Numismatic association ousts executive director

September 28, 2011

The American Numismatic Association last week terminated Larry Shepherd, the group’s executive director since 2008, for unspecified reasons.

Shepherd had been placed on administrative leave Aug. 20. In a news release, the group said its board voted unanimously to end Shepherd’s employment effective Sept. 20, although the move was announced Wednesday.

Tom Hallenbeck, president of the association’s board and owner of Hallenbeck Coin Gallery in Colorado Springs, said he couldn’t say much more about Shepherd’s departure.

“We just can’t talk about personnel issues,” he said. “It’s no fun to change executive directors. In my two-year term, it’s not what I wanted.”

After placing Shepherd on administrative leave, the coin collector’s association hired a human resources consulting firm to review the group’s management and employment policies, the release said, and the association has formed governance and strategic planning committees. One goal of the new committees, Hallenbeck said, will be to try to provide more stability in its leadership.

Hallenbeck will oversee the organization along with operations manager Kim Kiick until a new director is named. Hallenbeck said he hopes to have a new leader on board early in 2012.

Shepherd was hired in 2008 to head the 30,000-member nonprofit organization, which serves as a national trade association for coin collectors and coin-collecting businesses. The association also operates a coin museum at its North Cascade Avenue headquarters.

The association has 35 employees in Colorado Springs and a $6 million annual budget; it was founded in 1891 and has been based in the Springs since 1967.

Shepherd replaced Christopher Cipoletti, who was fired in 2007 and was then sued by the ANA for malpractice and other professional misconduct. That lawsuit was resolved earlier this year in an out-of-court settlement that required Cipoletti to pay an undisclosed amount to the association.

The ANA ran deficits from 2002 to 2008, which required dipping into its endowment funds, but Hallenbeck said the ANA is now in good financial shape.

“I think the organization is on good financial footing — the membership base is solid,” he said. “It’s been a pretty quiet last few years. We’ve been getting our traction back, getting our footing more sound. There’s no looming crisis on the horizon.”

Call the writer at 636-0275



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