MICHIGAN STATE NUMISMATIC SOCIETY
Meeting of the Board 6:00 PM, April 24, 2010
Hyatt Regency, Dearborn
I. Call to Order Parks
Meeting was called to order at 6:10 by President Parks.
II. Roll Call LeBlanc
Present: Parks, Al Bobrofksy, LeBlanc, Freeland, Chirco, Wostyn, Henderson, Pall, Chandler, Dennany, Fenwick, Friedman, Rothfeld, Strub Legal Council Sirna, Past President Ann Bobrofsky
III. Introduction of visitors Parks
Brett Irick; Mark Pluff; Steve Deitert; Chris Laskowski; Pat Barnes; Dan Davey; Alan Beagle; Frank Passic; Lionel Lessenthien; Robert Beuter; Nancy Chandler; Brian Malnar; Gary Kelly
IV. Invocation LeBlanc
LeBlanc lead the board in prayer.
V. Minutes of Feb. 6, 2010 LeBlanc
1 Correction: New Business, Article XIV: Requested change: "Friedman noted" to "Friedman noted …" Change made to proposed minutes before vote. Pall moved to accept, 2nd by voice, approved.
VI. Additions to Agenda Board
New Business K – Request to change election procedure. LeBlanc
Dennany – letter from Kalamazoo Coin Club – to be under "Outstate" H
L – Membership Survey
VII. Approve Agenda Board
Al Bobrofsky moved, 2nd by a Director's Voice, approved.
VIII. Director Absences LeBlanc
(Director absences in the current term were enumerated: Al Bobrofsky 1, Freeland 1, Lusch 4, Strub 1, Fenwick 1) Director Lusch has asked to remain on the board. Al Bobrofsky stated that Lusch has been his friend for 45 years. Several directors stated that although we respect director Lusch, and understand that his inability to attend board meetings is through no fault of his own, that membership on the board is not so much an honor, but a responsibility. Due to his inability to attend and serve as a director, Fenwick moved, and Strub seconded, that we, reluctantly, ask director Lusch to resign his seat. Vote was by hand, and not unanimous, but passed.
IX. Appointments (If any) Parks none
X. Membership Comments Parks
Alan Beagle – Liberty Coin employee – Dany Rothfeld asked him to comment briefly on the ICTA – Industry Council for Tangible Assets. Alan attends many board meetings on behalf of Pat Heller. Beagle states: ICTA makes it possible for us to do business. At one time there was to be a requirement for 1099’s to be filled out even for a silver dime bought by them. This was challenged by ICTA and changed to $1000 face bags and up. ICTA also helped us get the sales tax exemption for coin and bullion sales here in Michigan. This has brought much business to Michigan Their staff accomplishes a great deal with a very small budget.
Pall asked for a consensus that the education committee look into a Friday night meeting with ICTA. Parks said it was up to the Education and Dealer committees to discuss outside the board meeting. Bobrofsky noted the value of ICTA and asked if we have a danger as a 501c3 organization paying money to an organization that does some lobbying. Sirna said that it isn’t a problem, because we are only paying dues and not paying for lobbying. Our accountant has said the same. Parks thanked Beagle.
Lionel Lessenthien – on behalf of Ken Leach, Birmingham Bloomfield Coin Club – read a letter: Subject: Coin Show Support. Birmingham Bloomfield club would like to offer its support to cohost a future show. They are asking for the next available Spring or Fall show. Last done with Lincoln in 2008.
Brett Irick – President of Windsor Coin Club – which recently joined MSNS as a regional club. They did so because they are 2 hours from London and 4 hours from a major city. They wish to build a stronger relationship within the Detroit-Windsor metropolitan area, whose coin clubs are closest to them. They are requesting the honor of a co-sponsorship of a future show. They understand the requirements of participation. They have 60 members, 40 of whom are active at each meeting. They can commit 7 for open and close, and 4 continuously throughout a show. They have 59 years of experience, and hosted the last local CNA show and will do so again in July of 2011.
Northwest Detroit – Gary Kelly – requested another co-hosting, in Fall of 2012 or later, with a half share. Would consider lesser shares and fees if necessary. 2012 is their 50th anniversary.
A representative of Livingston County Coin Club – requested Spring 2011 co-host with Lansing. Already proposed. Would consider lesser shares and fees if necessary.
A Lansing club member asked why we keep asking if we can split the fee. Al Bobrofsky noted our budget problems. The member said that priority should be given to which club has longest gone without a co-hosting opportunity.
Pat Barnes – Paper money collector and Lansing Coin Club member – asked the board to keep the Fall convention on Thanksgiving weekend and at the Hyatt. Also to keep the bourse fees where they are – do not raise them. We have a wonderful mix of large and small dealers and in-between. Do not bring a major auction house in, it will kill the bourse.
Dan Davey – The show guide had no set-up time shown for Thursday. LeBlanc – the guide is not distributed until Friday – the letter that goes to dealers explains set-up times. Also Davey complained that the late payment fee is assessed far too early. LeBlanc replied that this is a board decision. Davey further requested that all monies over $500 should be voted on and publicized in the magazine. The board notes that minutes are printed in the MichMatist. A role call of vote for and against each such expense should be published as well. As for rates at the hotel, he says it is half-price down the road. He thinks this can be better negotiated. Finally – he stated that he likes the new nametags. AND – As a 7-point dealer he values his position.
Mark Pluff asked how long answers take to be given to clubs for show cohost awards. Parks said probably will be addressed this meeting.
XI. Officer Reports
A. President Parks
Mr. Ellis did a good job at presenting our anti-counterfeiting seminar, but it could be done better. Parks discussed this with Mr. Ellis. We want to continue with a grading class for 2 days. If the board so chooses, we would like to do Spring of 2011. We probably will make a slight amount of money on this seminar.
B. Vice President Bobrofsky, Al
Has been very active looking into alternative sites. We have some people on this board, making statements about whether we will or will not move without having the facts. This is insubordination. He will sit down with the Grand Rapids people, but until we have made a decision, we as board members should not comment and create factions.
C. Secretary-Treasurer LeBlanc
1. Review Current Financials
Checking Account (April 7, 2010) $15035 Approx.
New Liberty Bank: Demand Savings .4% $17937
CD $50K 3.4% Matures, 12/14
CD $25K 1.5% Matures 03/11
CD $25K 2.0% Matures 03/12
Savings Account $3622
c. Cash Reserve New Liberty Demands Savings .4% $10K
d. Pruchnicki Inheritance
New Liberty Bank CD 1.45 % Matures 05/10 $3749.
$5000 ANA seminar April 2010. Our out of pocket at this time has been far less.
2. Membership Report
a. Member Totals
Regular 638 YN 72, CLUBS 22 Hon.Life Members 19, Life Members 377, Total 1128
b. Life Applicants None
3. Property Report LeBlanc Unchanged from past. Have already purchased most exhibit awards for Fall. Purchased $1700 of the "forever" stamps to evade coming postage increase.
4. Spring 10 Budget LeBlanc Reviewed mailed spreadsheet. Nothing spectacular to report, work in process. Expects convention to lose money.
5. 2010 Budget LeBlanc Reviewed mailed spreadsheet. Nothing unusual to tell us yet. Though we have a balanced budget, LeBlanc expects this to be an extremely difficult year.
6. Correspondence LeBlanc We have letters from clubs requesting co-hosting.
XII. Committee Reports
A. Exhibits Passic
Exhibits going normally. Rothfeld asked if our annual report could net the cost of exhibit awards, iex, Price Paid minus sponsor's donations giving a net. LeBlanc states no, they have to be accounted for separately,
B. Webmaster Report Marotta Report rec’d by email – he continues his good work
C. Auctions Friedman
Has talked to Heritage about bringing an auction here. The Heritage representative had suggested a 1000-lot auction. But his own upper management denied the proposal. The problem is the cost of bringing the auction here.
D. Past Presidents Ann Bobrofsky No report
E. MichMatist Rothfeld
Continuing to get rave reviews. Few complaints:
a) Last page is a pawn shop ad – some don’t like the look of the ad because it has no coins in it.
b) Page 2 of P&L MichMatist shows that last year we spent over $33,000 on the MichMatist, and it is climbing. We need to think about ways to save money. Author fees are $3000 for whole year. We see sometimes 3 articles in same MichMatist from same author. If the MichMatist is becoming fatter and fatter – can we do maximum of 2 articles in same MichMatist per author, and no more than 6 or 7 in whole year? Answer – the MichMatist is now a fixed size per an earlier board meeting agreement. Need different contributors and not the same person over and over. Dr. Chirco says most major publications have regular writers. LeBlanc suggested the board not tie the hands of the editor, but just to make recommendations.
Steve Friedman moved that authors be limited to one paid article per issue. Unpaid articles by an officer as part of his official duties are not included in this total. Al Bobrofsky supported the motion. Discussion: Al Bobrofsky said this is not critical of the editor, but is the setting of policy by the board. Pall commented that size of the publication is by 4-page groups. Motion passed.
Al Bobrofsky said cost is $5/issue sent to almost a thousand members. The editor should keep the budget. After Strub noted that he had no control over the printing cost, Bobrofsky explained that he could cut the material cost by discussion with the printer. LeBlanc noted that mailing cost is about 50 cents per issue. Dr. Parks noted that the board meeting must not take the place of a committee by hashing out suggestions. They need to be done in committee and presented to the board.
F. Publicity Strub No report
G. Membership Chandler Defers his remarks
H. Conv./Manual Revision Al Bobrofsky
We have no revision because the point system is not yet revised.
I. Club Outreach/Communication Clubs Wostyn No report
J. Education Pall
An author doing his masters degree on Singapore, Michigan, requested assistance from us, and Dr. Pall replied. Michigan Treasure Hunters had a seminar for which Dr. Pall thanked the contributors, many from the board. We have been trying to get free speakers. Larry Sekulich asked that a speaker be paid, and was denied by Pall, but still awarded due to past practice. We are putting together a list of exemplary speakers on whom we can rely. At least two are published authors. There is a program coming for presidents of all levels of numismatic organizations to consider what presidents have done, and strive to do, and how they did it. Class on judging will be provided at a future convention – we need more judges.
K. Finance Parks
We had a meeting at 9 this morning. We are not insolvent. We made false assumptions in the past about having more resources than we do, so we continued with past ways of doing things rather than re-examining our practices.
Michmatist cost has already been discussed. We don’t want Strub to feel that going over his $30,000 budget will become a personal responsibility.
Awards – some reductions may be necessary. Not to impact scholarships – yet.
Conventions – moving to Hyatt saved us a great deal. Advertising for each show has cost about $4500. We’d like it to be dropped about $700 – we could drop our ad size to comparable to CSNS’s ad sizes, for example. Goal is to break even on Spring shows. Friedman said that flyers put out at every major convention are much more cost-effective than ads in publications.
LeBlanc noted that revenue should also be considered, not just the expenses. Sirna noted that the membership needs to pay more, or an auction house needs to come in. Friedman stated that the spring show could become the stronger of our conventions if we had an auction house.
LeBlanc said that he will add a free donation bucket for our conventions. Kalamazoo members said that it has worked very well for them. The idea of non-members being charged admission to the conventions was mentioned – as a benefit to membership.
L. Dealer Friedman
Dealer committee wants a dealer meeting on a convention morning – targeting Saturday AM at fall convention. Other ideas: Points for staying Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were discussed. Cut rate tables for low-end dealers. Better positions for dealers who are there the full time.
Chirco said there should be a well-developed point system explained and sent to dealers in advance of this meeting.
LeBlanc suggested he would send a thank-you to the dealers who attended this convention. Board agrees. Friedman asked Parks to make a personal apology to several disaffected dealers. Friedman will draft something he’d like Parks to say and to whom it should be said, for the President’s review and action.
At this convention, a misunderstanding occurred that could have been major. If you are giving anything to the club, be sure that the person soliciting the donation is authorized to accept it. And if you are giving an award, you will receive a receipt from LeBlanc.
Parks asked the exhibit committee to design a form that will be used by those making donations.
LeBlanc said that donations of cash or property should be sent through himself alone. Sirna concurred. Al Bobrofsky said that LeBlanc is the only person authorized for this purpose.
There is a person other than Brian Malnar telling dealers and exhibitors what to do at this convention. Dr. Parks will address the issue with that person, who does not speak for the board or the convention coordinator.
XIII. Old Business
A. Schlag Memorial Update Al Bobrofsky
We sold most of our 30 plaques – each of which cost $175 to produce, and have $2121.06 - $2340 more will be available when we sell the last 9. It will take 14-18 months to get the historical marker once the money is available.
B. MSNS Attire LeBlanc
We have received the few coats we had ordered – these are dispersed. One director still seeks a coat and two directors need shirts. The minimum order requirements mean that we must wait until the next board is elected and another order can be placed.
C. ANA Seminar Spring 2010 LeBlanc
Seminar held on Thursday was not expected to have so many attendees (30). ANA did not expect this. We even had a waiting list of 5 or 6. There was a controversy over Ellis’s statement on the legality of owning counterfeits. He said it is illegal to sell, but not to buy, counterfeits. The secret service has specifically advised him he may own them as an educational tool.
Sirna said that a dealer with counterfeits in his case that violate the hobby protection act is in violation of federal law.
D. Mini Show Update Wostyn No Report
E. MSNS Election LeBlanc
We are in the midst of the nomination period. We are fully open and disclosing on the web site. Nominations will be received by email, mail and in person.
F. ICTA Status Rothfeld Done
G. CSNS DVD Program LeBlanc
We have received the free DVDs, and they are available to loan. The cost to purchase additional DVD is higher then earlier motion allows, thus LeBlanc will not buy any. Sirna can help us get free DVDs from the ANA as well.
H. Old Dealers with credit Friedman/LeBlanc
Friedman will visit these dealers at CSNS convention, then direct LeBlanc as to their wishes.
I. YN Life Refund LeBlanc
One Life member applicant was a very young YN, and their fee must be returned because the constitution does not allow it. It may have been accidently allowed in the past. Pall moved, and Al Bobrofsky seconded, to refund the life member application fee from the YN applicant. All favored, motion passed.
J. CSNS Ballot LeBlanc
MSNS ballot was directed at the last meeting to be filled out by LeBlanc, and sent to Dr. Parks, who sent it to CSNS. Parks confirmed ballot was cast as directed.
XIV. New Business
A. Safe Deposit Box Signer LeBlanc
Said box was opened per instruction. LeBlanc is only one in possession of a key and only signer
B. Safe Deposit Box Key LeBlanc
LeBlanc recommends a second signer be the President, and the 2nd key be held by the exhibit chairman. Al Bobrofsky so moved. Friedman seconded. Discussion. Tabled until next board meeting. Approved to table.
C. Hatie Medal Donate to Mich-Tams LeBlanc
We own 8 Hatie medals. LeBlanc asked if MSNS would like to donate one to MichTams. Rothfeld moved that we should donate one Hatie medal to MichTams for use as they wish during their celebration ceremonies. Pall seconded, and the motion passed.
D. Grand Rapids site presentation Dennany Will wait to next board meeting to do report.
E. Back Up Site Plan Dennany
Wostyn has set up two site visits. Southfield Pavilion, Also Rock Financial Center in Novi (will go Sunday at 1pm – maximum 7 people – chauffeured by Parks). Al Bobrofsky checked into the airport, no venues can fit us. Wostyn looked into the local area, in order to have a hotel you’d have to move to Detroit.
F. Finance Position Dennany
If we don’t watch what we spend, we will have the same problem every couple of years. Parks: we’ll have an open financial meeting in the morning regularly at every other convention going forward.
Dany Rothfeld made a motion: "Any money disbursement in excess of $500, that is not a budgeted payment or a bill, should be discussed but not voted on until the following board meeting." Second from Pall. Discussion: LeBlanc opposed because the board needs to have confidence in itself that it won’t do something dumb. He would be too tied down and be unable to act for several months. Parks opposed because motions can always be rescinded, and because emergencies happen. LeBlanc added that Robert’s Rules of Order allow for tabling motions. Sirna stated that this motion would be very bad practice because it tries to micromanage an organization in advance. Pall defended the motion, then motioned to table to next meeting. It was seconded by Henderson. Motion to table carried.
G. Membership no dues drop date LeBlanc
LeBlanc has a logistics problem in the constitution right now. A member is dropped for non-payment of dues on March 31. But a mailing list has to be created around 4 weeks prior to that time. LeBlanc asked that the drop date be moved back to the last day of February. Since this requires amending of the constitution, it will be discussed further and brought back up in September. Parks asked that all board members continue to think about this and other meeting topics. Pall asked Sirnal for legal reports on this and other issues. Sirna promised to do research if asked by email well enough in advance.
H. Out State Relevance Chandler
Director Chandler is becoming more concerned that MSNS is more predominantly SE Michigan-centered. We need activities that take place outside the Detroit Metro Area. We keep talking about doing a show "out state," (outside metro Detroit) and we haven’t done it. Parks said the clubs in the area haven’t been very responsive to our communications. Wostyn said that she’d done a proposal and a budget for a previous such proposed out state convention, and was resoundingly ignored after writing to every club in the state. Parks said to Chirco that the clubs outstate must become proactive and commit to a show. Chirco said Kalamazoo, Muskegon, and Grand Rapids had already formally requested this show a year prior. Friedman said that a precedent used to exist that Spring shows were always out state… but that we then had a couple of bad shows. Wostyn asked why outstate clubs will not do a 75-table show that will prove out the concept of a spring show. Chirco noted that there are two different concepts – replacing Spring in Dearborn or adding an additional show. No director appeared to be against moving the show. Parks noted that a constantly moving spring show – in location or time – can confuse and lose attendance over time. We need consistency. LeBlanc notes we have no contract/venue for Spring of 2012.
Pall moved that we hold the Spring 2012 show in Western Michigan. Chandler seconded. Discussion: Pall said we must remember we are a statewide organization and have been too provincial. We need to commit to this course of action, and then make the committees do what they must. Parks said we have no host clubs for that convention yet. Wostyn said if we pass this motion, we have no clue on costs. Freeland said we should wait until we know that clubs in that part of the state can commit. Chirco noted that Muskegon and Grand Rapids were in the queue, since a year ago. Al Bobrofsky said – if we vote yes on this, be aware that it only a vote to explore, until we have a contract! Otherwise too much turmoil will arise among dealers, especially at this show. Sirna said the motion wasn’t specific to Grand Rapids. Parks called for a vote, Al Bobrofsky called for a roll call. Al Bobrofsky yes, Chandler yes, Chirco yes, Dennany yes, Friedman yes, Pall yes, Rothfeld yes, Strub yes. Freeland no, Henderson no, Wostyn no. Fenwick not present at roll call. Passed.
Al Bobrofsky moved that John Chirco be the convention coordinator. There was no second. Chirco asked what was entailed. He found out he couldn’t do the show himself. LeBlanc said we can have separate bourse and show chairmen. Parks explained that Malnar will not do it outside of the SE Michigan area. He would be glad to help another bourse chairman, however.
Dennany read a letter from John Nigg referring to the issue of a lack of out state shows. Parks asked that Dennany talk to John Nigg and the Kalamazoo Numismatic Club members. Then he expressed willingness to personally go, if invited. Dennany so invited him. Nigg's letter says that it not from The Kalamzoo Numismatic Club, but only from him as a KNC board member. LeBlanc notes Nigg is not a MSNS member.
I. Co Host Awards LeBlanc Deferred to September Board Meeting
J. Wayne Club Multi-Yr. Dues LeBlanc
LeBlanc was paid $300 for 10 years membership for the Wayne Coin Club. LeBlanc states past practice has been to only allow a year or two in advance. Freidman moved that Wayne coin club’s request to pay future years’ dues in advance be denied, and that the $270 excess be refunded. 2nd by a Director's voice, Passed.
K. Change Election Procedure LeBlanc
LeBlanc asked that we request, during the next board election, that members also vote to change our constitution by striking a line
"If a voter votes for more than 2 Directors in the same county, his votes for candidates residing in such County will not be counted, but his votes properly cast for candidates for Directors residing in other Counties shall be counted."
Much discussion ensued. Sirna said bad ballots should be cast out entirely if spoiled by incorrect voting. Sirna further asked we defer our decision. Sense of the board was to table this discussion, though no motion was made. LeBlanc feels this puts a county with more then 2 candidates at a disadvantage.
L. Membership Survey Friedman
Friedman wanted to do a survey along with the ballot. Pall suggested a survey after the fall convention. Wostyn suggested it go out with the dues in November. No action taken.
XV. Board Member Comments Cursory only.
XVI. General Membership Comments Sirna suggested we use online surveys. Brett Irick asked that a process be designated for requesting club co-hosting. He also wanted more thought given to the means of re-designing the voting method.
XVII. Adjourn Strub moved to adjourn, Wostyn seconded. Passed at 10:39 pm.
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