Oded Paz - My Elongated World

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Running for TEC President - Questions & Answers

Q. Why are you running for this position?

 A. I feel there is much more that can be done for the benefit of all TEC Members. TEC is a wonderful organization, which could become better with the correct guidance and management. Being an active member of all elongated coin Yahoo discussion groups, I have read many ideas and suggestions by the membership that can and should be implemented. I hope that with a strong homogenized board, many of these ideas could and would be implemented.

Q. What’s in it for you?

 A. Not much, except the great satisfaction that I can and will do a lot for so many people. I’ve always been a “giver”, volunteered in many organizations and taken upon myself organizational and leading rolls. I enjoy this and from what I’ve been told, I do it well. You can see some other organizations I volunteered in and clubs I belong to below.

Q. Are you happy with the communication channels between the TEC Board and TEC’s membership?

A. No, not at all. I feel there is a severe lack of communication between the board and the membership. In today’s fast pace electronically ruled world, there are better and faster ways to communicate with the membership. TEC News, published 4 times a year is a wonderful publication. Nevertheless, it should not be the only means of communicating with the membership. The President, as well as all Board Members, should be reachable by electronic means, and should be members of the elongated coin discussion groups. TEC Members are not aware of what the TEC Board is doing, what is discussed, what the decisions are and whether their suggestions are even considered. Unfortunately, this information is not published in TEC News, and the membership is left out of these important issues.

Q. So what are you suggesting? A TEC Members only discussion group?

 A. Yes. I believe there should be a Yahoo discussion group, open only to TEC members, where TEC related issues, suggestions, discussions and resolutions should be discussed and published to the membership.

Q. Why do we need a new discussion group? There are already so many other Yahoo discussion groups, and I don’t need more emails in my inbox.

 A. True, there are other elongated coin discussion groups, but they are not “owned” or moderated by TEC Board members and anyone can be a member of these groups, including non-TEC members. This group’s purpose would be to communicate TEC related issues, as detailed above. Additional uses would be the ability to post quick polls and be able to save the information (discussions and documents) for future TEC members.

Q. Are you also for opening a TEC Board discussion group?

 A. Absolutely. At the moment, TEC Board members communicate by emails that are not kept on any specific server. When a new board comes along, many issues that were discussed before will be discussed again and again and again. Documents, such as minutes of meetings are not kept either. By communicating via a discussion group, ALL the emails and discussions would be kept for all current and future board members, as well as votes (that would be conducted by the polls), documents, such as design contests, will be kept for future reference, etc.

Q. Can’t all this be done on TEC’s website?

 A. Maybe. We’ve had lots of problems and issues with TEC’s website. Recently, the website was transferred from the previous webmaster, Mr. Dave Bradley, to the new webmaster, Ms. Katie Wanta. Unfortunately, much of the information on the previous website was deleted and all the forums were lost. I would not like that to happen to the TEC info, and have all the previous emails and information lost. Furthermore, posting on TEC’s forums did not come to our email inboxes, which meant we would need to continuously check the different forums to see if there are new posts. Not very convenient, and it results in making these forums almost obsolete (and honestly - when did you post on the forums? How often did you go back to check the posts there?). If a good solution could be found, and TEC’s website meets the criteria needed, I would love to re-explore this possible solution.

Q. Who would be the moderators of these groups?

A. I would propose that this would be done by TEC’s President and TEC’s Secretary.

Q. Would you communicate regularly on this and other Yahoo Discussion groups?

A. I will do my utmost to do so on a regular basis. I usually reply to any and all emails within 24-48 hours, and will continue doing so in the future. There are, as always exceptions, since I may have computer problems or may be “on the road” due to work related issues, but apart from that, I’m usually very prompt.

Q. Are you for or against the Incorporation of TEC?

A. TEC’s board had lively discussions on the matter, including consultations with a CPA, after which we all found no reason to pursue this any further. There are absolutely no benefits for the incorporation of TEC. I am very open minded, and would welcome any arguments that would prove the TEC Board and me otherwise.

Q. I see that you also sell elongated coin supplies. Are you in this for the money?

A. The reason I started selling the supplies came from the frustration I had in finding one good and reliable source for my own personal needs. One supplier sold the small window 2x2’s but not the large window 2x2’s. Then there was a second place for the flat-clinch stapler (an AMAZING invention) and a different place where I got the 20-pocket coin pages. As for these pages – it took me a long time to find the BEST pages that are on the market today. Many pages that are sold are of inferior quality. Some have very harmful PVC in them (and I won’t get into this right now), some are very thin and flimsy (such as the photo slide pages), some don’t have the convenient thumb holes on the bottom. I researched high and low to find the best ones out there, and I found them! What I do is purchase relatively large quantities of these supplies, and offer them at competitive prices to any and all elongated coin collectors. One supplier, one stop shopping. I provide friendly and speedy service, and my many return customers can verify their full satisfaction. The profit I make on these supplies is very little. I pay in advance to stock these supplies and I mark them up a little to make a profit. I know that I’m not the cheapest on the market, since there are larger stocking dealers of such supplies, but you will not be able to find ALL the supplies from ONE supplier that is so friendly and part of the elongated coin community!

Q. Are you happy with TEC’s website?

A. Yes and no. I am happy with the progress that was done by Dave Bradley approximately 3.5-4 years ago. Then there was a stand-still. I’m happy with the progress that Katie is achieving with the new website. Is it totally updated and done? Not yet, but it sure is getting close to it. There are a few functions that are still missing, and I know that Katie is working hard to get them done. She is a marvelous webmaster, and we’re extremely fortunate to have her!

Q. What about an online store, where we could purchase TEC Elongated coins?

A. If elected President, I will do my utmost to make this happen.

Q. Would we be able to pay our TEC dues online?

A. My general position is that TEC should accept online payments for goods sold at the store and for membership fees. Nevertheless, this is a sensitive question, which would need further investigation. All online payments cost money to process. All Credit Card processing houses, including the very convenient, yet controversial PayPal, charge a fee to process the payments. Credit Card processing houses charge a monthly fee, as well as a per-transaction fee. PayPal charges a small commission (3% or so) + $0.30 per each transaction. Accepting PayPal may result in increased membership dues. Would the membership be willing to pay an extra $0.75 to cover these fees? This is yet to be seen. The new board would need to discuss this, bring it to the membership (maybe create a poll) and see what the membership thinks about this.

Q. I heard a rumor that TEC will post previous issues of TEC News online. Is this true? Are you for it?

A. Indeed I’ve heard these rumors as well, and TEC’s board has discussed the issue. At the moment, TEC’s historian is scanning all previous issues of TEC News. Some of the older issues needed to be enhanced since their ink faded so badly. Some may also need to be re-printed, for the same reason. Once this is finished, and I assume it will take a few more months to complete, the new board will need to decide what to do with this. My opinion is that providing these to anyone that enters TEC’s website, free of charge, is not right and just. Especially if we’re talking about the recent issues from the past few years. If we do this, it would defer people from becoming TEC members, since TEC News would be available online. There was a thought to sell these past issues on CDs. All of this would need to be discussed and agreed upon. 

Q. I know that you are involved in other aspects of numismatics. What other numismatic organizations do you belong to?

A. I belong to quite a few coin clubs. In some I’ve taken a more active roll, and in some I’m only registered as a member, but am not active. The clubs I currently belong to and am taking an active roll in are as follows:

 Past Vice President, TEC - The Elongated Collectors Coin Club (TEC #3047) (http://www.tecnews.org)  

Founder and President, USNS - Unrecognized States Numismatic Society (USNS #1) (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UnrecognisedStatesNumismaticSociety & www.usns.info

 Immediate Past President, GCC - Glendale Coin Club (GCC #634) (http://www.glencoin.com)

 President, CATC – California Association of Token Collectors (no website)

Member & District Representative, ANA - American Numismatic Association (ANA #R-3120152) (http://www.money.org)  

Board Member, AINA - American Israel Numismatic Association (AINA # 10958) (http://amerisrael.com)

Member, CSNA – California State Numismatic Association (CSNA #R-6031) (http://www.coinmall.com.CSNA)

Member, ECI - Encased Collectors International ( ECI #14) (http://www.encasedcollectorsinternational.org)    

 Member, Everycountry (an Internet only club that collect at least one coin from every country & ruler that ever existed) (Everycountry #4) (http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/everycountry)

Member, Eagle Rock Numismatic Society, Idaho Falls, Idaho (no website)

Member, NASC - Numismatic Association of Southern California (NASC #3005) (http://www.nasc.net

Member, NGCC - Northrop Grumman Coin Club (no website)

Member, VHCC - Verdugo Hills Coin Club (VHCC #696) (no website)

Member, WBCC - Worldwide Bi-Metallic Collectors Club (WBCC #305) (http://wbcc-on-line.com)

Member, WINS – World Internet Numismatic Society (WINS #43) (
http://www.winsociety.org)

Member, WPNA – World Proof Numismatic Association (WPNA #R-7286) (no website)

Q. Oh my God! Where do you have the time for all of this? Would you have the sufficient time to devote to TEC as the new President?

A. I attend regular club meetings once a month for the Glendale, Verdugo Hills and Northrop Grumman Coin Clubs (that’s only 3 nights a month). All other clubs are mostly Internet clubs or clubs that are mostly internet run and have one annual meeting a year. I have been an active TEC Vice President, and will continue being an active President, if elected.

Q. So is becoming TEC’s President a “stepping stone” for higher positions in other clubs, such as the ANA?

A. Not really. The other clubs I belong to have nothing to do with my passion to elongated coins. The ANA is mostly involved around U.S. Coins, which I do not collect at all. Actually, most of the respectable ANA members and officials “look down” at elongated coin collectors and non-U.S. Coin Numismatists.

Q. Is being a member of so many other coin clubs enhanced TEC in any way?

A. Definitely! I have made presentations about elongated coins to the 3 Coin Clubs that I belong to (Glendale, Verdugo Hills, Northrop Grumman) and to the Lockheed coin club, to which I belonged in the past. I’ve published an article in WINS’ newsletter and have discussed elongated coins in many of the other clubs.

Q. Have you spread the word regarding elongated coins elsewhere as well?

A. Yes. I’ve had an article written about my passion to elongated coins published in our local newspaper. I’ve given out hundreds of elongated coins to Young Numismatists at the many different coin shows I attend. I’ve given out and sent numerous TEC applications, and am proud to say that I’ve recruited many new TEC members. I will continue spreading the word and joy of elongated coin collecting wherever I go. By the way, I’m also working on a local numismatic TV show, and one of the first topics I will cover will be elongated coins. How cool would that be?

Q. So what other numismatic items do you collect?

A. I collect more than I would admit to, but my main focus is on Elongated Coins and coins from Unrecognized and unusual places. I also collect pop-out / push-out coins, exonumia with Abraham Lincoln on them, exonumia with owls on them (I started this because the owl is TEC’s mascot – see my collection HERE) and anything to do with Lincoln Memorial Cents (such as punched cents, etc.)

Q. Anything else?

A. Of course! After all, I am A COLLECTOR of Do not Disturb Signs from hotels and motels, little airline Junior / Kiddy wings that were given to kids when they flew on the planes, “my lucky penny” key-chains from specific places (that have a Cent embedded in them) and much more...

Q. What else do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Do you have any spare time at all?

A. Yes, I do have some spare time. Sleep is way overrated! I enjoy spending time with my wife & daughter, cooking and gardening. I also enjoy watching specific TV programs. Especially reality shows. Like Survivor, The Amazing Race and Big Brother. I don’t know why. I also like watching Heroes, Gray’s Anatomy, COPS (and other such programs) and ER (why did they have to finish it?). I don’t like the different sitcoms. I usually find them dumb. I like comedies. I don’t like horror films. Can’t understand why people like getting scared and having nightmares. I would much rather have a good laugh! I also enjoy listening to music, and I am very eclectic in my taste. Anything from rock (Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Rainbow and such) to New Age and Electronic music (Mike Oldfield, Tangerine Dream, Kitaro, Vangelis and such). I also love Yanni and Celtic music (Riverdance and Lord of the Dance are two of my favorites).

Q. You wrote on the top that you volunteered elsewhere. Can you elaborate on this please?

A. I was a volunteer policeman for over 14 years, spending 1-2 nights a week patrolling the streets and keeping the citizens safe. I volunteered for a few years in a children’s hospital, which was extremely emotionally difficult (much more than policing!). I am a Free Mason, and as such, I volunteer, with my brother Free Masons, in many activities and fundraisers that benefit the community and the needy.

Q. You have a “strange” name. Where is it from?

A. I was born and raised in Israel. Between 1970-1975 we moved to Queens, New York, since my father headed the Ministry Of Defense Army Purchasing Mission there. I returned to the USA in 1999, seeking a new life and new adventures, and have found plenty. My first name, Oded, means “cheerful” in Hebrew. As for my last name, many think that Paz is Spanish, meaning peace. Nevertheless, Paz, means “gold and riches” in Hebrew, so I do not have any Hispanic origins.

Q. Will you be attending the future TEC meetings at the ANA Summer Conventions?

A. I believe it is very important for TEC’s President to be present at these meetings. I have attended each and every ANA Summer Convention since 1995, and plan on continuing doing so in the future! I would love to see all of TEC’s Board members attend these meetings, but I do realize this is not an easy task, considering the costs involved.

Q. So, if you attend these meetings every year, are you a rich man?

A. Nope. I wish I was. I consider this to be my annual “vacation”, to which I save all year. I try to use the cheapest hotels and flights, and use frequent flier miles whenever possible.

Q. Have you exhibited at any ANA convention?

A. Yes. I started exhibiting in 2007. I had two exhibits in Denver. I was new and inexperienced, and truly did not understand what it was all about. I did not place, and came 4th with my elongated coin exhibit (out of 4 exhibits) and got second place with my Unrecognized States Numismatics exhibit out of pity (there were only two exhibits in that category). I learnt my lesson well, and coming to Milwaukee I had three exhibits. I won first places in Elongateds and World Mints and did not place with the third exhibit. Last year, I brought two exhibits to Baltimore, and both won the gold in Elongateds and in modern European coins. At the 2009 Los Angeles convention my exhibit of "The Elongated Coins of the L.A. Zoo" won the ANA's Gold medal, as well as TEC's best exhibit award. During the closing ANA Banquet, I was shocked and honored to receive the very prestigious "People's Choice Award". To my knowledge, this is the first time that ANY elongated coin exhibit has won one of the ANA's major awards. At the Boston 2010 convention, I was honored to be the chief judge of the elongated coins section.

 

I hope the above Questions and candid Answers give you a better view of who I am, what I do and what I believe in

If you have any other questions, PLEASE EMAIL ME!

I hope I will be able to win your support in becoming the next TEC President.

TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!

KEEP ON SMASHING!

Oded Paz

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