Butterline Runs for APS Secretary

Dear Fellow APS Members,

ButterlineMy name is Mark Butterline and I am announcing my candidacy for the position of Secretary on the APS Board of Directors.

My main goal in running is to bring more people into our great hobby, and more collectors into the American Philatelic Society. In other words, maximum philatelic fun to the greatest number of people! There are many people out there for whom philately would bring them much joy. But they just don’t know it, yet.

This is the biggest challenge facing the philatelic community and the APS is the organization best equipped to do something about it. This task squarely falls upon the shoulders of the new Executive Director and the APS Board. They need to carefully analyze the current philatelic environment, identify our objectives and associated strategies, and then develop and execute plans to achieve those objectives. And they need to work with the whole APS community, collectors and dealers, while they do this. Our main challenges are about long-term strategy and communication (internal and external).

So who am I, and why should I be on the APS Board? Over the past 12 years, I have helped guide various philatelic organizations, large and small, while holding different leadership roles. I am the current President of the Northeastern Federation of Stamp Clubs. The Federation provides support services to 35 New England stamp clubs and their stamp shows, in addition to staging Philatelic Show, the annual WSP show in Boxborough, MA. I am a past President and Treasurer of the Pitcairn Islands Study Group and past Treasurer of the Waltham Stamp Club. Currently I am the Executive Director of the Boston 2026 World Stamp Show (the next international philatelic exhibition in the United States after New York 2016 – yes, there will be another big international show in America after New York). Much of my work in organized philately has been about analyzing organizational health and effectiveness, and developing and executing plans to improve that health and effectiveness.

As for my philatelic background, I discovered stamps at the age of four. My first acquisition was a large used multiple of the 1963 Sciences commemorative (Scott 1237). After soaking and drying, I affixed it to a piece of orange construction paper with thick white paste and exhibited it on my family’s refrigerator door. Since then my collecting techniques have improved. My current interests include stamps and covers of the Falklands, Pitcairn, United Nations, Germany, Bhutan and Expo67 postcards. I’ve been a proud member of the APS since 2003 and work on my collections almost everyday.

Professionally, I am a consultant that addresses both technical (IT) and business issues for companies ranging in size from 100 employees to multinationals. I am also an author of various articles, both professional and philatelic, as well as a book on software engineering. I am a graduate of Rutgers (1981 – B.S. Computer Science) and Cornell (1995 – M.B.A.). I am married, with a son, and live near Boston. If you have a questions or comments, please feel free to email me at mbutterli@gmail.com or call me at 1-978-407-9644.

Thank you for considering my candidacy for APS Secretary. I respectfully ask for your vote in next year’s Society election.

Mark Butterline

Hotchner: Roots

The Evolving of a Stamp Collection
by John M. Hotchner
hotchner If I ever began a column with a subject and little idea what I would say about it, this is it. I’m prompted to think about it by a realization that my journey in the hobby has come a long way from the days when my father gave me as an 11-year-old a packet of 1,000 worldwide stamps, and said, in essence, “Have fun!” He did know that I would, as I had pressed him to let me get started as early as age 5.

So I began what I now consider my apprenticeship as a worldwide collector with no date limitations. And I assumed that would be my approach forever. In 1954, this was not an unreasonable approach. Today, what I see happening is that this is not the way that most who come to the hobby begin. Rather they start as topical collectors based on another interest they may have; be it trains, space, cats, Princess Diana, Chinese New Year, or anything else that might tickle a mind engaged in today’s events or other aspects of their lives.

I believe this trend is equally true whether the new collector is young or an adult, though I think that the urge to collect one’s own country of origin or citizenship is probably more an adult way to approach the hobby than the topical approach.

Worldwiders are a vanishing species, and where I see it continuing to be a presence is in the realm of collecting time periods. The early trend was to collect the first century, 1840-1940, because it limited the challenge. And to hear it discussed, the stamps of this period were if not more colorful and attractive, then they at least represented the time when stamps were actually issued to be used, and the quality of production resulted in aesthetically beautiful engraved designs.

Today, there seem to be more worldwiders who prefer later time periods, or worldwide stamps from the year of their birth, or stamps that are blue, or stamps that feature in their designs a particular type of subject. Yes, we are back to topicalists, who are indeed a species of worldwide collector!

What I have learned is that however our collecting interests end up, they are likely to have become something very different from where we began. There are many reasons. Regardless of how generally we begin, or with what subject, as we play with our stamps, and acquire more, it is only natural that we are attracted to some stamps more than others. For the true worldwider, that may be because of the attractiveness of the stamps, the content of the designs, a connection to family origin or history (to include service in an area under military occupation or in combat), and for other reasons.

For the country collector, usually a particular issue (The Prexies, The Liberties, Washington-Franklins, may stand out; or you may be attracted especially to the Columbian issues, or Revenues.

So long as the bank account holds out and you can buy anything you wish, collecting broadly is no problem. You can add to your collections what you find. But for those of us, in fact most of us, who have limited funds to spend on our hobby, there usually comes a time when we have to decide to focus on one or more particular areas of interest, and to stop spending our scarce resources on things that do not give as much pleasure.

For me there was another pressure to retreat from worldwide collecting. At age 12, I began going with my father to the New Delhi, India Stamp Club. At a particular meeting, the club was holding its members-only auction. I had just gotten my 5 Rupees allowance, and flush with cash decided to bid on a lot of inexpensive India official overprints. Trouble was that in my enthusiasm to win the lot, I did not realize that I was bidding against my Dad. He won the lot, but not until he had been bid up to a level beyond my 5 Rupees. He was not, in today’s jargon, a Happy Camper.

This led us, once he started speaking to me again, to dividing up the world into his countries and my countries. In the course of that division of labor, I was also forced to consider what my slim resources could support, and I ended up with about 15 countries that I really liked. He ended up with about the same number, but countries that stamp-for-stamp cost a lot more. We agreed that we would each pursue our own USA collections — only his would be mint and mine would be used. We, mostly me, also agreed that we would not bid against each other any more.

I ultimately dropped a couple of the countries I had chosen, and again, ultimately, inherited his collections. I have continued most of his countries along with mine; a combined total of 22 countries plus a few that I have picked up along the way like Italy (my wife’s heritage) and Peru because a nephew married into a Peruvian family.

The countries I have kept up have been for a variety of reasons. For example, Poland (heritage), China (interesting complexity of the overprints), France (attractiveness of the stamps), Russia and Soviet Union (academic interest; especially in the period up to 1925), the early stamps of Great Britain (the fascinating number cancellations), and India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh (because of the history they represent and the fact that I lived in the region as a teenager).

For true worldwide collecting, my early collection of stamps honoring every aspect of United Nations involvement got cut down to what I could afford, including World Refugee Year, and World United Against Malaria. And my early interest in number and letter cancellations has evolved into a collection of stamps costing no more than 10¢ with a clear number and/or letter cancel. In my U.S. collecting, I fairly rapidly reached a point where I had everything I could reasonably afford — as a teenager, everything that cost under $2! But I discovered a wide range of specialized material that cost next to nothing at the time, but found interesting. And based on the prices, apparently this material had not been discovered by the mass of collectors.

Among these were the “F” category of Errors, Freaks and Oddities. I could not afford the Errors. But I could and did seek out misperforations, color varieties, paper folds and creases, and anything else from the production process that was defective and classed by most collectors as damaged stamps.

Also of interest and added to my U.S. collecting were in depth interests in plate singles of the Liberty issue, all Bureau precancels, non-Bureau precancels of the Washington-Franklin issue, and Christmas seals — which eventually evolved into specialized collections of the 1934 and 1935 seals.

But along the way, I was also bitten by the U.S. postal history bug, which never interested Dad. Specifically, I found fascinating the wide range of reasons that mail might be delayed through the fault of the mailer, the fault of the postal system, or how blind luck might intervene, such as with a plane crash, hurricane, or pranksters throwing firecrackers into a mail collection box.

While retaining my interest in stamps, the lure of covers has pushed me in new directions: for examples rates paid by the stamps used, covers rerouted because of the exigencies of war, and covers that were used to comply with the social practices surrounding the mourning of relatives, friends and high profile leaders.

Bottom line (a truly appropriate term), my trek through the by ways of stamp collecting has been influenced by financial resources, family and professional considerations, the aspects of specific countries that I have found interesting, and blind luck — the specialties I have been introduced to by other collectors.

The result of how my collecting has evolved is that I went from a worldwide collector to a collector of several of the world’s countries, and in many cases, have delved into one or more aspects of the philately of the countries I enjoy.

Along the way I have made peace with the fact that I will never own the great rarities of the countries I enjoy but in just about all cases I have collections that are over 90% complete, and there is enough variety of things to work on and update that I am never bored. Nor do I come close to breaking the bank in order to maintain my interests.

Who could ask for more?!

Should you wish to comment on this editorial, or have questions or ideas you would like to have explored in a future column, please write to John Hotchner, VSC Contributor, P.O. Box 1125, Falls Church, VA 22041-0125, or email, putting “VSC” in the subject line.

Or comment right here.

LloydBlog: Changes To The Radio Feature

sabrinapix_lloydThe CBS Radio News Stamp Collecting Report is undergoing its first major change in many years: It now includes a “promo” (promotional announcement) for The Virtual Stamp Club, and CBS is no longer paying me for it.

Some background: The Report began April 4, 1997, as a weekend feature distributed by CBS News, Radio (that is, the radio department of CBS News, as opposed to the news department of CBS Radio, which doesn’t exist) free to affiliated stations. At the time, I was the producer of the weekend features, and had lobbied for more than a year to produce and voice a stamp collecting feature.

The acceptance of the feature by CBS News marked my return to on-air status. I was paid the minimum “talent fee” as stipulated by the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which I believe was then $25 or so and is now $28.25.

LloydMike2Although the weekend features distributed to stations varied greatly in length, I decided to make the CBS Stamp Collecting Report always be one minute in length, because I realized that philately would be a tough sell on commercial radio, and I wanted to make it as easy to use as possible. Every one of the nearly 1,000 reports has been between 59 and 61 seconds.

[That’s me interviewing Scott Publishing Co. president Stu Morrissey in 2000; he took the photo.]

A few years later, I began (with permission) to put them on The Virtual Stamp Club’s website. Eventually, I sometimes decided there was more to say than could be squeezed into 60 seconds, and I produced a longer, often more slowly read, version for The VSC. A version of the short edition was also provided to APS Stamp Talk, and a version of the long one to KNLS Radio, a Christian evangelical radio operation that has a hobby show.

The feature paved the way for me to provide “spots” (short news reports of 30 seconds or less) for CBS News Radio, for which I was also paid.

mike3Now to the 2015 events: I am still an active broadcast journalist, but practically all my work is as a per diem (freelancer) at ABC News. (CBSNews.com laid me off in December 2007.) At age 62, it seemed like a good time to start collecting my CBS pension. I haven’t worked for CBS in 3½ years.

Except for the radio pieces. CBS considers them “employment,” and I cannot collect the pension as long as I am “employed.” After several months of arguing fruitlessly and frustratingly with the benefits subcontractor, and getting different answers from each person to whom I spoke, I gave in. I was “terminated” on September 21, 2015.

After six months, I can again be employed by CBS.

In the meantime, though, I can’t be paid for radio pieces, and, as a broadcasting professional, I won’t work for a major network for free. The spot reports, heard in newscasts, are done (at least until next spring).

LloydHeidi1But the feature? I really enjoyed doing them. As the producer, I could do whatever I wanted (within the rules of CBS News), and I daresay it was some of the most creative work I have done in radio news: Music, audio mixes, interviews, even humorous writing. I had fun.

[That’s me on the left interviewing supermodel Heidi Klum in 2002, when IGPC-client Grenada issued stamps honoring her.]

I was also proud of them: In something like 960 weeks, there were only six repeats. I believe “The Stamp Collecting Report” is the longest-running network radio feature on philately ever.

So I worked out a deal: I will produce the features on a weekly basis, as before, but with that promo in them. I’m no longer a “CBS News Reporter” (CBS News is big on titles; “correspondent” is a higher rank there) and instead of “Lloyd de Vries, CBS News” it’s now “Lloyd de Vries, for CBS News.” You can hear the first of the new version here.

It’s not the first major change in format, or even the most-major change: When the Report started, I tried to include that weekend’s major stamp shows, but that ate up a lot of time, and I had discovered that at least one station was saving the features and running an entire month’s output on one night.

And it may not be the last. As they say in radio, “Stay tuned.”

Rugby World Cup [UK 2015]

[press release]

Rugby World Cup
Issue Date: Friday, 18th September 2015uk_rugby_set

  • Mint Stamps – 8 1st Class Stamps
  • First Day Cover
  • Presentation pack
  • Stamp Cards
  • Retail Stamp Book


uk_rugby_passOn Friday 18th September, England will kick off the 8th Rugby world cup when they face Fiji in the first game of the 2015 Rugby world Cup.

20 of the world’s best International Rugby Union Teams will take part in a tournament that will be televised to an audience of billions throughout the world, running between 18th September, culminating with a final that will take place on 31st October.

Rugby is a huge game in the UK with England alone accounting for almost 2000 separate clubs and over 1 million regular participants. Fierce rivalry between the British home nations ensure that all international games are well attended and keenly followed.

uk_rugby_lineoutA set to celebrate Rugby coming home to the country that invented it, and to demonstrate that stamps are contemporary markers in time of such major national events as the Rugby World Cup. Convey the physicality, excitement and skill of the top-level sport of Rugby Union in the context of the key moves and set pieces within the game.

Mint Stamps: £7.38
Code: AS26B
A set of 8 stamps printed as se-tenant pairs (note that stamp are shown above as singles – not se-tenant Pairs. These stamps cover a range of values and bear the official Rugby World Cup 2015 logo that only official, approved products can display.


  • 2nd class – Tackle
  • 2nd class – Scrum
  • 1st class – Try
  • 1st class – Conversion
  • £1.00 – Pass
  • £1.00 – Drop Goal
  • £1.52 – Ruck
  • £1.52 – Line-Out

Designed by hat-trick and illustrated by Geoff Appleton, the Rugby World Cup 2015 stamps are uncompromisingly black and white. “It’s a celebration of the game of rugby itself,” explains hat-trick’s Creative Director Gareth Howat, “so there are no favours to particular teams, players or stadia. The images are stripped right back, and in the context of stamps, they feel quite radical.”

uk_rugby_conversionAppleton worked on canvasses of around A4 size, supplying the designers with three or four painted layers per image, which were then combined in the studio using Photoshop. The foregrounds were more detailed and contrasting; the backgrounds lighter and roughly textured, with rudimentary elements like thumbprints suggesting faces in the crowd. The unusual angles and compositions put the viewer right in the thick of the action – inside the scrum, watching a ball as it flies over the post, observing a pass being made to a player behind.

uk_rugby_tryThe gritty style is reminiscent of a comic or graphic novel; there’s a real sense of dynamism (and even heroism) about the all-action figures. Most of the basic scenarios were composed from stock shots and reference materials, although the diving try (with tackler attached) involved a trip to Saracens training camp to get the technique and details right. “In certain passages of play, the area may be packed with bodies,” says Howat, “and so the tricky part was creating a clean, uncluttered image, where it’s clear what’s going on.”

Stamp technical details:

uk_rugby_tackleNumber of stamps: Eight
Design: Hat-trick design
Acknowledgements: The illustrations reference the following photographic sources – tackle © AP/PA Images; scrum and line-out © Image Source/CORBIS; try and drop goal © Camillo Natale-Miles/Saracens RFC; conversion © Getty Images; pass © Douglas Fisher; ruck © International Rugby Board; TM © RWC Ltd 1986
Stamp Format (Standard): Landscape
Stamp Size (Standard): 41mm x 30mm
Printer : International Security Printers
Print Process: Lithogrphy
Perforations: 14.5 x 14
Phosphor: Bars as appropriate
Gum: PVA

3.Product Portfolio

First Day Cover
Prices: £9.33 (Inland) £7.38 (Overseas)
Code: AF396

uk_rugby_fdcThis colourful First Day Cover bears all 8 of the RWC Special Stamps, canceled with a handstamp design that uniquely ties the stamps to the cover to commemorate the first day of issue. Drawing heavily on the RWC branding and use of colour whilst remaining true to the design focused ethos of Royal Mail stamps and collectibles, this First Day Cover is provided direct from tallents House will be personalised with the buyers name and address.

Filler Card
The filler card features a fixture planner, listing all 48 games along with the dates that they will be played. Additionally, in true classic World Cup ‘tracker’ style the knockout phases of the competition are shown with the teams names left blank so that they can be filled in once the key results are known!

First Day Envelope
Price: 30p
Code: AE354

Stamp Souvenir
Price: £9.33
Code: TBC

The new version of the FDC’s will share the same FDE design, stamp configuration, cancellation and insert card as the standard, personalised FDC. The USP’s of the new version are:

    • Available for sale for 90 days after stamp issue date – Allowing customers who miss the issue day to buy the product.
    • Non-personalised (no customer name and address) – Appealing to customers who want a stock, unaltered product.

Presentation Pack (number 517)
Price: £7.90
Code: AP408

uk_rugby_present1A visual feast and a true memento of what promises to be the most exciting Rugby World Cup yet, this Presentation pack is an official Rugby World Cup item and comes complete with an ‘official merchandise ‘ hologram on the outer protective packaging.

Written by esteemed sports writer and journalist Richard Rae, this Presentation Pack, when folded out provides two full A4 sides of Rugby World Cup trivia. One side focuses on key facts and figures and stats from the history of the RWC, including images of RWC legends Johnny Wilkinson, Jannie de Beer and Jonah Lomu. Also covered are the incredible traditions of the world cup including a picture of the whistle that was used to referee 1905 test match between New Zealand and England and will be used again for the first match of the 2015 RWC,

uk_rugby_present2The flip side of the pack charts the development of Rugby as a game from its origins at Rugby School in 1823 when William Webb Ellis first picked up a football and began running towards the opposition goal, Detail about the development of the international side of the game including the formations of the nation Rugby Football unions, flows into a history of the Rugby World Cup itself.

Definitions of the 8 game situations covered on the stamp designs are included superimposed overran image of the William Webb Ellis cup itself.

uk_rugby_cardStamp Cards
Price: £3.60
Code: AQ227

This set contains 8 cards in total – five comprising an image of each individual stamp in the issue..

Retail Stamp Book
Price: £3.78
Code: UB386

The Retail Stamp Book, featuring the two First Class RWC stamps (Tackle & Conversion) alongside 4 of the new ‘Long to Reign Over Us 1st Class definitive stamps.of the new First Class Machins, The stamps have been printed in gravure by International Security Printers.

uk_rugby_retailThe book features the official Rugby World Cup logo as befits a genuine licenced collectible.

Note: whereas the Special stamps in the book will be self-adhesive the corresponding Mint stamp versions will be gummed which will be of interest to collectors.

Previous Royal Mail Stamps Issued with the same or similar theme:
December 2003 – England victory in the 2003 Rugby World Cup

Tallents House Postmark

The TH postmark has been cleverly and unusually designed in the shape of a set of rugby posts.

Alternative Postmark
The alternative post mark depicts the ‘Crouch, Bind, Set’ scrum command which is well known to rugby players the world over. Rugby has been selected as the postal town as it shares its name with the sport itself and is the location of the origin of the game.

Non-First Day of Issue:
TALLENTS HOUSE: Pictorial: FD 1522-TH
Primary Postcode: Pictorial: FD 1522-PL
Primary postcode: Non-pictorial: FD 1522-NP

First Day Facilities
Unstamped Royal Mail First Day Cover envelopes (price 30p) are available from main Post Offices and philatelic outlets.

Orders for Serviced First Day Covers have to reach Royal Mail by 18th September 2015. Customers may also send stamped envelopes on the day of issue to Royal Mail, Tallents House for the Tallents House, Edinburgh postmark. The address for Royal Mail is as follows:-

Royal Mail
Tallents House
21 South Gyle Crescent
EH12 9PB

Customers who hand in or post stamped Royal Mail First Day Cover envelopes at main Post Offices on the day of issue will receive the pictorial Rugby first day postmark.

Alternatively, customers may send stamped envelopes to any of the Special Handstamp Centres quoting the reference number of the postmark required.

Special Handstamp Centres

The Special Handstamp Centre
Royal Mail, St Stephens Street

The Special Handstamp Centre
Royal Mail, 220 Penarth Road

The Special Handstamp Centre
Royal Mail
Tallents House
21 South Gyle Crescent
EH12 9PB

The Special Handstamp Centre
Royal Mail, Mount Pleasant
Farringdon Road

The Special Handstamp Centre
Royal Mail, South Shields DO
Keppell Street

British Postmark Bulletin
Details of all forthcoming first day of issue and all sponsored special handstamps are announced in the Postmark Bulletin. This is available on subscription from Royal Mail, Tallents House at £12.25 UK & Europe or £24.55 rest of the world.

Special Handstamps
A number of different sponsored Special Handstamps are available for every new stamp issue. They are announced in the British Postmark Bulletin.

Presentation Pack Details:

Number of stamps: eight
Date of issue: 18 September 2015
Design: hat-trick design
Illustrations: Geoff Appleton
Acknowledgements: the illustrations reference the following photographic sources – tackle © AP/PA Images; scrum and line-out © Image Source/CORBIS; try and drop goal © Camillo Natale-Miles/Saracens RFC; conversion © Getty Images; pass © Douglas Fisher; ruck © International Rugby Board; TM © RWC Ltd 1986
Printer: International Security Printers
Process: lithography
Format: landscape
Size: 41mm x 30mm
Perforations: 14.5 x 14
Number per sheet: 30/60
Phosphor: bars as appropriate
Gum: PVA

Haunted Canada: Second Set [Canada 2015]

[press release]

Ghostly tales from across the country in second Haunted Canada stamp issue
can_15haunted_ssCanada Post unveiled a second set of stamps on September 14, 2015, featuring popular Canadian ghost stories. The stamps are part of a multi-year series that shares some of the spookiest tales from across the country.

can_haunted_oxcartThis year’s set highlights stories about Vancouver’s Gastown – believed to have the most haunted history of any other neighbourhood in Canada; the rumbling ghostly ox cart that panicked the soldiers of the Red River Valley’s Lower Fort Garry, in Manitoba; Marie-Josephte Corriveau, whose soul is said to wander the dark roads and forests near Lévis, Quebec; the Caribou Hotel in Carcross, Yukon, rumoured to be haunted by its past innkeeper; and the Grey Lady who wanders the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site searching for her lost love.

can_haunted_corriveau“There is nothing more fun, yet unsettling, as ghost stories, and we have a history filled with these memorable tales. Our hope is that Canadians from coast to coast can continue to discover and pass on these stories, which are sure to give a few spine-tingling chills,” says Jim Phillips, Director of Stamp Services, Canada Post.

“Be prepared for a little scare with these legendary local stories and let your creativity take over,” says Joel Sutherland, author of the children’s series of Haunted Canada books and adviser to the stamp series. “The series makes for huddling close to the campfire – or a scary sleepover.”

  • can_haunted_brakemanGastown, Vancouver, B.C. – haunted history: Legend has it the Waterfront Station and several bars and restaurants in the neighbourhood are all haunted – making it home to more dearly departed but persistently present spirits than any neighbourhood in Canada.
  • Red River Valley, Man. – the ox cart: In 1903, soldiers at the Red River Valley’s Fort Garry claimed to have seen phantoms driving a cart pulled by a team of oxen pass through their post at night.
  • Lévis, Que. – Marie-Josephte Corriveau: In 1763, she was executed on charges of murder. Her soul was said to walk the road at night, approaching travelers and grabbing anyone passing by with her claw-like hands as she opened her blood-red eyes.
  • can_haunted_carribouCarcross, Yukon – Caribou Hotel: Built in the town of Bennett in 1898 at the start of the Klondike Gold Rush, the hotel is rumoured to be haunted by late hotel co-owner Bessie Gideon’s ghost. She was supposedly buried in Carcross but a cemetery survey did not locate her grave.
  • Halifax, N.S. – the Grey Lady: Legend has it that the spirit of the “Grey Lady” wanders the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, mourning her lost love, strolling the second floor at night, smelling of roses and wearing a 19th-century dress.

About the stamps
can_haunted_citadelThe five Permanent domestic-rate stamps measure 32 mm by 32 mm and are available in booklets of 10. They were designed by Lionel Gadoury and printed by Lowe-Martin Group in six-colour lithography with a holographic foil. A souvenir sheet of the five stamps measuring 127 mm by 73 mm, an Official First Day Cover [shown below], cancelled in Lévis, Que., an uncut press sheet measuring 483 mm by 616 mm and a Haunted Canada Gift set complete this stamp issue.can_haunted_fdc

APS Senior Staffers Join World Stamp Show-NY 2016

September 21, 2015
For Immediate Release

APS Senior Staffers Join World Stamp Show-NY 2016

Two recent hires of the American Philatelic Society are joining current APS Chief Operating Officer Ken Martin as ex-officio members of the World Stamp Show-NY 2016 team.

Scott English is the newly named American Philatelic Society Executive Director, assuming the helm on August 10. From January through August he was the Chief of Staff of U.S. Representative Mark Sanford of South Carolina. Scott served as the Chief Operating Officer of that state’s Department of Education from 2011-2015, before which he was then Governor Sanford’s Chief of Staff. He held numerous positions with Sanford beginning in 1996. Scott is a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History.

Megan Orient was appointed the APS Manager of Shows and Exhibitions in May. For over 15 years she has been serving nonprofit organizations in a variety of management and operational roles. Her collegiate background was in secondary education, receiving a BS degree from Penn State, and later graduating from the Southeast Tourism Society’s program for Tourism Marketing Professionals. Megan’s forte has been in event planning, both domestically and internationally, as well as grant writing and project/facilities management.

Their backgrounds in these broad areas compliment the experience already on the WSS-NY 2016 Organizing Committee. Quoting show President Wade Saadi, “We are very fortunate to have their participation. These APS leaders will play a significant role in making our show a success. We thank all three and welcome them to our organization.”

World Stamp Show-NY 2016 takes place May 28-June 4 at New York City’s Javits Center. Read more information about the international exhibition on the web at www.ny2016.org, or check out the show’s Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts.

Steve Schumann Runs for APS Secretary

SchumannStephen D. Schumann
APS Secretary Candidate Statement

Today I am announcing that I am running for the American Philatelic Society Board of Directors as Secretary.

Many challenges are facing the APS today, particularly the declining membership and the aging of that membership. New approaches, particularly the internet and social media, I believe are the key to obtaining and retaining new members. An electronic membership, at a reduced rate from the regular dues, saving the cost of printing and mailing The American Philatelist, may also help slow down the membership decline. The staff at APS is outstanding and the Board should give them full support in the areas of strategic and long range planning.

Personally I did security and audit work for Loomis Armored for over 36 years. I am now retired, attempting to sort out and dispose of my life time accumulation of foreign postal stationery.

I have been an APS member for 50 years and for 40 of those years in organized philately. I have served as an elected Director (1989-1991), Member of the Fakes and Forgeries Committee (1990-1998), Committee on Accreditation of National Exhibitions and Judges (2000-2008), and Chairman of the International Committee (1998- present). Trustee of the APRL since 2009. I received the Luff Award for Exceptional Contributions of Philately in 2007 and became a Vooys Fellow of the American Philatelic Research Library in 2008.

I was a co-founder and second President (1990-1994) of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors. I also served as President of the American Philatelic Congress (1999-2007) which publishes an annual compendium of original philatelic research.

Since 1983, I have been an APS accredited judge and have served on over 90 World Series of Philately Exhibition juries (33 as Chairman). I try to serve the current exhibitors in the APS by providing the best feedback possible both written and oral. In addition I review and make suggestions regarding exhibits if photocopies are sent to me. An active exhibitor since 1977, my collections of Bangladesh, Brunei, North Borneo, New Zealand, Ceylon, and Labuan have garnered awards from certificate to Grand at the WSP show level.

From 1982 to 2008, I served as a Director of WESTPEX , with responsibilities for exhibits and jury. Since 2008, I have been serving as General Chairman and Jury Coordinator for Filatelic Fiesta, a WSP show in San Jose, CA.

Involved with USA international exhibitions since AMERIPEX 1986, where I was a committee member, working in the bin room. I was Vice-President of PACIFIC 97, responsible for jury and exhibit selection, at WASHINGTON 2006, I served on the exhibit selection committee and was Jury Secretary. Currently I am serving as Commissioner General for NEW YORK 2016. A FIP judge since 1990, I have served on 13 juries and have been appointed Commissioner to 12 exhibitions. An active international exhibitor since 1980, my exhibits have received awards from Bronze through Large Gold. In recognition of my philatelic contributions I was invited to sign the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 2015.

I am a member of over 40 philatelic societies including the United Postal Stationery Society(life), Collectors Club of New York(life), SAS/Oceania (life), United States Philatelic Classics Society, Royal Philatelic Society of Canada(life) and the Western Philatelic Library.

As Secretary I pledge to provide complete, accurate minutes in a prompt manner after each APS Board of Directors meeting.

Please contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.

Stephen (Steve) D. Schumann

APS Names Education Director

[press release]

Brachbill Named APS Director of Education
brachbill The American Philatelic Society has hired Cathy Brachbill, Ph.D., as its director of education. Brachbill, who has a long career in education, will start her new duties September 29 at the society’s headquarters in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

Brachbill will manage the society’s many educational programs, including the national Stamps Teach classroom education program; in-person, online, and stamp show programs for children and adults; and the society’s popular Summer Seminar for collectors.

Brachbill is from the Bellefonte area and previously worked for the Bellefonte Area School District, serving in positions ranging from classroom teacher for 20-plus years to director of curriculum and instruction for nine years before retiring three years ago. She is currently a training consultant for McGraw-Hill Education.

“We had some incredibly talented applicants apply, making this decision very tough,” said Scott English, executive director for the APS. “Given the experience Cathy has had in educating both young learners and adults, we saw someone who could really make an impact with collectors young and old, new and experienced. We’re incredibly fortunate that Cathy has lived and worked in Bellefonte for most of her life and will help us build great partnerships here in Centre County. We are honored to have her join the team.”

Brachbill’s background covers a range from elementary and secondary education for K-12 students, classroom teaching for college-level students, professional development of classroom teachers to administration, budgeting, and management. She received her master’s and doctorate degrees from Penn State University.

“I look forward to working with the staff, volunteers, and members of the American Philatelic Society to enhance current Educational Services and reimagine others while continuing to serve the APS membership with a high level of quality,” said Brachbill.

Brachbill’s duties also will include working as an APS liaison to groups such as the U.S. Postal Service and National Postal Museum, to oversee the Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship program, manage the APS audiovisual program service, and to manage and enhance the APS mentor service.

Brachbill will work with Janet Houser, youth director and assistant to the education director.

Brachbill will have an official e-mail address of cbrachbill@stamps.org. Her phone number will be 814-933-3803, ext. 239.

With nearly 31,000 members in more than 110 countries, the APS is the largest, non-profit organization for stamp collectors in the world, promoting the hobby for collectors of all ages. Founded in 1886, the APS serves collectors, educators, postal historians, and the general public by providing a variety of programs and services. The society is entirely supported by membership dues, gifts, and the sale of publications, souvenirs, and services.

Michael Bloom Declares for APS Director-at-Large

Michael Bloom
Candidate Statement of APS Director at Large

mbloom3As a Life Member of APS I’ve devoted myself to growing the number of adult and youth stamp collectors and growing APS membership. When elected to the Board I will devote myself to continuing the efforts already begun. Stamp collecting needs a welcoming face and the APS StampBuddy program, which I created, is now in full swing at every APS StampShow and AmeriStamp Expo. It has a strong presence at many of the 31 World Series of Philately shows. StampBuddy reaches out to non-collectors through presentations at senior living communities, genealogical societies, libraries and many other venues. APS cannot remain passive in building our hobby. The APS Entry Level Adult and Youth Committee, which I chair, brings together our best stamp educators and creative thinkers.

mbloom4Every year the April issue of the American Philatelist lists a recruiting Honor Roll for the previous year. For 2015 I was listed as the second biggest recruiter for APS membership in 2014, right behind Donald Sundman of Mystic Stamps.

We know that many stamp collectors are not involved in organized philately. I set out to find them and introduce them to APS. The easiest place to find unaffiliated collectors is on eBay. At my request, APS set up a program to auction donated material on eBay and to make a directed effort to show the relevance of APS to each collector’s interests. That program, called ePAM, or eBay Pathway to APS Membership, is now in Beta test.

World Stamp Show NY2016 will have a Welcome to Stamp Collecting Pavilion. I am on the NY2016 Organizing Committee and have been tasked, as Chairman of the NY2016 Entry Level Adult and Youth Committee, with building an entry level adult and youth program that will occupy 5000 square feet including a 30-seat theater. I’ve asked APS to produce two professional qualities movies, one for youth and one for adults. The APS Board has approved this. When NY2016 is over we will leverage everything we learned to carry over to APS activities.

I’m a former teacher so I am able to see stamp collecting from a youth and young adult perspective. But I am also a business man running a multinational engineering and manufacturing company with offices in the US and China. I have a degree in electrical engineering and a graduate degree in counseling; kind of left-brained/right-brained. I will bring my common sense and business acumen with me.

I’ve also chaired a number of non-profit boards and believe that every Board member ought to have a portfolio: some area of major interest where they can bring new ideas and methods of implementation to a Board. My portfolio will include increasing the number of stamp collectors and growing APS membership. As a member of the innovative APS Membership Committee I am alreadyworking closely with the committee.

The future for our hobby looks bright if only we begin to understand how collectors have changed. We need to do better branding. We need to use new technologies such as online learning, and virtual stamp shows. We need to go beyond exposing our youth to stamps; we need to figure out how to turn them into stamp collectors. If elected, that’s where I am heading. I would love to hear your ideas, especially when they are a little out-of-the-box.


David McNamee Declares for APS Director-at-Large

Update: September 28th: David has dropped out of the election.

David McNamee
Candidate’s Statement
mcnamee2013I am running for election to an At-Large position on the APS Board of Directors because I feel a deep responsibility to the hobby to ensure that the APS and its core services are available for future generations of collectors. I joined the APS in 1974 as a young adult, and the guidance and inspiration of the APS and its services have continued to enrich my enjoyment of life ever since. I am an active exhibitor and philatelic Chief Judge, an editor of three philatelic journals, an author of two Congress Book articles (2006, 2010), and three philatelic books based on my research. I have served in leadership positions for local and national stamp shows; a regional philatelic library; local, regional and international philatelic societies; and most recently as Chair of the APS Committee on Accreditation of National Exhibitions and Judges.

I am committed to support the completion of the APRL – it has meant so much to me as a philatelic author, editor and judge. I am retired from a career in financial management and audit, having held senior positions as well as managing my own consulting practice, and serving on the Board of Directors of my profession’s international governing body.

I want to serve the American Philatelic Society and you as an At-Large Director on the APS Board. I believe that my experience in nonprofit governance, consensus management, and my active participation in all dimensions of the hobby make me qualified to ask for your vote.