2008 Annual Meeting Report: May 23 – 25, 2008

The 2008 Annual Meeting of the United States Stamp Society was held at NOJEX in Secaucus, New Jersey, during the weekend of May 23rd to the 25th.  More than sixty members from across the country attended the show and a good time was had by all.

The official business of the Society was conducted at the Board of Governors Meeting on Saturday morning and the General Membership Meeting later that day.

The Society kicked off the weekend at 10 AM Friday morning with the release of the 2008 edition of the Durland Standard Plate Number Catalog.  The first book was sold to Tom Jacks of Mountainside, New Jersey.  Sales were brisk during the course of the weekend, with several dealers at the show taking full boxes for their own stock.  This edition was produced in both perfect bound and spiral bound formats, with the spiral bound version accounting for 70% of sales.

On Friday evening, the USSS joined forces with the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society and the Carriers & Locals Society, who were also holding their annual meetings at the show, for a Joint Fellowship Dinner at the Iberia Peninsula Restaurant in the Ironbound section of Newark.  Members were transported by bus from the show to the restaurant and enjoyed a unique dining experience called Rodizio.  The spacious banquet room and the never-ending parade of food made for a memorable evening for the sixty attendees.  After the return bus trip to the hotel, many adjourned to the hospitality suite for conversation and a nightcap.  The Society would like to extend a very special thank you to Siegel Auction Galleries for funding the bus transportation and wine service and to the Spink Shreves Galleries for hosting the hospitality suite. 

Beginning at the General Membership Meeting on Saturday and continuing throughout the show, we presented the first of the Membership Recognition Award pins to those in attendance who have been with the Society for 15, 25, and 50 years.  Unfortunately, none of our 50-year members were at the show, but we did present thirteen 25-year pins and an equal number of 15-year pins.  The next distribution of pins will take place in August at StampShow in Hartford, CT.  Please plan to stop by our booth to receive your pin.   

Approximately 60% of the exhibit frames were filled with a wide array of material from Society members.  The 23 USSS member exhibits included Washington-Franklin stamps and postal history, a traditional Prominent American presentation, airmails, back of the book, precancels, EFOs, postal stationery, and more.  The Walter W. Hopkinson Trophy was won by Gerald Farrelly for his eight frame exhibit, “Washington-Franklin One Cent Issues 1908-1923,” while the Hugh M. Southgate Memorial Trophy was awarded to Marvin & Judith Platt for their ten frame showing of “The Columbian Envelopes of 1893.”  The Statue of Freedom medal was presented to Larry Lyons for “All Roads Lead to San Francisco: The Companies that Carried the Mail in the Early West.” 

Our Society table was staffed continuously throughout the three days of the show.  Members stopped by to purchase books, exchange information, or just to rest up.  Several new members were signed up and a few previously dropped members were reinstated.  A special thanks goes out to Roger Brody, Tim O’Shea, David Steidley, Denise Stotts, Joann and Kurt Lenz, Kim Johnson, Larry Ballantyne, Rod Juell, David Sugar and Mike Lampson for helping man the booth at different times.  Those members visiting the booth included:

David Sugar Steven Rod Kim Johnson
Tom Mazza Denise Stotts Jay Stotts
Rod Juell Jerry Davis Kent Johnston
Joann Lenz Kurt Lenz Larry Ballantyne
Dick Celler William T. Crowe Alan Parsons
Henry B. Scheuer Richard S. Hall Mike Plett
Roger Brody Wallace Cleland Tom Jacks
Fred Skvara C. David Eeles Steve Belasco
Andy Kupersmit Tim O’Shea Robert Rufe
Labron Harris Frank Kaplan Stephen Suffet
Harvey Mirsky Len Piszkiewicz Rob Loeffler
Ken Martin Mike Lampson Geoff Dutton
Pat Walters Peter Martin Wade E. Saadi
Frank Braithwaite Irv Miller Gene Fricks
Tom Corette Bill McMurray Gerry Farrelly
Joseph M. Napp Tom McFarland Greg Shoults
Andrew McFarland Ron Lesher Frank Magnovito
Ralph Calabrese George Feehay Scott Pelyger
David Steidley Joseph Chervenyak Murray Abramson
Arnold Selengut Marvin Platt Eric Jackson
Melvin Getlan Richard Nazar Marc Achterhof
James Natale    

Our 2009 Annual Meeting will take place at the Saint Louis Stamp Expo, February 27th to March 1st.  Start to make plans now to attend what should be another memorable USSS event.

—Nicholas Lombardi