Joe Orlando steps down from PSA, Nat is next up

Without a doubt, this message was the most difficult to write in my nearly 22 years at the company. The title, “Thank You,” is about as vague as a title can get, but I wanted to keep it simple for those who chose to read it. After more than two decades at Collectors Universe, with most of that time dedicated to PSA in one form or another, I have decided to move on from something that has become such a huge part of my life. It was time for a change. In addition to spending more time with my family, I am looking forward to staying active in the hobby, my personal passion.

Long before I came to work for the company in 1999, I became a customer – one of PSA’s first – shortly after learning about the service in the early 1990s. Even though I wasn’t here at the very beginning, nor did I invent the concept, I feel like I have been with the company from the start when it wasn’t en vogue. Third party authentication and grading wasn’t perfect then, and it isn’t now, but it has been a critical component to our hobby’s growth. It will continue to be as the market moves forward, along with all the other things PSA offers, from essential content to collection management tools.

I came to PSA because I believed in the concept and what it could do for the industry, but I stayed in large part because of the people … the people I worked with on a daily basis and those whom I worked for – our customers. The relationships are the reason. I have made lifelong friendships along the way, those I will always cherish. This includes so many current, and former, coworkers. It also includes countless hobbyists and dealers, those who continue to bleed PSA’s colors and those who have sadly passed on.

While there are those who drift in and out of our hobby, so many of you have been incredibly loyal to the brand and personally supportive during my entire career. I could never thank you enough. In many respects, I have been spoiled with a dream job since finishing school. I want everyone to know that I never forgot that. I was given an opportunity to work in an industry I love and for a company I believed in. I fully understood how rare that was and appreciated it every second of the way.

It doesn’t mean every experience was pleasant. Sometimes, I was turned into a human piñata at The National or became the target of submitter frustration by default being on the front lines. It was, however, all part of the gig. Being the referee, umpire or judge isn’t always an envious position to be in. Furthermore, playing the role of messenger can be challenging when the message isn’t always pretty, but the job was so rewarding, in every way imaginable.

I loved helping people, developing new services, providing structure to the market, building the Set Registry, writing, educating, researching, innovating, constantly learning and being immersed in the endeavor I would choose aside from the paycheck. It doesn’t feel like work if you have a real passion for what you do. That passion is what keeps you motivated each day. It could be a grind at times like any other job, but I ended up loving the grind.

In the early days, I can remember going to countless conventions. From Redding, PA, to Hollywood Park, CA, there was a time when I walked table-to-table, aisle-to-aisle, in an attempt to convince others how our services could help their business or improve their collecting experience. Some of you were at these shows too. The circuit could be grueling as you well know, but I enjoyed engaging with fellow hobbyists because we spoke the same language, shared similar experiences and could relate to one another … even when we disagreed.

Effective immediately, Collectors Universe Executive Chairman and fellow collector Nat Turner will be stepping into the CEO role. Since our company was purchased several months ago, Nat has been extremely involved in decision making, especially as it relates to building our infrastructure. This will enable the company to scale and bring Collectors Universe closer to its ultimate vision. For years, Nat has been a consumer and supporter of PSA-certified products, so he is very familiar with our brands and the services we offer.

I am a collector, through and through. It’s how I’m wired and that’s not going to change. I can’t wait to see what the next two or three decades has in store for all of us. The hobby is continually expanding, maturing and improving. It’s a great time to be a collector, and more people that share our “gene” are being introduced to our way of life each day.

No matter what I decide to do from this point forward with my work life, I will be a collector for life.

Forever grateful,

Joe Orlando
President & CEO, Collectors Universe, Inc.


“steps down”


Nat has been a breath of fresh air since coming on board will be interesting to see how the company develops w him in this new capacity


More cost cuts, staff cuts, condensing of the business focus and increased prices over and over.

That is my prediction. The guy didnt buy PSA to dilly-dally around with what they had, most takeovers are hostile and strip to companies down, reduce costs and increase prices to make as much money as possible. Is NAT in it long term? or to get what he can while the going is good, charge massively inflated prices for the services then dip out with bags of money under his arms. Time will tell!

Joe Orlando going is a shame, he seemed like a decent guy and has given alot to PSA over the years. Who is next?


curiosity and passion are deadly weapons^^ I always like to hear/read when People really are into whatever it is

This takeover doesn’t feel hostile at all. PSA was stuck in their backlog mud for years. Raising grading prices is the only way out. Every grading company who is smaller has done the same thing. Even if you didn’t raise prices, they are receiving more demand (money) than they can handle. They would still earn “bags of money” regardless of raising the price.


“Third party authentication and grading wasn’t perfect then, and it isn’t now”

Haha, even for this gratuitous puff piece, that is quite the understatement.




To have the CEO of PSA with us here in the group is just incredible!
Good luck moving forward :tada:

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I don’t know much about PSA’s leadership, but literally any change is bound to be an improvement over their awful service at this point.

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This is generally not what happens when a public company is taken private.

Taking a company private means you can focus on the 5-10 year vision without worrying about reporting and appeasing shareholders every quarter. Private companies don’t need to be stripped into hyper efficient short-term money machines at the expense of long-term vision.

Plus by all accounts Nat has been a dedicated collector himself for a long time before this acquisition. This doesn’t really seem like a guy who knows little about an industry coming in to just rip and flip with no care for long term success.


Obviously I do not know the answer but I don’t see any indication this was a hostile takeover. When companies do not have the funds to scale up their business at the necessary rate, they sell to a bigger company or partner with an investment group to create that growth. Just seems like business as usual to me.

I always think of the Tiger King when I see his name.


Don’t listen to the haters, Joe. Congrats for 22 years at PSA, and best of luck at the venture you join moving forward.

Fun fact… the alligators that died in the fire featured in Tiger King were Michael Jackson’s… here’s a link from 2015 lol.


I don’t think that is what will happen at all. Since the acquisition they have done the exact opposite of cutting costs and staff cuts. While Nat hasn’t officially been CEO he has really been calling the shots as of late. I believe they have a vision which includes the acquisitions of Genamint, Goldin and WATA lately. CU can be a one stop shop for all collectibles. Pay PSA or WATA to grade your items and don’t bother paying to have them shipped back to you just put them directly for sale on their Goldin Auctions platform. Prices have gone up but they were much too low to begin with, especially with that surge in demand. Time will tell how this post ages could be extremely wrong as well.

This is no knock to Joe Orlando I think he was put in a tough spot due in large part to things beyond his control.

Also while I am at it here I’m calling PWCC as CUs next acquisition target.


I hope so and would love to see PSA flourish in the future once they get a hold on what is going on. It will be interesting to watch for sure!

Yes I may have exaggerated a little with my post, it was a very hot and stuffy day yesterday XD They have been stuck in their ways and grading was far too cheap, you don’t know what you had until it is gone :stuck_out_tongue: I fully expect PSA to increase all tier prices as they gradually open throughout the year(and beyond?). They are receiving unprecedented demand at the moment for sure, who knows how long it will lat but yes taking advantage of it while you can is simple business sense. i get i, it just frustrating as a consumer ^.^ However if I was in their shoes id be doing the same thing sooo yea ha.

With the right buyers going private is definitely a good thing, as you said you don’t need to worry about keeping shareholders happy and can focus on running the business how you want and not the investors. I guess right now they are going through alot of changes, staff, their process and buying other businesses. Once things level out a bit and the dust settles we will be able to really see the direction PSA are heading.

I do hope it works out, and the acquisition of multiple other businesses is a step in the right direction to improve PSA functions and services overall. I hope it is a long term thing and it will be exciting to see how they progress over the next 5-10 years.

I think Joe and the entire executive team dropped the ball with the last 3-4 years. Forecasting for the growing demand for their service should have been more important to them. I think that PSA neglecting their issues for so long is why CGC TCG Grading ultimately spawned,which will hurt them more in the future. PSA’s pricing is now that of a premium service in the hobby, I think that if the price gap is going to be as large as it is now they’ll need to step up on their quality and T/A time.