Joan Harmer is a business operations consultant who applies technology to build systems and processes specializing in the government and not-for-profit sectors. As part of her MBA program, she studied how technology could be used to gain efficiencies in the niche industry of philately. She was able to apply some of these studies at H.R. Harmer, Inc. which was owned by her husband Keith. She incorporated Harmers Intenational, Inc in 2000 to win a gentleman’s bet with Keith’s sister Alison. The company was initially used to sell Brandon’s baseball cards and showcase his writing for the family.
Joan assisted Keith with the sale and tax strategies for H.R. Harmer. Keith was born to be an auctioneer and the plight of a dealer was not agreeable to him. In 2009, Joan repurposed Harmers International, Inc. into the auction firm. Joan implemented all of the technologies and processes for the firm. She runs the back office and was fortunate to have Keith’s father, Bernard, as well as Keith, guide her in her collecting endeavors.
As a sociologist and technologist, she enjoys the postal history dimension of philately and the application of spectrometry in the study of postal artifacts. After a very brief effort to collect Japanneese stampless covers, Keith purchased a nucleus for her Nova Scotia Stampless collection from their dear friend, Fredrick Mayer. Struggling to find a direction for the Nova Scotia pieces, a friend suggested that she collect Morning Covers which offered greater flexibility for developing an exhibit.
Joan is the Co-Chairman of the British Empire Study Group, the AAPE Awards Chairman. She is currently a Governor and the Vice President of the Collector’s Club of New York where she assisted the club to configure itself to rent space to auction houses and spearheaded the website re-design with Roger Brody before she was even an official member of the Club. As the Vice President, she developed the format, processes and implemented the technology for the Webinars which the board adopted when COVID prohibited in-person meetings. Joan believes that diversity and inclusion are key to growing the hobby and she is successfully applying new techniques and data analytics to grow the British Empire Study Group, her company, and by default, philately.
Joan holds a doctorate in International Business, is a Certified Professional Contract Manager for government accounting and project management. Masters Certificates in Construction Management, Data Analytics, Project Management, and Disaster Management. In addition to postal history, Joan races Keith’s old MGA, plays competitive Judo, is a community District Leader and runs a small animal rescue.