2017 Luff Awards to Gregory, Kane, and Saadi

This year’s prestigious American Philatelic Society Luff Award recipients are Fred F. Gregory, Alan Kane, and Wade Saadi. The awards will be formally presented at StampShow, August 3 to 6 in Richmond, Virginia, and are given for meritorious contributions by living philatelists.

The awards are named for John N. Luff, who was president of the APS from 1907 to 1909. Here is a look at this year’s honorees:

Fred F. Gregory, of Palos Verdes Estates, California, is the 2017 recipient of the Luff Award for Distinguished Philatelic Research.

A stamp collector from boyhood, Gregory, is a member of the governing boards of several philatelic organizations, and has focused his philatelic interest on the stamps and postal history of 19th-century Hawaii for the past 40 years.

Mentored by Hawaii collectors Thurston Twigg-Smith, Wallace Beardsley, Ed Burns, and others from the prior generation, Gregory became a recognized expert in Hawaiian philately. In the late 1990s, he created the website, Post Office in Paradise, Mail & Postage Stamps of Nineteenth Century Hawaii (hawaiianstamps.com). He has authored numerous articles on Hawaiian stamps and postal history. He authored Hawaii Foreign Mail to 1870, an award-winning three-volume set edited by Robert Odenweller and published by the Philatelic Foundation in 2012. The set earned numerous awards at the national and international level, including the Grand Award and Gold Medal for Literature at StampShow 2012; the 2012–13 Ashbrook Cup, awarded by the United States Philatelic Classics Society, and a large gold medal at World Stamp Expo 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.

His articles include “2c Ship Fee on Mail from Hawaii via San Francisco, 1849–1855,” which appeared in the June 2008 edition of Western Express; and “A New Oldest Letter from Hawaii,” which appeared in June 2016 in the same publication.

Gregory was born and raised in California. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his juris doctor degree from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall. Afterward, with the exception of three years active duty as a legal officer in the United States Coast Guard, he practiced law with the Los Angeles-based law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher from 1965 until his retirement from the partnership at the end of 2003. He specialized in the area of business litigation. He and his wife, Carol, were married in 1967 and raised a daughter and three sons.

Allen R. Kane, of Rockville, Maryland, is the recipient of the Luff Award for Exceptional Contributions to Philately.

Kane became director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum on February 19, 2002. The museum is housed in the former City Post Office Building, 2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., near Union Station on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The 70,000-square-foot museum offers exhibitions, educational programs and a research center. Its extensive collection includes almost 6 million items, ranging from stamps to mail planes. The National Postal Museum, through its collection and library, is dedicated to the preservation, study and presentation of postal history and philately.

Since becoming director his many accomplishments include fundraising for galleries and exhibits, including raising $18 million for the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery, which opened in September 2013; obtaining a long-term grant from the United States Postal Service to fund museum operations; managing three museum councils staffed with philatelic, industry and museum leaders; managing a museum staff of more than 35 plus numerous volunteers and docents; developing excellent communication with the APS, its societies and affiliated organizations, including the Royal Philatelic Society of London; and, raising the awareness of the museum, not only to the Smithsonian but also to the District and Capitol Hill.

Upon completion of the Gross Gallery, the historic windows with stamp images have been illuminated until midnight, and seen by Congress, local residents and millions of tourists who pass by the building on tour and Metro buses, in taxis, and as pedestrians. Truly, this is an ultimate achievement of Allen in promoting the hobby and the museum.

Before joining the Smithsonian, Allen retired from the U.S. Postal Service in September 2001 after serving more than 30 years in a variety of senior leadership positions devoted to strategic and policy planning, operations, marketing and logistics. His last position at the Postal Service was senior vice President for future business design.

As a corporate officer for the U.S. Postal Service, Kane helped direct the 25th largest business in the world, with 840,000 employees and $67 billion in revenues. During his tenure he was responsible for a number of critical operations, including coordination of the implementation of thousands of pieces of high-speed automated processing equipment; re-design of national distribution and transportation networks; phase-in of the JFK and LaGuardia airport facilities; and managing the U.S. Postal Service Gulf War Crisis Team, in coordination with the White House and the Department of Defense, to ensure the successful delivery of 2.5 million pounds of mail per day to the Gulf.

Wade E. Saadi, of Brooklyn, New York, is the recipient of the Luff Award for Outstanding Service to the APS.

Saadi, a businessman, has been collecting since childhood and specializes in the U.S. classics period. He also is a writer, researcher, and exhibitor of these issues and has won numerous awards for exhibits and research. His gold medal 1847 exhibit is considered one of the finest studies in the shades and cancellations of that issue ever formed. He currently is exhibiting “Struck on Stamps — 1851 to 1868,” a study of the evolution of early cancellations. He is past president of the APS, U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, and the Collectors Club of New York. He has served as editor of the 1847 section of The Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues since 1997. He served as president of the World Stamp Show-NY 2016 international exhibition.

Saadi was selected as president of the APS in 2008, succeeding Nicholas G. Carter, who passed away September 11, 2008. He was re-elected as president in 2009 and 2011, and served on the board as past president from 2013 to 2016. Before becoming APS president Saadi served on the APS board as a director-at-large, and as chairman of the Board of Vice Presidents, as well as chairing the Membership Recruiting Committee.
Saadi was actively involved in the incubation of the Shaping the Future of Philately Council to promote youth philately, and has been a member since 2003 of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum’s Council of Philatelists, where he chairs the New Initiatives Committee. Previously, he chaired the committee overseeing the Arago project, an online research resource on stamps and the history of postal operations as seen through the NPM’s collection.

APS and ATA Will Join Forces at
2018 StampShow in Columbus, Ohio

The American Philatelic Society and the American Topical Association will co-host next summer’s large national philatelic show scheduled for Columbus, Ohio.

Leaders of the APS and ATA made that announcement Friday, June 23 at the ATA National Topical Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“The 2018 show in Columbus just got even more exciting,” said Scott English, Executive Director of the American Philatelic Society, “The partnership between the APS and the ATA gets stronger every day and together we’re going to have a ‘can’t miss’ stamp show.”

“This highly anticipated event is a real sign that philatelic organizations have begun a new era of cooperation for great benefit to our hobby,” said ATA President Dale Smith about the joint show. “This is a wonderful project to combine resources to create one of the best shows to attract a great number of collectors.”

This will be the first time the APS, founded in 1886, and the ATA, founded in 1949, have combined their large annual national shows. The ATA four times has held its national show during a U.S.-based international, most recently in 2016 at World Stamp Show-NY 2016.

“This should be a sign of things to come for the hobby,” added English, “The only way we’re going to grow is by working together. I’d like to thank the Board of the ATA for being first to join us in this new vision.”

Next year will be the 132nd show and convention for the APS and the 68th annual National Topical Stamp Show. Both shows usually change locations from year to year.

The APS — the world’s largest association devoted to philately with about 30,000 members worldwide — every summer hosts StampShow, the country’s largest annual philatelic show, which includes world-class philatelic exhibits, scores of dealers and postal agencies, society and study group meetings, special presentations and guest speakers, youth areas, and a banquet. The ATA, devoted to topical stamp collecting, often presents a similar lineup, though often over three days rather than the four presented by StampShow.

This year’s ATA show, being held this weekend in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, features an all-thematic philatelic exhibition, a 30-dealer bourse, and attendance by several cachetmakers, along with meetings, seminars, and activities. Topical exhibits must be thematically treated; that is, they tell a story. They tend to be creative exhibits that make for enjoyable reading.

The American Topical Association, with members in 60 countries, has compiled more than 1,200 checklists (from the common — horses and roses on stamps; to the more unusual, such as hairstyles, banjos, and yellow fever) containing more than 400,000 stamps.

“We find that traditional philatelists often collect a topic or two, and topical collectors often collect a country or other specialty area,” Smith said. “This show will enable them to pursue their full range of philatelic interests.”

The American Philatelic Society will handle all management and logistics for the combined 2018 show. A certain number of exhibit frames will be set aside for topical/thematic philatelic exhibits.

More information about the organizations and their shows are available on the APS and ATA websites.

Carter Awards for Young Philatelists

The American Philatelic Society has announced the recipients of the 2017 Nicholas G. Carter Volunteer Recognition Award for Outstanding Young Philatelist (ages 15–24) and Outstanding Young Adult Philatelist (ages 25–40). The national and local service awards were announced earlier.

Outstanding Young Philatelist
Charles Epting, of California, is a member of the APS, American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, United States Stamp Society, and the Royal Philatelic Society of London. He is the president and works in marketing and other areas for H.R. Harmer auctions of Tustin, California.

He has authored several articles, including “New York City in the 1930s,” for the May 2016 edition of The American Philatelist; “An Unlisted Canal Zone Photo Essay,” for the September 2016 United States Stamp Society Specialist; and “Review of The Erivan Haub Collection of U.S. and Confederate Postmasters’ Provisionals,” for the August 2016 Chronicle of U.S. Philatelic Classics. A regular columnist for Stamp Insider he also has written for First Days, the Ephemera Journal, U.S. Stamp News, and American Stamp Dealer and Collector.

Epting has shown his exhibit, “Roosevelt’s Tree Army: Postal History of the Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933–1942” at AmeriStamp Expo 2016 and Okpex 2016. He presented seminars at Westpex, WSS-NY 2016 and StampShow 2016, and attended Monacophil 2015. Finally, he helped secure Harmer sponsorship of the APS Tiffany Dinner at StampShow 2016, where he introduced 2016 Luff Award winners Diane DeBlois and Robert Dalton Harris.

Outstanding Young Adult Philatelist
Amanda Morgenstern, of Illinois, has volunteered extensively in several areas of philately. She promotes the hobby and has assisted the Southern Illinois Stamp Club in many ways, such as shows, youth, group leadership, local roadshow events, and website suggestions. She has had extensive involvement with national and international promotion in her volunteer work with the American Topical Association.

Morgenstern’s volunteerism with ATA has included her volunteer-webmaster position from 2012 to 2016. ATA’s Facebook page has benefited from Amanda’s participation and leadership. Recently, she has taken the lead in supplying information for Twitter use. Amanda has created several cachets for ATA events and is always willing to help with any kind of project. Her fine sense of design has helped bring the hobby into the 21st century. Morgenstern was elected to the ATA Board of Directors in 2016.
Among other philatelic groups that she has served is the Graphics Philately Association. Morgenstern edited its quarterly journal from 2014 to 2016. She instituted a full redesign of the publication which has now received recognition in philatelic literature competitions.

Awards are presented each year at the APS General Meeting, this year on August 5 at StampShow 2017 in Richmond, Virginia. If honorees are unable to attend the show, other arrangements are made for an official presentation.

The Nicholas G. Carter Volunteer Recognition Award recognizes the outstanding efforts of our volunteers at national and local levels and also recognize our younger members whose outstanding leadership is crucial to our future.

Three Legendary Philatelists
Named to the APS Hall of Fame

Three legendary philatelists — Robert Markovits, Barbara Mueller, and Irwin Weinberg — have all been named to the American Philatelic Society’s Hall of Fame. The Hall honors deceased philatelists who have made outstanding contributions to philately.

Robert Markovits (1937–2015)

Robert Markovits, a lawyer by profession, was an internationally recognized researcher, collector, exhibitor and writer on numerous philatelic subjects, particularly back of the book material, notably, U.S. and worldwide special delivery, U.S. officials and U.S. postal stationery.

Markovits’ service to organized philately is recognized by his contributions to several philatelic organizations, especially the United States Stamp Society.

Perhaps his most notable contribution to the hobby was his research and writing about special delivery stamps. Markovits started collecting postage due and special delivery plate blocks under the tutelage of Louis K. Robbins, who with his brother, Phil, and W. Parsons Todd, were early special delivery specialists.

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Named to the APS Hall of Fame”

James Lee Recipient of Inaugural
APS Dealer of the Year Award

James E. Lee, of Oak Brook, Illinois, is the recipient of the first American Philatelic Society’s Dealer of the Year Award.

Jim Lee has been a stamp dealer since 1972, working full-time since 1990. He served on the Board of the American Stamp Dealers Association for eight years, four years as president. Lee stated on his website that 2016 was his 45th “year of my involvement with collecting, studying, writing about and dealing in United States essays and proofs.”

Lee advertises his expert areas as U.S. Essays and Proofs, U.S. 19th Century and Civil War Postal History. His website, includes much more than the rarities and other material he has for sale. Prime among these are his most recent newsletter, which he started in 1997, and copies of some of his “As I See It” columns from the newsletter.

His most recent newsletter (March 2017) includes many bold, colorful images, much of them from the areas of proofs, essays, and postal history that he has for sale. Even if you are not interested in buying such items, the supersized high resolution images and descriptions offer an education.

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APS Dealer of the Year Award”