Michael Upp

Fifteen years ago, I joined Mitch-Stuart to serve the non-profit community and help them raise money. Within six months, I experienced firsthand the impact professional auctioneers made on a non-profit organization’s success.

Over time I learned more about the industry, earned my BAS designation, and attended the Benefit Auction Summit and Conference & Show—all of which solidified this simple truth: The auction industry, in all its forms, is populated with thousands of phenomenal people doing everything they can to make their respective market a better place for business. By doing so, they were growing their businesses and helping the industry expand.

I am now a Trustee of the Foundation to be a part of that. It’s not about me or what I will receive from the experience; it’s about being of service and expecting nothing in return.

Joseph B. Diehl, JD, CPA

Five years ago—upon retiring at age 67, I felt that I still had much to do to give back.

Decades ago, I started working as a CPA in the for-profit sector; halfway through my career, I became a nonprofit executive. So the transition from being Mr. Over-Achiever to being Mr. Retired-Person was difficult. Having grown up in rural Illinois, I saw my dad struggle with several side jobs to make ends meet, all while running a small business during the day. He’d rent out his public address system for local horse shows and auctions in his free time.

I helped out, loving the excitement of an auction. Becoming an auctioneer 55 years later was a no-brainer. So, I graduated from auction school, got licensed, and chose to run charity auctions, where I could give back to a cause… and also get paid!

Then the pandemic hit. Having been through hard knocks before, I decided to wait it out. NAA has been a huge support. Feeling grateful for the opportunity to learn from my colleagues and even competing at my age at the IAC, I have received much more from auctioneering than I’ve put into it—it is time to give back.

The Foundation provides educational scholarships and works to preserve our rich auctioneering history. The Foundation sponsored the entire NAA education program during the pandemic! This Oldie-but-Newbie urges you to give what you can! Thank you for your support.

Damien Massart, CAI, AMM, BAS, GPPA

Growing up as a child, my parents taught my three sisters and me many things, including the lesson of giving to receive. As a child, I didn’t fully understand what this meant; however, as the years went by, I slowly began to fully understand and embrace this concept, both in my personal life and in my profession.

I realized that giving could come in many forms, including money, time, or talent. Receiving came in various forms. Through giving, I have made new friendships, gained priceless knowledge, and of course, larger commissions and so much more.

As a professional in the auction industry, I believe it to be a privilege to give to the Foundation so it can carry out its mission and support programs such as:

  • Scholarships for emerging auctioneers in our industry and those seeking to advance in the auction profession
  • Educational seminars for those seeking to improve their auction professionalism, and find new ways to serve our clients and customers better
  • Preserving and helping us remember our auction history

I support the Foundation and the NAA by contributing, participating, and being active as a member. I am happy to give, knowing without a doubt that I will receive so much more in return. Please join me in supporting the Foundation and the entire auction method of marketing by giving to the National Auctioneers Foundation.

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.