AFDCS Honors Three for Service

The American First Day Cover Society has given its top honors to three of its long-time leaders, Michael Litvak of California, Mark Thompson of Tennessee and Tris Fall of Pennsylvania.
Litvak, who recently stepped down for health reasons after more than 31 years as Executive Vice President, was named an Honorary Life Member, the first person to receive the society's highest award in 13 years. In addition to serving in that post, Litvak had also chaired the AFDCS Fundraising Auctions, helping bring them to a new level of funding for the organization, and is a founding member of one of the most active chapters, the Claude C. Ries Chapter #48 in Southern California. Until recently, the former public schoolteacher was Ries Chapter President.

He is shown here receiving the award from Jim Tatum.
Litvak also served on the AFDCS Board of Directors for many years, was president of the American Ceremony Program Society (another AFDCS chapter), and has written dozens of articles for the AFDCS journal, First Days.
Thompson and Fall received the Distinguished Service Award for their meritorious service to the AFDCS. Thompson is currently AFDCS Treasurer and has been the advertising manager for First Days for the past nine years. The treasurer position is normally an auditor, but in the dark days following the sudden death of executive director Douglas Kelsey, Thompson was instrumental in reconstructing and restructuring the society's financial records and accounts.

At right, Thompson receives the DSA from President Lloyd de Vries.
As advertising manager, he cleared up and collected thousands of dollars in past-due accounts, to the point where, today, no advertisers are in arrears beyond the current cycle. His exhibit "Women of the Black Heritage Series" has won gold medals and proven to be a crowd-favorite with nine most-popular awards at national shows.
Tristram R. Fall III, shown at left, is an attorney in Philadelphia. "Tris" was advising the AFDCS on legal matters regarding intellectual property — one of his specialties — even before he became General Counsel in 2014. He writes or examines all contracts involving the AFDCS. In addition, when necessary, he acts as parliamentarian for AFDCS meetings and is a member of the Bylaws Committee. His wide-ranging collecting interests include the U.S. Bicentennial, aviation, and space.
"Being the attorney for a stamp society isn't a flashy post, but oh so necessary in this litigious age," said AFDCS president Lloyd. A. de Vries. "Tris has helped keep us out of trouble."
DSA recipients are chosen by a vote of past DSA recipients. Honorary Life Memberships are recommended by the Honors and Awards Committee (currently chaired by James Tatum, Jr.) and confirmed by the Board of Directors.

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