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.