04/15/2010 (P1661)
Contact: Becky Magyar

Martin Appointed APS Executive Director

President Wade Saadi today announced the appointment of Ken Martin as the 124-year-old Society’s sixth Executive Director. Martin has served as Interim Executive Director since Peter Mastrangelo’s departure in April 2009. The announcement was made at a special Staff meeting at the American Philatelic Center, at which Saadi, and Steven Rod, APS Vice President, were present on behalf of the Board of Directors.

A collector since the 5th grade, Martin is a 30-year APS member whose first real contact with organized philately was as a student at the 3rd annual APS Summer Seminar in 1982. Less than two months later he began college at Penn State University and began volunteering in the American Philatelic Research Library two afternoons each week. By his second term in college he had founded the Penn State Stamp Club. Ken’s first paid employment with the APS was during the summers of 1985 and 1986 when he worked primarily in Expertizing and the Library. Ken skipped college graduation and delayed summer 1986 employment a few weeks so that he could volunteer at AMERIPEX 86.

In 1995, following undergraduate and graduate work in Computer Science and Political Science, Ken began full-time APS employment in the Circuit Sales Department. By early the following year Ken’s time was split between Youth, Development and Circuit Sales, and by the middle of 1996 he was also Acting Show Director, a position he would hold until becoming Deputy Executive Director in 2006. Ken’s accomplishments as Show Director included creation of the APS winter show (Ameristamp Expo), initiation of the popular Stamps by the Bucket and dime and dollar booths, and the most popular Champion of Champions competition.

In addition to the APS, Ken is a member of about 25 other national philatelic organizations, having been a member of seven others — the American First Day Cover Society, the American Philatelic Congress, the APS Writers Unit #30, the American Topical Association, the International Society of Worldwide Stamp Collectors, the Precancel Stamp Society, and the United States Stamp Society — for 25 or more years.

He served as president, then editor, and later chair of the Board of the Junior Philatelists of America and also served as treasurer of the Errors, Freaks and Oddities Collectors Club. Prior to joining the APS he was treasurer of the Sarasota Philatelic Club and business manager for the Sarasota National Stamp Exhibition. During his time with the APS Ken helped extensively with the youth area at Pacific 97 and served as Bourse Chair and Floor Manager for the Washington 2006 international show.

Ken has presented more than 20 different programs to numerous local stamp clubs, a multitude of shows (including the last three U.S. international exhibitions), and to more than a dozen non-philatelic organizations such as Rotary and Lions Clubs. He also has served as adult leader for youth stamp collecting clubs in both Florida and Central Pennsylvania.

Ken collects used worldwide but focuses on the areas of blood donation/transfusion, nondenominated stamps, and covers documenting the mechanization and automation of the mails. A nationally accredited chief judge, his Blood exhibit has won most popular, best thematic, and creativity awards at the national level. Ken was recognized for his service to the hobby by the Philadelphia National Stamp Exhibition in 2002 and as Man of the Year by the National Stamp Dealers Association in 2004.

Ken is a committed blood donor having given more than 100 whole blood donations and over 300 single donor platelet products. He is currently Board Chair of the American Red Cross Greater Alleghenies Blood Region, which serves parts of six states. He has served on the Red Cross National Awards and Recognition Committee (twice), on the Red Cross Pennsylvania State Services Council, and is currently Secretary of the Centre Communities Red Cross Chapter. Before the APS relocated to Bellefonte he served nine years on the Patton Township Planning Commission and now serves as Secretary for Historic Bellefonte, Inc.

Ken has received the Barash Award for Human Services (1992) and the Snyder Alumni Award (2000) from Penn State University, the Justham (1992) and Cheely (2006) awards from the Greater Alleghenies Blood Region and has been honored with an award named after him by the Centre Communities Red Cross chapter.

Ken believes the hobby is all about the people and readily admits that he would not be where he is today without the support of many including John Hotchner, Lou Geschwindner, Keith Wagner, Bill Welch, Jack Harwood, and Bob Lamb.

Ken understands that these are very challenging times but believes that stamp collecting is a hobby second to none and that with the support of the APS staff and the board the Society can successfully tackle the many obstacles it faces.

According to Saadi, “The American Philatelic Society and American Philatelic Research Library Boards are delighted Ken has agreed to lead our organizations. He has led by example his entire life and has done so selflessly and with dignity. While this is a great moment in time for the Society, the expectation is for even more progress and achievement under Ken’s leadership. He brings his heart and soul to the job everyday.” Additional information on the APS is available from its website at www.stamps.org or by calling 814-933-3803.


Previous APS Executive Directors
H. Clay Musser         1945–1963
James T. DeVoss      1963–1981
Keith Wagner            1981–1994
Robert E. Lamb         1994–2006
Peter Mastrangelo      2006–2009