association, auction, auctioneer, auctioneer association, auctioneers, auctions, club, executive director, Indiana Auctioneers Association, Kathy Baber, membership, Michigan State Auctioneers Association, Ohio Auctioneers Association, organization, West Virginia Auctioneers Association
Largely since the 1940’s, auctioneers have formed state associations within the United States.
These organizations were created in order to grow and strengthen fellowship amongst members, and improve and promote higher standards in the auction profession.
Most associations elected officers (president, vice president, secretary, treasurer) and assembled a board of directors.
For the most part, these associations have since augmented governance of their association with an, “executive secretary” or, “executive director.”
This person or organization would manage issues such as scheduling of meetings, maintaining meeting minutes, accounting of finances, publication of a newsletter, monitor legislative and related issues, etc.
Typically these associations have relied upon one of three models for such managerial assistance:
- An auctioneer member, or a family member of such — often times a spouse.
- An individual familiar and passionate about the auction industry, and proficient in association management.
- A generic professional association management organization, typically lacking familiarity and/or interest in the auction industry.
As a member of several state auctioneer associations, and familiar with many others, I would make these observations:
- When membership numbers and/or finances make it impractical or impossible to hire either an outside individual or generic professional association management organization, it is certainly prudent to utilize a member, or member’s family for such association management.
- When sufficient membership and finances make it possible to hire either an outside individual or generic professional association management organization, it appears clear the better choice is the individual with passion and understanding of the auction industry.
Notably, the Ohio Auctioneers Association (OAA) just recently ended a 23-year relationship with a generic professional association management organization, and opted to hire Kathy Baber (KJMB, LLC) to serve as their executive director.
Among the reasons the OAA cited for this change include:
- Kathy is one of us, having worked in the auction industry both with and for auctioneers.
- Kathy has previous experience in both association management and accounting.
Kathy’s hire aligns precisely with the premise of our position. When finances allow for the offloading of executive director duties, state auctioneer associations are prudent to do so.
However, an indispensable characteristic of an executive director is interest, passion and experience regarding the auction industry — something most all generic professional association management organizations [understandably] lack.
In this way, the executive director/auctioneer association relationship can be collaborative — synergistic, where the association can discuss ideas with the executive director, and the executive director can bring ideas and perspective to the association.
We applaud Ohio’s insight to better management, and for state auctioneer associations considering a change and/or with dissimilar models, we suggest this model be examined.
Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. His Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/mbauctioneer. He serves as Adjunct Faculty at Columbus State Community College and is Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School.