The American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) Philanthropy Award publicly honors those who have made significant contributions to the Association that further its strategic mission to expand, enhance, and sustain the hobby of coin collecting. This year, the ANA recognizes five members for their many years of hobby support.
A longtime advocate and benefactor of the ANA, Michael Fuljenz has devoted much of his energy over the past four decades to collectors and dealers who have been victims of fraud, combating counterfeits in the marketplace and assisting law enforcement agencies in solving numismatic crime. He has served as a consultant to state and federal agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the United States Mint, the Royal Canadian Mint, and the Texas Attorney General. The former Numismatist columnist and president of Universal Coin and Bullion in Beaumont, Texas, is a contributor to A Guide Book of United States Coins (the “Red Book“), is a frequent expert guest on local and national business and personal finance programs, and teaches seminars on counterfeiting and numismatic crime. He serves on the boards of Crime Stoppers of Beaumont, the National Coin & Bullion Association (NCBA), and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG). He is also a founding member of the Friends of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.
Fuljenz’s generous spirit has allowed him to not only share his knowledge, but also his resources. He has donated material items and hundreds of thousands of dollars to the ANA in support of membership recruitment, young numismatists, awards programs, and the Edward C. Rochette Money Museum. The ANA has honored him with multiple accolades, including the Glenn Smedley Memorial Award (2013), the Medal of Merit (2014), and the Harry J. Forman Dealer of the Year (2021).
Widely respected for his vast knowledge and discoveries, numismatic researcher David Lange worked as a senior design drafter for Pacific Gas and Electric Company for 14 years before he became the research director for Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC) in 1994. One of the company’s longest-serving employees, he worked there for 28 years, mainly in the area of coin authentication and variety attribution.
Generous with his time and knowledge, Lange taught courses on U.S. type coins at the ANA’s Summer Seminar for more than 20 years. A prolific and gifted author, he wrote dozens of books and a monthly column for The Numismatist for over three decades. Known for his thorough research and advanced knowledge in nearly every field of numismatics, many of his books are considered key references years after they were first published. He pioneered the study of coin-collecting boards and folders, writing three volumes and designing and maintaining a website on the subject.
Lange received many numismatic accolades for his contributions, including the ANA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 and the Numismatist of the Year honor in 2017. Additionally, he received a Clemy (the NLG’s most prestigious award) in 2018 and was a member of many numismatic organizations. He served as president of the Pacific Numismatic Society, the California State Numismatic Association, and the New Jersey Numismatic Society. The numismatic community lost a hobby great when Lange died in January at the age of 64.
David Rickard has made significant financial contributions to the ANA that have made a difference in the lives of collectors, researchers, and students. Rickard grew up in upstate New York. After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in finance, he continued his education and earned a master’s of business administration from Harvard Graduate School of Business.
Rickard worked for several companies in increasingly responsible positions in finance and strategy – Johnson Wax, Kraft General Foods, Pillsbury, and Grand Metropolitan. He finished his career as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at CVS Health, helping to expand what was then a $13 billion company into a $100 billion business.
Rickard became interested in coin collecting at age 10 but put the hobby aside when he went to college. He has been an active collector since his interest in numismatics was rekindled by the U.S. Mint’s 50 State Quarters Program, and his current focus areas are large cents, Confederate paper money, and Washington medals.
His financial support of the ANA stems from his desire to give back to a hobby that has enriched his life by providing an enjoyable pastime and a wealth of friendships. A charter member of the Heath Society at the Diamond level, he also is president of the Rickard Family Foundation and serves as treasurer of the Medal Collectors of America.
John and Nancy Wilson
Husband-and-wife team John and Nancy Wilson are true ambassadors of the hobby. Both are former ANA governors: Nancy in 1987-95 and John in 1995-2005 (including a term as president in 2001-03). Since their retirement and move to Florida in 1999, they have devoted nearly all their time to the hobby.
The couple has been married for 55 years, and both are avid collectors of U.S. paper money, Wisconsin tokens and medals, porcelain coins and medals, ancient coins, autographs, and other items. They think of the ANA as their family and volunteer at conventions, participate in club activities, and have presented educational programs across the country.
The Wilsons have made numerous donations to the ANA over the years and will soon bestow their Bank of the United States collection – among the best ever assembled – to the ANA Money Museum. The ANA will also receive their large collection of books on finance, as well as their rare-book collection.
Each of the Wilsons has racked up many years of service in local and national organizations. John served as president of the Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS) and was on the boards of the Society of Paper Money Collectors and the International Bank Note Society. Nancy served on the boards of the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) and Numismatists of Wisconsin. Nancy holds memberships in about 35 numismatic organizations, while John claims at least 75.
The dedicated pair like to say they collect friends, and they encourage everyone they meet to get involved in the hobby and join the Association. Their enthusiasm is infectious and they have recruited thousands of members to the ANA.
The Wilsons have received dozens of ANA awards, including Century Club Awards in 2003, 2007, 2014, and 2015; the Glenn Smedley Memorial Award in 1993; the Medal of Merit in 1994; and the Farran Zerbe Memorial Award for Distinguished Service in 2007. The duo even have an award named in their honor: the John and Nancy Wilson Member Booster Award annually recognizes the ANA member who recruits the most members for the Association.
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The American Numismatic Association (ANA) is a congressionally chartered, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging the study and collection of coins and related items. The ANA helps its 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 money.org.