This year’s prestigious American Philatelic Society Luff Award recipients are Fred F. Gregory, Allen 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.