Leaders in numismatics are essential for helping others to grow within the coin collecting hobby. Whether that leadership is provided through teaching, mentoring, writing, or leading conventions and shows, these activities help foster learning for all numismatists. The American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) biggest numismatic leaders and influencers were recognized in August during the World’s Fair of Money in Chicago for their accomplishments.
Seasoned leaders and mentors who ensure the growth of the hobby by encouraging and guiding the next generation of numismatists are honored with the Lawrence J. Gentile Sr. Memorial Award for Outstanding Adult Advisor. This year’s recipient is Dr. Walter A. Ostromecki Jr. A retired educator and administrator, the California resident has been an avid collector of exonumia, checks, and wooden money for more than 45 years.
Ostromecki is a member of approximately 80 national, regional, and local hobby clubs and has held office in many of them, including service as president of the Society of Philatelists, the Numismatic Association of Southern California, and the Bay Cities, Culver City, Los Angeles, Shamrock, and West Valley Coin Clubs. An active ANA member, he was elected to the ANA Board of Governors in 2005, later serving as vice president (2011-13) and president (2013-15).
Ostromecki has received a multitude of numismatic accolades. The ANA has honored him with its Glenn Smedley Memorial Award (1995), Medal of Merit (1996) and Presidential Award (1999), as well as the Outstanding Adult Advisor award (1997). He also has earned three Numismatic Literary Guild honors and was named a Numismatic News Numismatic Ambassador in 1985. The Pacific Northwest Numismatic Association recognized him as its Nina Nystrom Memorial Goodwill Ambassador in 2011.
Each year since 1971, the American Numismatic Association has recognized the best journals and newsletters produced by ANA-member organizations. Entries in this year’s Outstanding Club Publications competition were judged in four categories: regional, local, specialty and electronic.
- Third — FUN Topics, Florida United Numismatists (Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez, editor)
- Second — The Clarion, Pennsylvania Association of Numisatists (Richard C. Jewell, editor)
- First — The California Numismatist, Numismatic Association of Southern California and California State Numismatic Association (Greg Burns, editor)
- Third — South Hill Coin Club Newsletter, South Hills Coin Club (Ray Fiorini, editor)
- Second — Pocket Change, Albuquerque Coin Club (Phil Vitale, editor)
- First — The Cincinnati Numismatist, Cincinnati Numismatic Association (David G. Heinrich, editor)
- Third — The Shekel, American Israel Numismatic Association (Mel Wacks, editor)
- Second — BoTales, The Original Hobo Nickel Society (Ralph Winter, editor)
- First — International Bank Note Society Journal, International Bank Note Society (Alexander Kort, editor)
- Third — Sacramento Valley Coin Club Newsletter, Sacramento Valley Coin Club (Patrick Carpenter, editor)
- Second — Madison County Coin Club Newsletter, Madison County Coin Club (Harold Fears, editor)
- First — Double Shift, Greater Houston Coin Club (John Barber, editor)
The spirit of the late Glenn Smedley lives on in this year’s recipients of the ANA’s Glenn Smedley Memorial Award. Two members who embody an exceptionally positive attitude, possess strong communication skills, promote goodwill and cooperation, and demonstrate dependability were honored during the Member and Awards Celebration on August 15 at the Chicago World’s Fair of Money.
- Scott Barman of Washington, D.C., has made many contributions to the organization and the hobby since joining the ANA in 2003. He became interested in collecting as a 10-year-old, when he started filling folders with coins he found in his father’s pocket change. Like many young numismatists, however, his collecting pursuits waned after he entered college. When he returned to the hobby in 2002, he embraced the challenge to become more active and joined the Montgomery County Coin Club (MCCC), looking for ways to make an immediate impact. Barman soon became the webmaster of the MCCC website and began giving presentations at meetings. Eventually, he was elected to the MCCC board of directors and later served as president and vice president. As an information security and systems architecture analyst, Barman has assisted the ANA with its technology platforms and also served as chair of the Money.org Committee. One of the first bloggers in numismatics, he has shared his views at coinsblog.ws since 2005. He writes informative posts about current events, history, opinions, and other topics of interest to hobbyists.
Barman has worked as the political coordinator of the Gold and Silver Political Action Committee, keeping members informed about the numismatic and precious-metal news out of Washington, D.C. He also has held the positions of president, vice president and club representative of the Maryland State Numismatic Association and is a member of the Washington Numismatic Society, American Israel Numismatic Association, Numismatic Bibliomania Society, and Royal Canadian Numismatic Association.
- Ray Burns of Cleveland, Ohio, became interested in coins when he was in high school. His first purchases were 1950-D nickels that arrived at the Cleveland Federal Reserve. In the early 1960s, Burns spent a lot of time at Mike Kolman’s coin store, Federal Brand Enterprises, and Lou Erwin’s Shaker Coin Shop. One of his early mentors was Leon Lindheim, a numismatic columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Burns started traveling the country as a dealer in 1962 and attended coin shows in many cities. He credits Harry Jones, Steve Ellsworth, Mike Kolman, Joel Rettew, and David Derzon for helping him make it in the business, which he has enjoyed for nearly six decades. An ANA life member, he received his 50-year gold membership medal this year.
Outgoing ANA board members Brian Hendelson, Thomas Uram, John Highfill, and outgoing president Gary Adkins also were recognized with a Glenn Smedley Memorial Award during the convention for their dedicated service. Outgoing vice president Donald Kagin previously received a Glenn Smedley award in 2002 and was presented with a certificate of appreciation in its place.
The American Numismatic Association is a congressionally chartered, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging the study and collection of coins and related items. The ANA helps its 25,000 members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of educational and outreach programs as well as its museum, library, publications, and conventions. For more information, call 719-632-2646 or visit the website of the ANA.
Press release courtesy of the American Numismatic Association.