Jim Alban

The National Auctioneers Foundation’s tagline is “Honoring Our Legacy … Empowering Our Future,” but how? One key way is through our beliefs: “We are committed to giving back to the industry that provides careers for so many professionals pursuing their passion in the wide and varied field of auctions. As part of that big extended family, we desire to see our beloved trade passed on to the next generation.”

It’s important not to lose sight of these words as they go much deeper than stated. Mike Hardwick, in his book “Keep Chopping Wood” equated his Churchill Foundation to the foundation of a house: “If it is built with a solid footing, poured with patience and persistence and designed to last for many years, then it will provide a lifetime of physical and emotional shelter.”

There are thousands of professional and trade organizations throughout this country, many of which have foundations such as ours to secure their industry’s future, integrity, character and soundness from within. The National Auctioneers Association created the National Auctioneers

Foundation for this exact purpose, and its existence can best be described with two words: WE CARE! Yes indeed, we care about our peers, how they perform and assist those they serve. All of us in the auction industry want to succeed and as Harvey S. Firestone once said: “It is only as we develop others that we permanently succeed.”

Thank goodness that the founders of the Foundation recognized this, but we are responsible to continue that vision as we advance. Moving forward in a positive way always includes change and this was recently demonstrated by the Foundation. Not only has the Foundation provided funds for educational scholarships, it also provided funding assistance for speakers at education events.

Change is very important and we all need to be aware of and respect it. As Leo Buscaglia states, “Change is the end result of all true learning.” All of us learned most distinctly about change within our respective business models due to COVID-19 with one word: Virtual. I’ve been thankful and encouraged that our industry came together to help and assist one another with learning and adapting to this presentation application. This is an absolute proven example of the care in our industry and organization for one another, enabling us to continue to help others.

This Christmas season, one of the Salvation Army’s quotes is, “Hope begins with help.” It’s my hope, as we approach the end of 2021, that you will continue (or start) your financial support to the Foundation. Your help is greatly appreciated. Anyone not supporting the Foundation through a financial donation, I urge you to please reconsider. To you and yours, have a blessed Christmas and a most prosperous and happy New Year. Please keep safe and stay healthy.

John (John John) Genovese, III, CAI, AMM, BAS

The education and assistance within this industry I have received can hardly be put into simple words. As a recipient of a scholarship in the past, I can say without a doubt that the Foundation has been instrumental in my personal and business development. 

I donate because the value of the Foundation cannot be ascribed to a monetary donation—it’s not about the cost of supporting, but rather, the cost of not supporting. It is about the betterment of our peers and future auction leaders. The auctioneers who support the Foundation really are supporting our industry as a whole.

I may not be able to donate as much as others, but I find it important to show appreciation to the organization that has supported me upon the entrance to this wonderful industry. I don’t view my support as a matter of dollars, but of ensuring that I have invested in the progress of our industry.

I would encourage all auction professionals that are proud of our association and grateful for the support you have been given to do the same.

Testimonial: Amanda Valley, BAS

As a thoroughly average student (125th out of 250 in my high school senior class), it never occurred to me that I would ever be a scholarship winner. And up until my first Conference & Show, I only ever said “Aha!” when I had solved a particularly tricky crossword clue, or found a piece in a really hard 1,000-piece puzzle. But now I want to shout “AHA!” from the mountaintops because it means so much more. Auctioneers Helping Auctioneers made it possible for me to attend my first Benefit Auction Summit by awarding me a scholarship!

Attending the Minneapolis Conference & Show was incredibly impactful for me. It cemented my love of the auction method of marketing. It also gave me a huge case of #FOMO that I was not attending the Benefit Auction Summit in San Antonio! That’s when I was made aware of the scholarship opportunity. With the encouragement of my mentor, Misty Marquam from Marquam Auction Agency, I very quickly got my recommendations and materials together with just the hope that I would be at least considered. It never occurred to me that I would be awarded! I was so honored when I got the news and did not waste a second in booking my travel. 

The Summit was an incredible experience. The education, the camaraderie and THE Coach Burt! It was an incredible experience and one I will never forget. Thank you to all of my colleagues who have donated to the National Auctioneers Foundation. Your generosity made my participation possible!

Testimonial: Calli McCartan

A couple of months ago my dad took me out for a cup of coffee at our favorite local spot. He asked if I was going to apply for a scholarship to attend the NAA’s Conference & Show. Even though things have been going well, I knew in my “I just started a business during a pandemic” bank account that there. was no way I would be attending C&S without some financial support. Unless, of course, I wanted to stay in the cheapest and lowest-rated Airbnb across downtown and walk late at night because I can’t afford city parking yet. I started the application right away.

I am very honored to have received a scholarship from the NAF this year. It allowed me to attend this year’s C&S in person in Minneapolis. This scholarship gave me a chance to soak up high level education, to connect with so many amazing auctioneers and now mentors, and land a few job opportunities. On top of those amazing experiences, I also met multiple new friends. Because I didn’t have to worry about sneaking off to eat peanut butter sandwiches every meal (one of my original plans), I was able to spend my own money to attend the women’s luncheon—one of the most inspirational highlights of my week. Later, I bought a coffee for one of my new connections. A simple little thing, like a coffee, made me feel that my work and presence could help make another’s day a great experience, too.

My scholarship allowed me get in the Starbucks line without worrying about my bank account, and to make a small connection that I never would have made without the money donated to NAF. So, thank you to everyone who donates. You might not always see what happens with your money. But to me, I won’t forget the experience of attending C&S for a long time.

Thank you,

Calli McCartan, C&S scholarship recipient

Update from the Foundation President: Jennifer Gableman, CAI, ATS

On behalf of our entire board, I would like to thank all who gave during the Pass It Forward campaign at the NAA’s 2021 hybrid conference. Many of you provided lead donations and others gave during the Pass It Forward “ask.” Because of you, we were able to raise $130,000. You exceeded our expectations (and budget).

Furthermore, we are honored to have received the President’s Award of Distinction. We look forward to continuing our work alongside the NAA.

Over the past year, the Foundation has worked with the NAA to underwrite their entire 2020 education program. We are proud to say that we did not touch the endowment to fund this and that this year’s Pass It Forward replenished the till.

The Foundation with the assistance of the NAA staff also updated the website to a fresh, sleek format affording current and future donors information on what the Foundation does and how we help the Association and auction industry. Those seeking NAA education scholarships can find the application on the new website and can fill it out totally digitally. The Legacy Youth Scholarship Committee has also been added to the website with information on their scholarship opportunities, past scholarship recipients, and Auxiliary Hall of Fame recipients.

As I mentioned at Conference & Show, our tagline is “Honoring Our Legacy…Empowering Our Future.” This coming year, we will continue to provide scholarships for all educational programs while working to make our history more visible at headquarters in Overland Park, KS, and on AuctioneersFoundation.org. We are searching for a museum curator to assist in photographing and cataloging the historical auction items in the NAA’s possession. There are various ways you can support the Foundation including making a donation on the website or indirectly by purchasing through AmazonSmile where you can select the National Auctioneers Foundation as your charity of choice. I’ve set this up in the Amazon app so I don’t have to reset it each time.

Again, thank you to each and every one of our donors for making the 2021 Pass It Forward a huge success!