Last September, the position of Executive Director of the American Numismatic Association became officially vacant, and a search committee was convened to identify a replacement. Although there have been rumblings in the rumor mill that an announcement was imminent, it was only yesterday that I was able to receive confirmation from a reader in the know. While the official press release should go out soon, another reader managed to obtain an advance copy. Thanks, folks! Here are some key excerpts.
Fully aware of the importance of their choice to the future of this national institution, the search committee placed a high bar for applicants. First, no lawyers. And yes, ANA counsel Ron Serna has been a good sport throughout the process, stating "I didn't really want the stupid job anyway."
Other important qualifications were, in no particular order, an understanding of high finance, experience running large organizations,
a demonstrated fair-to-middling knowledge of numismatics, good teeth, and no impending lawsuits.
Our new Executive Director got his start in numismatics trading ancient coins at Numismatic Fine Arts, later expanding into antiquities under the steady tutelage of Robert Hecht, Jr. His financial dealings led him to the film and sport industries, where he produced movies and bought a professional hockey team. His name? Bruce MacNall.
However, in the early 1990s, he came under suspicion of defrauding banks out of more than $200 million. He eventually pleaded guilty and in 1997, began serving a 70-month sentence in federal prison. But that sentence was later reduced by 13 months for good behavior (and nice teeth). He was released in 2001.
The search committee was quite confident in their choice, stating "Lightning never strikes twice, right? What are the odds he'll end up back in prison this time?"
"I haven't felt stigmatized by my past yet," said MacNall. "Oddly enough, people have welcomed me, which maybe has to do with my great failing. I always tried to make everybody happy."
For more information on the American Numismatic Association, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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