When we announced the closure of the American Philatelic Center, members reached out with words of encouragement for the staff in appreciation for all they do. One member wrote, “Please tell them the APS Cares!” APS Cares is something that was born out of one member sharing their hope that staff is supported during this time. We thank them along with many others who have reached out and contributed with their kindness.
What is APS Cares? With our closure, certain services have been suspended, and with that, revenue for the Society. We cannot fully operate programs, like Expertizing, Circuit Sales, StampStore, or the library, but we are doing all we can until the doors open again. When the time comes, we want to be fully prepared to get you back to enjoying every service the APS has to offer as quickly as possible. APS Cares is a fund to allow us to keep our staff working and serving you, from the safety of their homes. APS Cares will go directly to support APS staff salaries or, if we’re able, to reward them at the end of the year for their hard work.
With this hope and support from APS Cares, our staff will be able to continue to bring joy and a place to unwind within in the world of philately. From your extended family at the American Philatelic Society, we offer our appreciation to you for staying connected with us.
Meet Helen Bruno, APS Advertising Account Manager
In March 2020, Development Assistant Erin Seamans interviewed Helen Bruno, who has been a part of the APS family since 1976.
Erin: What is your job title and what do you do at APS?
Helen: I’m the Advertising Account Manager for The American Philatelist, Philatelic Literature Review, “Stamp Sense” - the monthly member newsletter - and show programs for APS’ shows, including the annual summer show, Great American Stamp Show. My duties include soliciting advertising and keeping in contact with current advertisers and prospects. I don’t get the opportunity or pleasure of meeting most of them in person, so we keep in contact through email, telephone, mail, and fax. My responsibilities cover a wide range of marketing activities: billing, scheduling advertising, creating and managing databases and rosters, dispatching billing invoices, bill collection, and communicating with advertisers regarding billing and payments; I also proofread the publications and work closely with our advertisers, design and content teams to prepare ads for layout and publishing … and I am always ready to assist in other ways as needed.
How long have you worked for the American Philatelic Society?
Since October 18, 1976 – a fair few years!
What are the best parts or fun parts of your job?
The APS Content Team having fun at the 2019 Holiday party.
There are challenges, but many rewards! In my current position I have the privilege of working with some very special friends, APS members and advertisers with whom I enjoy chatting via e-mail, telephone and occasionally when they visit the APC. We truly appreciate our advertisers and I want them to know that they are special to me and the APS. I truly value them, their friendship and support.
Are there any resources on the website you’d like to highlight for members that are connected to your job?
People may not know that there are lots of advertising opportunities available to members. (See below for Helen’s full answer!)
Are you a stamp collector? If so, what do you like to collect?
Helen and co-workers decorate a gingerbread house at the society’s annual Holiday party.
Hmmm! Well, I became an APS member in 1982 because I wanted to contribute in some small way. Little did I know that the stamp bug would get me, and it sure did! I have favorite collections relating to my family: for example, WWII (one of my cousins served in the Coast Guard); the Vietnam War (one of my dear sisters, Jane, now deceased, was in the United Service Organizations, and I have correspondence between her and a couple of young servicemen who deployed to Vietnam); the Civilian Conservation Corps (of which my father was a part), including Corps-related letters, covers, photos, Corps emblems, “Heading Home” news, a train schedule my father marked showing the route from New Jersey to Oregon, and more! I’m also a fan of archery and other topicals.
What is a fun fact about you that you’d like to share with our members?
I worked in construction for a while - refinishing furniture, sanding, staining, etc. For several years, I was a legal secretary for a big well-known legal firm in Trenton, New Jersey, until I moved to Pennsylvania in 1976 and started at APS. Even before that, I worked for the State of New Jersey Department of Education. I also worked as a debt collector way back in the day!
I also have been a competition target archer (unlimited and bow hunter) and for several years I was the secretary/treasurer of a local archery club. We travelled and participated in indoor and outdoor archery competitions and at many archery clubs around the state of Pennsylvania with the best archers and champion archers. I am proud to be listed in the Pennsylvania State Archery Association’s record books. While I was serving as the secretary, I sent out a regular newsletter and included archery stamps, info about the stamps and collecting, and about the American Philatelic Society. After many years I left the sport and gave my bow and equipment to my son.
I enjoy gardening/landscaping my yard and hiking in the mountains surrounding my home in the quiet, beautiful village outside Bellefonte, nestled at the foot of the Nittany Mountain Range and Hecla Gap. I also enjoy listening and dancing to tunes in my oldies record collections, and enjoying time with my family, friends, and my stamp collections.
Anything else you’d like to share about your job/APS to members?
The APS is a beautiful and wonderful place. We are a great team, family, working together every day to serve our members and to help keep our rewarding and loved hobby strong and growing into the future.
I have had a great time during my years with APS and there are so many fun times I experienced along the way. I was there through the move of APS headquarters from South Frasier Street to the Oakwood Avenue location in State College, and then again out of Oakwood Avenue to our current location in Bellefonte. I used to set up local meetings, travel to shows and take minutes, order food for the meetings, and I was a registrar for one of the big International shows. I had so much fun staffing the APS booth for years at many, many different WSP shows around the country – and this gave me so many opportunities to meet many of you. It was beautiful - I felt like the APS Board of Directors who were always at the shows were my dear friends. They took care of me during the shows and made sure I had a seat at the banquets.
The highlight of working at the American Philatelic Society was the free trip – a week in Bermuda - they gave me to celebrate my 15 years with the APS! I visited all of the post offices, took pictures with postmasters and clerks, and enjoyed the beaches, perfume factory, aquariums, golf course and more! Unfortunately, the free trip is no longer a policy, unluckily for more recent employees.
I am proud and happy to be an employee and member of the APS – and I hope to be able to meet more of you in the future.
Finally, if you are a collector of postage stamps, covers, and other related ephemera, but are not yet a member of the APS, and you are seeking a safe resource to put you in touch with other collectors of similar interests around the world, membership in the American Philatelic Society is for you! Join today and take advantage of the many, valuable benefits and services that will enhance your enjoyment of our hobby for years to come. Sign up today - we will be happy to welcome you as a member soon!
If you would like to support APS Cares, you can send a check to:
American Philatelic Society
100 Match Factory Place
Bellefonte, PA 16823
c/o APS Cares
Or Support the APS Staff Online:
Please select APS Cares in the Gift Designation.
Advertise with APS: Keep building your business in uncertain times
In these trying economic times, business owners are facing critical decisions. When looking at your advertising budget, remember this: It is far better to protect your turf than to play catch-up. Maintaining a strong advertising presence now will pay off in the long term.
The strength of the American Philatelic Society’s print and digital products will keep your business relevant to stamp collectors. The power of The American Philatelist’s audience
gives advertisers valuable, global exposure, delivered monthly to 28,000 members, in the mail or online. Auction houses, dealers, stamp clubs, and specialty stamp collecting societies can promote their business, specialty services/products, and presence at stamp shows around the world (stamps.org/the-american-philatelist).
Stamps.org, the digital home of APS, is substantially growing its audience. Due to exciting content additions, visitors are increasing their time spent on the site and the number of pages viewed per session. The website now offers advertising with full analytics to track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Opportunities include increased display advertising and sponsored content opportunities.
Advertisers can connect with sophisticated Philatelic Literature enthusiasts by marketing their services in the American Philatelic Research Library’s quarterly publication, Philatelic Literature Review. (https://classic.stamps.org/PLR-Advertising). The PLR is also available
in digital format, on the library’s website. Keep up the pace of your business. Now is the time to look ahead and keep advertising your services to the reliable members of the American Philatelic Society.
To discuss advertising opportunities, please contact Helen Bruno (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Thomas Loebig (email@example.com).