We have been asked on a number of occasions if there is a particular “thread” that runs through all of the formidable names of the gentlemen and ladies who are inductees into the American Stamp Dealer Hall of Fame. It is, in some ways, an easy question to answer. In fact, the inductee being announced in this issue of ASD&C answers it for us—
Michael Rogers entered the business of dealing in stamps in 1976 with just $600 in his bank account—and in the interim years became a key worldwide influence (and expert) in his specific specialty area. He became such a major authority on the subject of China/Asia stamps and postal history that collectors (and dealers, too) couldn’t possibly avoid beating a path to his door.
When one examines the names preceding Michael in this Hall of Fame, the remarks above hold true for practically all of them. A dealer’s great influence for the betterment of our hobby is the key criterion for admission.
In his own words, “Its all about character and integrity. “Integrity” is doing business on a level playing field. A sense of honor goes a long way. Contracts are fair only if they protect both sides. I believe business runs best according to simple truths and trust in the Lord. Money tempts; values don’t.”
The above, of course, is just the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” to the philosophy that has always guided Michael. He goes on:
“What distinguishes Michael Rogers Inc. is the philosophy that every collector can be a friend. Treat a customer as a friend and not a number. “Empathy” translates into helping a collector know how to appreciate difficult material without feeling intimidated.
“Though the company bears my name, MRI is really the accomplishments of a family of cohesive staffers and supportive friends. The list of credits would fill a page.
“I’m as enthused as those I help. Imagine having employment where you’re involved with your hobby, poring through stamps and postal history, bringing satisfaction to the table, chatting away with mighty fine people. I call that heaven!”
Michael graduated in 1972 from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia, and the next year went to work for dealer John Mc-Daniel. By the end of 1976, he had resigned and started his own business with that $600. The business become successful enough for
him to open his Winter Park, Florida, stamp shop in 1978—a storefront that he ran in that lovely suburb of Orlando for 29 years. His firm’s large offices continue today in that same city.
Over that period, Michael’s business grew into a multi-level operation handling every element of stamp dealing from filling want lists to holding major public auctions and
mail sales. During that time, his business handled some of the most important philatelic
properties in the (beginning in 1982) China/Asia spectrum. Michael became a board member of the China Stamp Society, wrote and still writes a major column for Linn’s Stamp News—and now, a regular column here in ASD&C.
He’s written over 700 articles on his subject matter and even collects, himself: worldwide Airpost stamps and postal history plus GB QEII, Ethiopia, Liberia, Yemen,
Japan, Manchukuo, and Taiwan.
Welcome to posterity, Mr. Rogers!