2017 Distinguished Topical Philatelist named by ATA

For her wide-ranging contributions to philately, Vera Felts will receive the highest honour of the American Topical Association (ATA)—Distinguished Topical Philatelist—at the National Topical Stamp Show awards banquet on June 24 in Milwaukee.

As ATA executive director since 2009, Felts brings innovation and positivity to the office and many of the organization’s programs. She spearheaded the highly successful ambassador program, which has resulted in hundreds of new members, and managed the transition to a new topical checklist database, which has improved the ATA’s signature checklists.

“Felts is revered throughout philately for her devotion to helping people advance and enjoy topical collecting,” reads the ATA website.


For the past 18 years, Felts has also served as registration chair and managed the show cachets for the St. Louis Stamp Expo.

For 15 years, she edited the APS gold award-winning newsletter of the Southern Illinois Stamp Club and co-founded its local show, known as Sirpex.

A life member of APS, Felts served eight years as co-ordinator of its newsletter exchange.

In 1999, at the Science Center in Carbondale, Ill., she founded a long-running youth stamp group.


The Distinguished Topical Philatelist (DTP) designation is awarded for service to topical philately in general and to the ATA in particular. It was established in 1952 and has been presented to 110 individuals since its inception. This is the most prestigious award given by the ATA. Tradition dictates the DTP awardee signs a scroll when the award is presented.

Don Smith served as the chair of this  year’s selection committee.

The scrolls signed by all of ATA’s 119 DTPs can be viewed at americantopicalassn.org/awardsdtp.

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