Written by: John and Nancy Wilson
The American Numismatic Association (ANA - www.money.org) World's Fair of Money (WFOM) Convention held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, in Chicago, IL on August 13 - 17, 2013. With over 550 bourse tables and a few dozen coin club tables, it was the largest ANA we have attended since the 1991 ANA show in this same convention center. The Show Guide was excellent and covered everything from A to Z. A huge thanks to all the dealers for taking tables and supporting the show, along with the early birds who purchased badges for early entree. Attendance seemed to be steady during the convention and the numerous dealers we spoke to had an excellent show. On opening day the line was very long most of the morning, which you didn't have to wait in - if you were an ANA member. This convention was so huge you needed multiple days to just walk the bourse floor and exhibit area. It was very nice that the auction, educational programs, club meetings, and other activities were in close proximity to the bourse floor. Chicago ranks very high on most surveys taken for convention cities. The Rosemont location is superb as it has many hotels within easy walking distance, it is right next to O'Hare airport and the entertainment complex within blocks gives participants a place to go after the convention closes. Positive Protection, Inc. along with the Rosemont Police kept the show safe during the convention.
This convention ran very smoothly and a big thank you goes to: Convention Director Rhonda Scurek and Executive Director Kimberly Kiick and all their staff; President Tom Hallenbeck and the Board; the host Chicago Coin Club (CCC), Host Chair Mark Wieclaw and his committee, Assistant Chairman Raymond Dillard and the many dozens of coin club volunteers in their convention shirts. The ANA National Volunteers also deserve special thanks, as they arrive at the beginning and don't leave until the show closes. Thanks also to the exhibitors, judges, educational speakers for their tireless work; along with the numismatic press, media, sponsors and patrons for their many contributions. The show featured a Tuesday evening Kickoff Event at Wrigley field, which we heard went well with no rain. The Friday ANA banquet had great entertainment (Wendell Wolka as MC), excellent food and the awards and swearing in of the new board all moved along very smoothly. Congratulations to David Schenkman for receiving the coveted Farran Zerbe Memorial Award at the banquet. The Numismatic News (www.numismaticnews.net) Ambassador breakfast, Tokens and Medals (TAMS) dinner and Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) Bash were all outstanding events. Congratulations to Robert Brueggeman, Richard Jozefiak and Dr. Scott Rottinghaus for being voted in as Numismatic News Ambassadors. Many other events such as this were also held during the course of the convention.
At the convention the ANA Museum Showcase and Smithsonian had outstanding exhibits. The World mints, bureaus and agencies were located right inside the entrance to the show, and they had to love their location. Special thanks to the Acting Director of the U. S. Mint, Richard Peterson, for attending the ribbon cutting ceremonies. He later signed autographs at the huge U. S. Mint booth area. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) along with their Spider Press were also in a large area of the bourse next to the U.S. Mint. The 43rd Treasurer of the U. S., Rosa "Rosie" Gumataotao Rios also attended later in the week. Over many hours, she graciously signed the notes and other souvenirs for show attendees. They even exchanged your old notes for new bills. StacksBowers (www.stacksbowers.com) is also to be thanked for holding a tremendous auction, which featured the famed Thomas H. Law collection and many other consignments.
Thanks again to everyone (and anyone we missed) for their many contributions who helped to make this an outstanding convention. We hope to see you at the next two ANA Conventions which will be held in Atlanta, GA. (Cobb Galleria Centre) on February 27 - March 2, 2014; and Chicago, IL. (Donald E. Stephens Convention Center Chicago / Rosemont) on August 5 - 9, 2014.
John and Nancy Wilson are ANA national volunteers.