2018 Luff Awards to Barwis, Stotts and Youngblood

The American Philatelic Society’s annual award season is upon us. The society’s highest awards for living collectors are the Luff Awards. This year’s recipients are John H. Barwis, Denise L. Stotts and Wayne L. Youngblood. The awards will be formally presented August 11 at the Celebration Banquet at StampShow / National Topical Stamp Show in Columbus, Ohio. Tickets can be reserved at stamps.org/stampshow. The awards are named for John N. Luff, who was president of the APS from 1907 to 1909.

John H. Barwis
John H. Barwis

John H. Barwis, of Holland, Michigan, is the 2018 Luff Award recipient for Distinguished Philatelic Research. Barwis co-founded and serves as president of the Institute of Analytical Philately. The organization offers research grants and holds symposia. The conferences have been held in conjunction with the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, Chicagopex and the Royal Philatelic Society of London.

Barwis has studied and researched 19th-century stamps and postal history of Victoria’s first postage stamps. He plated Victoria’s first issue 1-penny stamp of 1850, which had never been done in the 160 years since the stamp’s first printing. Using scientific equipment, his cutting-edge examination of the shades, papers and inks of the U.S. banknotes was landmark.

Regarding Philadelphia postal history, Barwis wrote and maintains a database of date ranges for postmarks used on Philadelphia foreign mails. He has compiled sailing tables for the monthly packets between Philadelphia and Liverpool from 1822 to 1875 by using newspaper archives in the United States and Great Britain.

Barwis has been a stamp collector for 59 years. His exhibits have won national and international gold medals, as well as grand awards in the United States and Great Britain. He is a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London and past president of the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society. He won the 2011 Champion of Champions competition.

Barwis retired in 2003 after 25 years with the Royal Dutch/Shell Group. His career comprised a range of technical and leadership positions, including stints as a chief geologist, exploration manager and manager of geological research, as well as technical director and member of the board of Shell U.K. While serving as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers he conducted research in sedimentology and hydrodynamics at the Hydraulics Laboratory of the U.S. Waterways Experiment Station. Prior to military service he managed an Arctic drifting station owned by the Office of Naval Research, spending more than 15 months on the North Polar ice pack. He has contributed more than 50 articles and government publications to the geological literature in coastal geomorphology and hydrodynamics, sedimentology, stratigraphy, as well as petroleum exploration and production. He holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in geology.

Denise L. Stotts

Denise L. Stotts, of Houston, Texas, is the recipient of the Luff Award for Exceptional Contributions to Philately. Stotts has been an active and tireless philatelic leader and volunteer at the national, state and local level for more than 25 years. 

A lifelong philatelist, she served as director-at-large for the American Philatelic Society from 2007 to 2011. She has also served on the APS Chapter Activities, Ethics and Election Review committees, the Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship Advisory Board and as local committee chair for APS AmeriStamp Expo 1998.

Stotts has been on the Garfield Perry March Party show committee since 1988 and served as show chair for the Greater Houston Expo from 1994 through 2016. She is a founding member of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors and Women Exhibitors and has been a director for the Texas Philatelic Association and Houston Philatelic Society. She has served as awards director for the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, the United States Stamp Society and Women Exhibitors. She also was the assistant director of volunteers for the Washington 2006 World Philatelic Exhibition and helped managed the bin room for World Stamp Show-New York 2016.

Stotts also is a gold medal award-winning philatelic exhibitor. She has staffed booths for the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, United States Stamp Society, Women Exhibitors and other organizations at numerous shows. She has even served organizations such as the Ohio Postal History Society, for which she was not even a member. Philately has benefitted tremendously from Denise’s leadership, guidance and service.

Wayne L. Youngblood

Wayne L. Youngblood of Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, is the recipient of the Luff Award for Outstanding Service to the APS. Youngblood is a lifelong stamp collector who began at age 8 and never stopped.

Youngblood has served three terms on the APS board as director-at-large and two terms as secretary. He has served as an expert for the American Philatelic Expertizing Service since 1990, providing opinions on about 2,500 items. He has been a columnist for The American Philatelist since October 2004. He has served as an APS Summer Seminar instructor all but one year since 1990.

Youngblood is the current editor for numerous philatelic journals including The American Stamp Dealer & Collector magazineThe Collectors Club PhilatelistTopical Time and Duck Tracks. He is also the past editor of Posthorn and Across the Fence Post, 2005-2012. In addition to The American Philatelist he also is a columnist for Linn’s Stamp News and Philatelic Exporter. Youngblood has served as president of the Errors Freaks and Oddities Collectors Club and the Los Alamos Stamp Collectors Association, and served on the boards of the American First Day Cover Society and Arizona Philatelic Rangers. He has been a member of the St. Louis Stamp Expo Show Committee and is a Boy Scouts Stamp Collecting Merit Badge counselor.

Wayne began his professional involvement with the hobby as an editor at Linn’s Stamp News, became editor of Scott Stamp Monthly then as editor-publisher of Stamp Collector newspaper and, more recently, as vice president at Regency-Superior Auctions. Wayne currently divides his time between his family and freelance writing, editing, dealing and exhibit work. He is author of 10 books (including Stamps that Glow and All About Stamps) and has written thousands of columns and features over the years. He speaks extensively on the hobby to both philatelic and non-philatelic groups.

StampShow Mobile App Released

In preparation for StampShow and National Topical Stamp Show in Columbus, Ohio, the American Philatelic Society has created a mobile app.

While the app content continues to grow (as the show participants continue to commit) the tool is fully functional for users. Over the coming weeks, more information, images and details will be added to the app to fully enhance the StampShow/NTSS experience. Updates will be automatically loaded as users open the app.

The app is an excellent planning tool for anyone planning on attending the biggest stamp event of the year. It also provides a StampShow experience for those collectors and enthusiasts who cannot attend.

In order to assist users in install the app, a short video tutorial has been created and is available through YouTube.

The app will be continually updated through the end of the show and will include promotional offers, dealer information and direct links to several resources. Members and businesses interested in sponsorship opportunities should email martin[at]stamps.org.

The app is available for both iOS and Android phones.

APS Board of Directors Elects New President

Today, the Board of Directors of the American Philatelic Society elected Robert “Bob” G. Zeigler to complete the term of President of the Board. Zeigler replaces Mick Zais, who was recently confirmed to serve as Deputy Secretary of Education in Washington. The term will expire in August 2019.

Robert Zeigler“I’m honored the Board has put their trust in me to serve as President. We have made great progress since I joined the Board in 2016 on improving the outlook of the APS and the hobby. I am committed to working with the Board to build on that success and continue pushing to grow our membership in the months ahead.”

Zeigler, who hails from Indianapolis, Indiana is a Life Member of the APS, and has been a member since 1973. In 2016, Zeigler was elected Vice President by the APS members, serving on the Board of Vice Presidents. He previously served on the APS Board of Directors as a Director At-Large from 2001 to 2003.

Outside of philately, Zeigler has been a trial attorney since 1980, with a focus on defending health care professionals and hospitals in malpractice lawsuits.

On the collecting side, Zeigler has specialized in collecting Switzerland for more than 40 years. He has served the Society as a member of the Expert Committee for Switzerland for more than 30 years. In addition, Zeigler has served as a philatelic judge in over 90 shows, often as Chief Judge. In 2009, the APS honored him with the Nicholas G. Carter Volunteer Award for National Service. Aside from service to the APS, Zeigler has served the hobby as past President of the Indiana Stamp Club, which annually sponsors INDYPEX, one of the national World Series of Philately shows. He has also held the office of President for the American Helvetia Philatelic Society (the Swiss specialists’ organization), in which he is also a Life Member.

APS President Announces Resignation

Board of Directors Will Meet to Elect New President

Mick ZaisToday, American Philatelic Society President Mitchell “Mick” Zais submitted his resignation from the Board of Directors to serve as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. Zais was nominated for the post on October 3, 2017 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 16, 2018.

“On behalf of the APS members, I would like to thank Mick for his years of service on the APS Board,” said Scott English, Executive Director, “Even with his new responsibilities, I hope he still has time to collect, visit a few stamp shows, and even recruit a few new members in the Nation’s Capital. Best of luck in the next chapter!”

Mick Zais has been an APS member since 1976, joining after attending Interphil 1976, the seventh international show held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Zais is a 1969 graduate of United States Military Academy at West Point and served in the U.S. Army for 31 years, retiring as a brigadier general. From 2000 to 2010, he served as president of Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina. Zais was elected South Carolina Superintendent of Schools in 2010 and held office from 2011 until 2015.  In 2013, Zais was elected to the Board of Vice Presidents and became President in 2016.

Filling the Vacancy

In keeping with the APS Bylaws (cited below), the APS Board of Directors has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 5 p.m. EDT to elect a new president from the board. The newly elected president will complete Zais’ term through August 2019.

The newly elected President will then appoint a replacement board member to fill the vacancy on the board, subject to approval by the APS Board of Directors, to fill the remaining term on the board ending in August 2019.  A meeting to take up that appointment will be scheduled at the May 23 Board meeting.

The meeting is open to the public and APS members are welcome to join the call at:

Toll-free Number: 888-537-7715
Passcode: 13291358#

From the APS Bylaws:

5.7      Vacancies.
Death, Resignation or Other Removal from Office. In case of a vacancy in the office of any of the officers of the Society because of death or removal, such vacancy shall be filled as follows: In the office of President, by election by the Board of Directors from among its own membership. In any other elective or administrative office, by appointment by the President, subject to approval of the Board of Directors. In the event of vacancy in the office of President, the Board of Vice Presidents shall call a meeting of the Board of Directors within ten (10) days for the purpose of naming a new President. Such vacancies shall be filled subject to the term limitations of 5.2 (c) and (d).

Statue of Freedom Stamps to be issued at APS headquarters

First responders – firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical service professionals – will be honored sometime this year on a single commemorative stamp, according to a new schedule and announcement of new stamps from the U.S. Postal Service. The date and location of the stamp’s release was not announced.

A group of three high value stamps – $1, $2, $5 – featuring an image of the Statue of Freedom which stands atop the Capitol Dome also were announced. The stamps will have a formal first-day ceremony June 27 at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. The date – a Wednesday – coincides with the midway point of the American Philatelic Society’s annual Summer Seminar on Philately.

The new stamps were announced, along with a full calendar of release dates for other stamps from June through September.

Also newly released was a full design of the previously announced John Lennon stamp pane, which will be part of the Music Icons stamp series, whose previous releases have included stamps for Johnny Cash and Janis Joplin. The John Lennon pane of 16 features the same basic image design, but each of four rows features different colorations. Ablack-and-white photograph of Lennon seated at his white piano appears on the reverse side of the stamp pane, along with Lennon’s signature and the Music Icons series logo.

The complete summer release schedule is as follows (all stamps are first-class forever stamps unless noted):

$1, $2, $5 Statue of Freedom  June 27            Bellefonte, Pennsylvania

O Beautiful (pane of 20)         July 4  Colorado Springs, Colorado

WWI: Turning the Tide          July 27            Kansas City, Missouri

The Art of Magic (strip of 5)  August 7         Las Vegas, Nevada

Dragons (block of 4)   August 9         Columbus Ohio (StampShow)

U.S. Air Mail (red)     August 11       College Park, Maryland

John Lennon (Music Icons series; 4 colors)   September 7    New York City

Birds in Winter (block of four)           September 22 Quechee, Vermont

The Statue of Freedom Stamps to be formally issued at the headquarters of the American Philatelic Society feature the head of the statue that tops the United States Capitol dome, in a modern interpretation of an engraved vignette originally created for a 1923 stamp ($5 Head of Freedom Statue). The engraved artwork was originally created for the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing by John Eissler (1873–1962). Rendered in emerald green ($1), indigo ($2) and brick red ($5), the tightly cropped enlargements highlight the solid and dashed lines and the crosshatching characteristic of engraved illustrations. The $1 and $2 stamps will be sold in panes of 10; the $5 stamp in panes of four.

American sculptor Thomas Crawford (1814–1857) created the allegorical Statue of Freedom during the mid-1850s. She wears a variation on a Roman helmet — circled by stars, topped with an eagle head, and embellished by feathered plumes meant to evoke Native American headdress. Installation of the statue onto the new Capitol dome was completed in 1863.

All three stamps are printed in intaglio and were designed by Art Director Greg Breeding.

Likewise, the First Responders stamp was previously unannounced. The digital illustration is a symbolic scene that shows three first responders in profile, facing right, as they race into action. From left to right, the first figure is a firefighter carrying an axe. The second figure is an EMS worker, with the EMS Star of Life visible on her cap, upper arm and emergency bag. The third figure is a law-enforcement officer shining a flashlight toward unknown danger ahead.

The firefighter is in red, the EMS worker in white and the police officer in blue, colors that are both patriotic and symbolic of the profession. The dark background and signs of smoke in around the figures suggest the wide range of situations that demand the immediate attention of a first responder.

Artist Brian Stauffer worked with art director and designer Antonio Alcalá and designer Ricky Altizer to create this stamp.