Leaders in numismatics are essential for helping others to grow within the hobby. Whether that leadership is provided through teaching, mentoring, research, writing, or leading conventions and shows, these activities help foster learning for all collectors. The American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) biggest influencers were recognized during the Chicago World’s Fair of Money.
Lawrence J. Gentile Sr. Memorial Award
Each year, the Association honors an Outstanding District Representative who sets the standard for promoting the hobby and ANA-member clubs throughout the country. This year’s recipient, Robert Mellor, has also been recognized with the 2021 Lawrence J. Gentile Sr. Memorial Award for Outstanding Adult Advisor.
Mellor has made countless contributions to the ANA and the hobby. He is passionate about sharing his experience and depth of knowledge with others and gives many presentations each year to both numismatic and non-numismatic organizations. A regular volunteer instructor on the topic of numismatics for an adult continuing education outreach program, he also conducts a monthly Coin Talk event at his local library and teaches a grading course for the ANA’s Florence Schook School of Numismatics.
An advanced hobbyist, Mellor focuses on grading, attributions, errors, and numismatic items associated with early American history. He says, “If it was struck with a screw press, it interests me!”
Mellor’s uncle, Charles V. Housman, was an avid coin collector who introduced him to the hobby when he was eight. Once bitten by the collecting bug, Mellor anxiously searched through the money he earned from his paper route for coins to fill his early blue Whitman folder albums. After earning a bachelor’s degree from the Florida Institute of Technology, he embarked on a career in the aerospace industry that has spanned over 35 years. He retired from Lockheed Martin in 2001 as a program launch director and currently supports launch operations for advanced programs within the Department of Defense.
Mellor is a life member of the ANA, an ANA district representative for Florida, an ANA certified exhibit judge, and a member of the ANA Membership & Outreach Committee. In 2017 he was recognized with the ANA’s Outstanding District Representative of the Year, an accolade the deserving hobbyist has earned once again. He holds memberships in multiple national and local clubs, including the South Brevard Coin Club, where he chairs its education committee. Mellor also volunteers his time with the Combined Organization of Numismatic Error Collectors of America (CONECA).
Barbara J. Gregory Outstanding Club Publication Awards
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 Barbara J. Gregory Outstanding Club Publications competition were judged in four categories: local, regional, specialty, and electronic. Winners were announced Thursday, August 12, at the ANA Member & Awards Celebration at the World’s Fair of Money in Chicago.
- Third – Hemet Numismatists, Hemet Coin Club (James Phillips, editor)
- Second – Pocket Change, Albuquerque Coin Club (Phil Vitale, editor)
- First – The Cincinnati Numismatist, Cincinnati Numismatic Association (David Heinrich, editor)
- Third – TNA News, Texas Numismatic Association (Ann Marie Avants, editor)
- Second – FUNTopics, Florida United Numismatists (Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez, editor)
- First – The California Numismatist, California State Numismatic Association & Numismatic Association of Southern California (Greg Burns, editor)
- Third – The TAMS Journal, Token and Medal Society (Greg Burns, 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 – Double Shift, Greater Houston Coin Club (John Barber, editor)
- Second – Madison County Coin Club Newsletter, Madison County Coin Club (Harold Fears, editor)
- First – The E-Sylum, Numismatic Bibliomania Society (Wayne Homren, editor)
Glenn Smedley Memorial Award
The spirit of the late Glenn Smedley lives on in this year’s recipients of the ANA’s annual Glenn Smedley Memorial Award. Five members who embody an exceptionally positive attitude, possess strong communication skills, promote goodwill and cooperation, and demonstrate dependability were honored during the ANA Member & Awards Celebration on Aug. 12 at the Chicago World’s Fair of Money.
No numismatic task is too big or too small for Carrie Best of Lakeland, Florida. She has worked as an editor or layout editor for three numismatic journals and has served as a board member or higher-level officer for multiple hobby organizations. She was president of Florida United Numismatists (FUN) in 2004-07, the only woman to have held the position. As a 35-year FUN convention volunteer (1983-2018), Best was always willing to pitch in wherever help was needed, from the registration counter to the photo-ID table.
ANA life member Jonathan Kern has more than 50 years of experience buying and selling U.S., foreign and ancient coins, bullion, and rare banknotes as the owner of Jonathan K. Kern Rare Coins in Lexington, Kentucky. He graduated from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in numismatics and has been a full-time numismatist since 1971. A knowledgeable dealer and collector, he enjoys meeting and sharing the hobby with people he describes as some of the finest in the world.
Irvine, California, resident Charmy Harker turned her passion for Indian, Lincoln and early copper cents into a full-time business known as “The Penny Lady®”. A member of numerous specialty clubs, she is president of Women in Numismatics (WIN) and chaired the ANA’s Dealer Relations Committee for four years. Harker also supports numismatics by writing articles, giving presentations on penny-related topics and publishing a photo travel-blog about her experiences as a dealer.
Ever since Joe Paonessa of Racine, Wisconsin, attended the 2007 ANA Summer Seminar on a Gilroy Roberts Art of Engraving scholarship (a two-year program), he has been actively involved in ANA programs. A Summer Seminar instructor since 2009, he built the ANA’s mini-mint press and engraved the dies used to strike souvenir tokens for Edward C. Rochette Money Museum visitors.
A modern hobo-nickel carver, Paonessa teaches the art and history of carving and donates pieces to be sold at YN auctions. The Original Hobo Nickel Society recognized his work by offering him an honorary life membership in 2019, the same year the ANA accorded him an honorary doctor of numismatics degree.
Jim Stoutjesdyk of Dallas, Texas, is known for his easy-going demeanor and positive attitude. He was named the ANA’s Outstanding Young Numismatist of the Year in 1987 and joined Heritage Auctions in 1993. He has served in a variety of roles at Heritage, including gallery manager, wholesale and retail sales, and editor of the auction house’s Insider magazine from 1998 to early 2000. He was named Vice President of Numismatics in 2004. He has taught classes on grading at the ANA’s Summer Seminar for over a decade and was awarded the Association’s doctor of numismatics honorary degree in 2019.
* * *
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 nearly 28,000 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 – such as the annual World’s Fair of Money. For more information, call (719) 632-2646 or visit money.org.