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Hannes Combest, FASAE, CAE, has been Chief Executive Officer at the National Auctioneers Association since June 2008. She recently announced her resignation (retirement?) from our association effective September 2021 and we wish her well in all her future endeavors.

Hannes makes no secret of her schooling at The University of Kansas — KU — holding a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and remains to this day an ardent Jayhawk fan — with March Madness (notably 1998 and 2008) being a particularly exhilarating time of year for her and anyone nearby.

I’ve had the distinct pleasure of joining Hannes at several state association conventions as well as the National Auctioneers Association (NAA) Conference & Show, Designation Academy, and the Certified Auctioneers Institute. Besides supervising these NAA events, she has herself served as a presenter as well.

Her learned leadership of the NAA has provided our association more disclosure, transparency, accountability and helped guide NAA through the most transformative of its 72 years to-date. Her personal style of being a good listener coupled with a compassionate, caring, thoughtful approach to guiding this organization has served NAA with exceptional skill.

In particular, she has lead NAA through a time when all associations continue to lose members, more and more auctioneers are moving to online platforms, a far more diverse membership is breaking into the business, education requires online and on-demand opportunities … and a pandemic has materially affected every auctioneer and related association on earth.

Recently, the NAA released an industry blog as well as a podcast. Many NAA classes have moved to online formats and members can now access current and prior classes and seminars electronically. We wrote about the NAA blog and podcast here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2020/09/22/the-naa-how-auctions-work/ and here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2020/09/29/the-naa-the-auction-advocate/.

Further, during her tenure, NAA updated its mission and vision statements, noting NAA’s four cornerstones of focus: advocacy, promotions, education, and community as we wrote about here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2020/07/20/naas-mission-vision-cornerstones/. Too, NAA is now financially stable with better policies in place, helping to ensure its endurance.

Maybe just as important as being a good leader, Hannes has surrounded herself with exemplary staff who work tirelessly to serve NAA. More recently, when NAA staff has joined with insightful officers, board members, and trustees, NAA has been at its best. If you’re an auctioneer, there may be no better time to be a part of the National Auctioneers Association: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/auctioneers-ask-not-what-your-association-can-do-for-you/.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services, and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, and an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and Western College of Auctioneering. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.