What does the Board Do?Every two years the APS asks its members to vote for ten members of the 11-member Board of Directors. This year 13,000 fewer members decided to cast a ballot, which was a disappointment to all who stood for office. However, a new Board of Directors was elected to serve the needs of the Society for the next two years. There are some new faces coming on the Board and some returning in the same positions, including yours truly.
In talking with APS members at shows and club meetings throughout the country, I find that few really know what the duties are for the various Board positions. This might be a good opportunity to explain the Board, its structure, its duties, and introduce you to the Board that you have elected.
Members of the APS Board of Directors are first and foremost APS members who are passionate about the hobby, love the APS, and volunteer their time, talent, and diligence to serve the Society. None of the current APS Board lives in the Bellefonte area, and none of us are employed by or receive a salary from APS for the services we render. We are volunteers. We meet twice a year in person, usually at STAMPSHOW in August and the APS Winter Show in January or February. When business requires, we may have meetings by teleconference or, less frequently, we might call an interim face-to-face meeting.
Our primary duties are set forth in the APS Bylaws. Collectively, in accordance with the Bylaws, the Board of Directors has "full power to set policy and direction of the Society" but "shall exercise its power in conformity with such definite orders and instructions as shall be given to it by the members of the Society by majority vote taken by ballot in a referendum conducted in the manner provided herein for the adoption of an amendment to these Bylaws."
The one member of the Board who is not elected by ballot is the Immediate Past President, currently Peter McCann who served as APS President from 1999-2003. The Immediate Past President is a voting member of the Board and is helpful in providing background and continuity on issues that remain extant from one administration to the next.
Four Directors-at-Large are elected by the membership to serve on the Board. According to the Bylaws, "Directors-at-Large shall have such activities of the Society as may be assigned to them by the President, and shall help promote the Society in their several locations." The Directors-at-Large you elected are Jack Flannery, Peter Martin, Wade Saadi, and David Straight. So since the President may assign tasks to the Directors-at-Large, I have appointed Wade Saadi Chairman of the Membership Recruiting Committee and have asked all the Directors-at-Large, and in fact the entire Board, to lead the charge in the essential business of growing the APS.
In fact, in this column I have often asked each of you to recruit at least one new member this year. If each member would do that, we would assure rapid membership growth. It is easy to do. There are membership applications printed periodically on the outer mailers of American Philatelist, or you can request business reply cards to insert in your philatelic correspondence or your eBay lots. For each new member you recruit, you earn a $5 bounty paid directly to you. Win-win!
But I digress!
You elected Nick Carter for a second term as APS Treasurer. The Treasurer oversees the custody of all securities of the Society subject to the supervision of the Board of Directors, advises the Society's Executive Director in all matters concerning the financial duties discharged at headquarters and collaborates with the Executive Director to present an annual financial report and budget. I have additionally assigned our Treasurer the duty of signing all vouchers in excess of $1000 and chairing the Finance Committee, which advises both the APS Board of Directors and the American Philatelic Research Library Board of Trustees.
Our new Secretary is Wayne Youngblood, whose Board responsibilities include keeping accurate records of all regular and any special meetings of the Society and Board. The Secretary also attests all legal documents as required by law and signs charters for chapters and certificates presented to life members. There are three Vice Presidents on the APS Board. Incumbent Vice Presidents Ada Prill and George Fekete are joined by Alan Parsons, who is new to the Board. The Vice Presidents serve as individual voting members of the Board, but they periodically assemble as a separate Board - the Board of Vice Presidents - that is the disciplinary body of the Society.
The Board of Vice Presidents conducts hearings for unresolved complaints involving APS members. They have the authority, subject to appeal of the Appeals Tribunal, to discipline or expel members for failure to pay their indebtedness to the Society, for fraudulent or unethical conduct as collectors or dealers, or for conduct unbecoming a member as defined by the APS Code of Ethics.
Finally, there is me. I am beginning my second and final term as APS President. This is a good time to mention that the Bylaws of the APS include term limits that state no person shall hold office for more than two consecutive terms in the same office.
My duties as defined in the Bylaws include presiding over meetings of the Society and Board; appointing committee chairmen; executing contracts, deeds, and other legal instruments on behalf of the Society when authorized by the Board; and general supervision over all officers and committees.
Additionally, I represent the Society at as many stamp shows and stamp club meetings as I can reasonably manage. I also represent the Society on the National Postal Museum's Council of Philatelists and at periodic meetings of the Shaping the Future of Philatelic Commission.
The Board of Directors does not participate in the management of day-to-day operations of the staff at our headquarters in Bellefonte. That is the job of our Executive Director Bob Lamb. The Board does, however, hire the Executive Director, who, as stated in the Bylaws, is responsible to the President and the Board of Directors for proper management of the Society. The paid professional staff at our headquarters work under the supervision of the Executive Director.
The APS Board works for you and you are our boss. We represent your interests and uphold the mission of the Society. We not only enjoy hearing your ideas and comments; they are essential to us fulfilling our commitment to you. Contact me at P.O. Box 250, Pleasant Plain, OH 45162 or by e-mail at TongaJan@aol.com. I will share your letters with the Board unless you specifically request that I not do so.