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Hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp bring you the latest news affecting the federal community each weekday morning, featuring interviews with top government executives and contractors. Listen live from 6 to 9 a.m. or download archived interviews below.
Big change in store for the director of the U.S. Mint
Thursday - 1/6/2011, 11:08am EST
Senior Internet Editor
Director of the U.S. Mint, Ed Loy, says if you look at his 30-year career, you'll find that more than a third of it has been spent in public service. "And there's a reason for that," he told Federal News Radio.
"While there are a lot of things in the private sector that are satisfying, whether it's the compensation or creating value in a company and those things, there are certain things that you get in public service that you can't get anywhere else," he said. "For example, being director of the Mint, I make a product that every single American uses and promotes American values and history to anyone who visits this country." In essence, he said, Mint employees are "stewards of American values and image."
Moy said he'd leaned that while that kind of satisfaction is one of the attractions of public service, it shouldn't be the motivation anyone uses during a job interview. As special assistant for presidential personnel in the White House of George W. Bush, Moy said he learned a valuable job hint for anyone wanting to serve at the pleasure of the President.
Here's a little job hint for future job seekers in future administrations. If they come and say "gosh, you know, I've dreamed all my life in serving this job and I have ten top things I want to accomplish," that's probably not the person that's going to be hired. It's the person that's "i've done so much. I owe this country so much. I have a skill set that can uniquely move the ball farther down the line that's consistent with the President's agenda." Those were the people that ended up getting selected.
The workforce at the Mint is a great example of a passion for or a calling to public service, said Moy. "Many of our Mint employees have 30 to 45 years experience. Once they get to the Mint, they absolutely love it and they are passionate about what they do and they want to do that for the rest of their lives." Moy invited listeners to visit the Mint and take the public tours in Philadelphia and Denver, and "just say Ed Moy sent ya'."
With that much commitment, why resign as the director? Moy said his five year term ends in August and he felt the need to "start thinking about what comes next, and I just had an opportunity to check off something from my bucket list which is to work for a rapidly growing, publicly held company."
L & L Energy, Inc. has announced that Moy will be joining the company as the vice president of corporate infrastructure effective January 10th. While he said it's been "really hard to leave" the Mint, Moy said he'll be fulfilling a dream to be part of the leadership of a company like L & L, which is "one of the few foreigners that have been allowed to own coal mines in China, which is a very hot thing right now."
Moy takes with him a proven talent for turning a profit.
Before 1999, he said, the most amount of change made to most coins was only to reflect the year the coin was minted. During his tenure, he increased revenues from $2.3 billion to a record $4 billion and increased profits from $350 million to over $1 billion.
Moy gave huge credit for that to the popularity of the state quarters. "With the fifty state quarter program," explained Moy, "we probably made 300 percent more quarters than what would normally be needed in the economy and that brought about six and a half billion dollars of profit that went directly to the taxpayers."
And that was one quarter at a time.
"The most fascinating thing about Director Moy," according to David Ganz, a former president of the American Numismatic Association in a coinbooks.com interview, "is that as a kid he worked in his parent's Chinese restaurant and as a cashier he used to go through the cash draw every night and pick out coins for his coin collection."
Moy said the job was part of what was expected in his family.
Yup, I grew up in a restaurant and in a Chinese family, you have the family man the cash register because that's who you trusted with the money, and as a bored kid, I used to just go through the change. And what I noticed was all the different designs. It could be the same denomination but you'd have an Indian Head penny or a Lincoln penny, or a Lincoln penny with wheat on the back or the Lincoln Memorial on the back and that's how I got started in my collection. And this is how great of a country we are. I did that when I was ten years old. Forty years later, I could never imagine I'd become the director of the U.S. Mint.
Tomorrow, Edmund C. Moy ends his tenure as the 38th director in the history of the U.S. Mint.