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!

Testimonial: Seth Weiner, BAS

I was awarded the prestigious Foundation’s CAI scholarship for 2020, and then COVID-19 postponed it. Fortunately, the scholarship was carried over to 2021, where CAI went virtual. I have to admit, at first, I was hesitant to participate in the virtual not knowing how the class would connect if not in-person? In the end, this wasn’t an issue as there is something in the CAI Kool Aid! I am so glad that I decided to attend and am looking forward to completing the CAI program and growing in this industry with my CAI Family.

The scholarship was very important to me for 2020 as I was in the middle of changing my career from the music industry to full time benefit auctioneering with no budget for continuing education. Then came COVID-19 and, like most others in our industry, I had lost all of my income. It goes without saying that without the scholarship assistance there would be no way I would have been able to attend CAI 2021.

The education CAI provided was top notch with super knowledgeable and incredible instructors. Even though CAI this year ended up being a hybrid with some virtual and others in-person, a solid bond was made within the class. I can’t wait to see how we deepen our connection over the next two years. I am excited to share that I’m already experiencing positive results from CAI from how I present my proposals, to client referrals, and a general excitement about my career. Thank you, National Auctioneers Foundation, from the bottom of my heart, for supporting auctioneers such as myself with our journeys.

Testimonial: Jim Alban

Good Day, NAA! I’m Jim Alban, principal/owner of Jim Alban• Auctioneer Benefit­ Charity Galas & Events. I reside in Monroe, Ml (near Detroit, Ml) and have assisted non-profit organizations as well as schools and special fundraising causes for over 30 years in Central, Southeast & Southwest USA and Canada.

I’m a former Director of Development (Salvation Army) and Executive Director of a YMCA facility. In addition I’ve chaired and committed on four successful Capital Campaigns for the YMCA, Salvation Army and the former Mercy-Memorial Hospital in Monroe, Ml. 

Like several other noted benefit-charity auctioneers I’ve met over the years, I started out helping non-profits with fundraising via live auctions pro-bona. When my success with these continued, so did my proven reputation. I soon became a professional and joined the Michigan & National Auctioneers Associations and broadened my career path with an increased network of the most wonderful and helpful fellow auctioneers. I’m an alumnus of Jenelle Taylors “BOOTCAMP for Benefit Auctioneers” and a contributing author of her book, “Boost Your Benefit Auction.” I’ve also attended two NAA Benefit Auction Summits.

I knew the next logical step with moving my career forward was to attain the NAA Benefit Auction Specialist designation. The BAS course is typically offered at the NAA Annual Convention and the NAA Designation Academy every December in Las Vegas, NV. I realize we all have challenging schedules, and in my case, I wasn’t able to attend any of these offerings in the past.

Things changed in a multitude of ways in 2020, and the opportunity for attending the BAS class in December became possible as it was virtual via Zoom. My schedule was wide open, which also meant that my business bank account was wide open. As with many fellow auctioneers, over 85 percent of my business was gone due to Covid-19 guidelines. My option was to apply for the National Auctioneers Foundation Scholarship, of which I am so grateful to have been awarded. I deeply appreciate and value being awarded the NAA Foundation Scholarship for the BAS designation at the NAA Designation Academy in December of 2020. Thank You! 

This could be where my sharing ends, but not so. There is much more to scholarships other than the funding they so generously supply. Being awarded this scholarship showed me I’m supported, and it changed the way I connect with the NAA. Writing this article is a most direct example of being a NAA Foundation Scholarship awardee. I plan on communicating with the NAA regarding updates of how my career is moving forward with the help of the BAS scholarship.

Building connections with other awardees in various means is also an opportunity made possible. The recommenders, supporters and character references of my scholarship application realize even further my commitment to enhancing my benefit-charity auctioneer career. If you win a scholarship, your focus and professional purpose will change, such as increasing your professional commitment in a variety of ways. Your sense of responsibility for being awarded this scholarship creates a mindset of obligation & duty as you continue with your career. Think of it as an investment in your future.  In conclusion, you may go on to be more philanthropic yourself. I recently contributed to the NAA Foundation and plan on making that an annual donation, I encourage your consideration in doing the same. To you & yours, keep safe and stay healthy. There is light at the end of the (Covid) tunnel and it’s not a train.