The Kehr Award is presented annually by the APS “for enduring contributions that help guarantee the future of the hobby.” The award is named for Life Member Ernest A. Kehr. Established in 1991, the Kehr Award recognizes one living philatelist each year who, for a period of at least five years, has demonstrated one or more of the following:
- Making philately attractive as a hobby to newcomers
- Working directly with newcomers, especially young people
- Developing and administering programs aimed at recruiting newcomers.
2020 Winner – Robert E. Lamb
In 1989, Bob Lamb was elected as a member of the American Philatelic Society’s Board of Vice Presidents but had to resign in service to the United States. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush appointed Bob as Ambassador to Cyprus, where he served until 1993. Bob retired from the Foreign Service in 1994 and became Executive Director of the American Philatelic Society until his retirement in 2006.
For more than a decade, Bob served as the chief volunteer for the “Stamps in Your Attic” program at APS StampShow and other World Series of Philately shows. The program aimed to educate people who inherited a stamp collection and empower them to make the steps with their collection. Bob taught collecting basics and recruited new members to the APS through the process. For those who did not wish to continue collecting, he helped find dealers to purchase their stamps and recommended donations to education programs.
Another of Bob’s significant contributions is his monthly “Worldwide in a Nutshell” column in The American Philatelist. Over the course of his life, Bob has traveled to over 200 countries, seeing firsthand their culture, customs, history, and philately. For nearly 13 years, Bob has taken that knowledge and distilled them into educational columns exploring a country’s history, postal system, and philately. In several reader surveys, the “Worldwide in a Nutshell” column ranks as one of the most valuable columns to AP readers. The APS will be working with Bob to develop digital books of his past and future columns, so future generations of philatelists can easily learn from his insights.
Bob has also served as a member of the American Topical Association Board of Directors and chair of the ATA fundraising team, which established ATA’s first systematic fundraising program. He also worked with the ATA to launch its online sales program for members to buy and sell stamps affordably. In 2015, the APS awarded Bob the distinction of APS Distinguished Philatelist, awarded annually at the Summer Seminar. In 2016, Bob was recognized by the ATA as Distinguished Philatelist.
Bob has been a leader, mentor, and advocate for stamp collecting all around the world. He has brought newcomers to the hobby, helped educate new collectors, and opened the door for many to explore new collecting interests.