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Our Experts

RONALD F. UMILE, CEO, is one of the world’s foremost experts on rare US stamps with over 25 years as a leader in the industry. He is the former Director of West Coast Operations for Harmer’s International, the worldwide stamp auctioneers, and former Director of Butterfield & Butterfield’s philatelic division in San Francisco. With eBay’s acquisition of Butterfield, he consulted with eBay and other top online philatelic websites. He has also appeared on various appraisal television programs. Recognizing the importance of authentication in the online marketplace, Mr. Umile was a pioneering visionary in the stamp-grading arena. He was instrumental in arranging the acquisition of PSE (Professional Stamp Experts) by PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) setting in motion the favorable market conditions that exist today. Over his career, he has been personally responsible for over $100 Million in collectable transactions. Most recently, Mr. Umile has managed the Robert R. Johnson Group of Companies. He is a member of the American Philatelic Society, American Stamp Dealers Association, The Postal History Society, The U.S. Philatelic Classics Society and The Collectors Club of New York.

ROBERT R. JOHNSON, Senior Consultant is a world-renowned numismatist and philatelist. A collector and dealer in rare coins and stamps since 1949, Mr. Johnson has distinguished himself as one of the most successful and respected dealers in the industry. He is the former president of the Professional Numismatists Guild (1975-1977) and has served for many years as a consultant and Expert Witness to the U.S. Treasury in cases involving authentication and evaluation. Mr. Johnson formerly headed Butterfield & Butterfield’s highly successful coin auctions, and has been a consultant and conservator of coins recovered from sunken ships. He has 40 years of numismatic relationships with foreign national banks in Europe and Asia and has handled numerous individual rarities as well as major numismatic and philatelic properties. His many years in the coin industry has infused experience and insight into the Rarity Ventures strategy for creating opportunities in the graded stamp rarities market. Robert R. Johnson is a member of the Appraiser Association of America, American Stamp Dealers Association, the Professional Numismatists Guild and life member of the American Philatelic Society and Numismatic Association.

ARMEN R. VARTIAN, Legal Consultant, is the nation’s leading attorney-at-law specializing in art and collectibles. He is Legal Counsel to the Professional Numismatists Guild, was formerly General Counsel to the American Numismatic Association and represents many of the leading companies in collectibles including Collectors Universe, Inc. (which he helped take public in 1999), Superior Galleries, Inc. and the Heritage Capital Corporation. Mr. Vartian has provided expertise for Federal Judges at the FTC’s request on important cases in the collectibles market. He writes the “Collectibles and Law” column for the trade paper Coin World and is author of the book “Legal Guide to Buying and Selling Art and Collectibles” (1997). Mr. Vartian is a graduate of Harvard Law School and is admitted to practice in California, Illinois and New York.

MARSHALL STRATEGY, Market and Strategic Advisors are corporate identity and brand strategy advisors to world leading companies. Led by legendary marketing consultant Phil Durbrow, Marshall’s senior team of experts advises CEOs and marketing executives on strategic priorities for their organizations and brands.

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