From the Executive Director (Winter 2004)

by Ute Wartenberg Kagan

Dear Friends and Members,

We are looking back at a year full of change and activity. In early 2004, we began packing books, sorting through basements, and by March, we were on the road to downtown Manhattan. By now many of our members have come to the new building. We have certainly noticed an increase in our regular visitors, and we hope that this trend will continue.

At the last Annual Meeting, a number of new Trustees have joined our board, and we are very grateful for their interest and support in the ANS. There has also been one other change. After five years as Treasurer, Kenneth Edlow, handed over the baton to Roger Siboni. Kenneth Edlow, who has been one of the most loyal supporters and a major donor of the ANS, will continue to serve as a Trustee. I have worked with him over the last five years, during which the ANS received over $12 million in donations, an unprecedented sum in our history.

Our new Treasurer, Roger Siboni, is an experienced accountant and businessman. He has begun to analyze the ANS finances and to structure a plan for raising an endowment that can sustain the operations, curatorial and other activities of the ANS. One measure that will affect most members is an increase in dues for this coming year. Details have not been finalized, but there is some general agreement that dues are too low to cover the expenses of membership services. I would be interested to hear your views on this issue.

Many of you have pointed out that you cannot attend events in New York; because of this we are working to extend the benefits of ANS programs to our members around the country and overseas. The ANS Magazine is the main focus of this effort. Over the last two years, we have printed David Yates’ Stephen Scher lecture on French medals in the ANS Magazine. The 2003 Groves Forum, which was delivered by Graham Dyer of the Royal Mint, will be printed in the 2004/5 AJN. We are also increasingly offering lectures at coin clubs and other venues throughout the US. Thanks to the kind of invitation of Dan Holmes and Chuck Heck, Robert Hoge and I will be attending the EAC conference in Anapolis in April 2005. We are planning an event on the West Coast in February, for which invitations will be sent in January.

By now you should have received an invitation to our annual gala dinner. Our honoree is George Kolbe, who is perhaps one of the most popular members. As one of the most eminent numismatic book dealers in the world, he is always willing to help numismatists about book enquiries. In recent years he has been instrumental in raising money for the Francis D. Campbell Chair. In this capacity he has held auctions for the ANS, sold duplicates and donated money to this important cause. I hope that many of you will join us in thinking him for his efforts on January 13, 2005 at our gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York.

I look forward to seeing many of you in January at the New York International coin show. On behalf of all of us at the American Numismatic Society I wish you happy holidays and all the best wishes for 2005.

Yours truly,
Ute Wartenberg Kagan