing was dedicated. The APS Board received Executive Director Bob Lamb's notice of retirement. This will take place in June after Washington 2006. The Board approved my appointment of Wade Saadi as chairman of the Search Committee, charged with the recruiting of a new Executive Director. The notice of the candidate search appears [in the January issue of American Philatelist, and also in the VSC message board at http://forums.delphiforums.com/stamps/messages?msg=20547.1 -editor].

The Board approved the Society's operating budget for 2006, and I'm pleased to say it is a balanced budget. This was achieved by a combination of incorporating cost-saving economies and a projected improvement in income.

Our editor Barb Boal is working magic on our monthly American Philatelist. Not only will you be seeing more color, but you will have it at a lower cost to the Society because of a change in the way our printer distributes the publications, grouping them with other magazines they publish and thereby acquiring a lower cost for all.

Planning for Our Hobby's Future
By Wade Saadi

"Our mission shall be the development of a unified course of action to promote the benefits of stamp collecting to people of all ages." This is the operative statement of the Shaping the Future of Philately Commission. Birthed two years ago as an outgrowth of the Council of Philatelists (an advisory board of the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum), it has sought to incorporate the leaders of many collecting organizations, the American Stamp Dealer's Association, the United States Postal Service, the National Postal Museum and postage stamp printers to work hard on this effort. In itself, the providing of a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas among and between the participants has an incalculable value.

Believing it is far better to be pro-active than to be re-active in endeavoring to grow interest in stamp collecting, the Shaping group has made some heady strides. We have met at the White House with the Dept. of Education to learn about grants available for funding our "Stamps in Schools" proposal. The lesson from the first attempt is how to structure the next grant application.

We are in discussions with the History Channel, seeking to forge a partnership with them by making stamps available to their viewers; these stamps would "theme" with their program subject matter. A further initiative is to explore the value of using stamps as visuals in their programming, since stamps artfully portray historical occurrences. After two meetings in New York, a third meeting is planned with the History Channel at the National Postal Museum where we want to sketch out the details of a working relationship.

The Dedication Weekend hosted a meeting of the Shaping the Future of Philately Commission. I have written about the Commission in previous columns. It is made up of a divergent group of interested parties that include philatelic organizations, the U.S. Postal Service, stamp dealers, and stamp printers. This meeting was conducted by APS Director at Large Wade Saadi, who also chairs the APS Membership Recruiting Committee. Wade's report is published [in the January issue of American Philatelist and at the right].

The American Philatelic Research Library and American Philatelic Society Boards met in an unprecedented joint session to receive "how to" instruction from Steven Rod, our new Campaign Committee Chairman. Steven taught us the methods of successful fundraising. We still have a long way to go to complete the American Philatelic Center and provide an endowment for the Society to fund future programs. Your continued support is necessary to achieve these goals.

There are so many great things happening in philately these days! Within just a few short weeks in October and November, stamp collecting was featured in a number of very positive TV, newspaper, and radio reports.

The Smithsonian National Postal Museum (NPM) in Washington acquired Beatle John Lennon's boyhood stamp collection. It is now on prominent display in the philatelic gallery in the NPM. The museum has had several events centered around the collection. If you haven't visited the NPM's website lately, you would be surprised at the wealth of research material that is there for you. You can, for example, thumb through every page of John Lennon's album, something you cannot do at the static display in the museum. There are photo archives as well as great images and information about items in the collection. More is being added all the time. Check it out at www.postalmuseum.si.edu.

A few weeks after the John Lennon album was unveiled at the NPM, two prominent APS members executed the greatest swap in the history of philately. William Gross, who had recently purchased the 24-cent inverted Jenny plate block at auction, exchanged the block for the 1-cent "Z Grill." For the past several years visitors to APS STAMPSHOW have been privileged to see this legendary stamp thanks to its owner, Donald Sundman, president of Mystic Stamp Co.

The swap took place at the auction gallery of Charles Shreve, amid the flashes and hums of cameras and video equipment. The "swap of the century" was covered in news stories all over the world. Congratulations to Mr. Gross, whose U.S. 19th century collection is now spectacularly complete!

In October the Smithsonian Institution invited APS and other representatives from the Shaping the Future of Philately Commission to participate in its annual Teachers' Night. It was the first time in Smithsonian history that a non-Smithsonian organization was a participant in this event. An estimated 2500 teachers were introduced to the idea of using stamps in their classrooms to aid the teaching of history. Thanks to NPM Director Allen Kane and his extraordinary staff for making this happen.

We have a vibrant, exciting hobby. Take great pride in the multitude of good things that are presently going on within the world of philately. You are a part of it!

Help the APS grow. Sponsor a friend or relative for membership. If each current APS member recruited just one new member in 2006, we would rocket our membership to new heights.

Happy 2006!

Janet Klug
January, 2006

Published by permission. ©2006 Janet Klug

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