The 61st International Auctioneers Conference and Show started Wednesday morning with the Opening Session.
NAA positive messages
After the introduction of the NAA Board of Directors, NAA member Emily Wears, Solon, Iowa, led attendees in the singing of the National Anthem. Following Wears, attendees were led in the Pledge of Allegiance by U.S. Army Spc. and NAA member Noah Smith, CAI, CES, Kent City, Mich. Smith recently returned from serving a nearly two-year tour of duty in Iraq.
NAA President Scott Musser, CAI, BAS, and Auctioneers Association of North Carolina President Will Lilly, CAI, Norwood, N.C., welcomed members to Greensboro, N.C., marking the official start to Conference and Show.
Nadine Carter of USA Today presented the top four awards to the NAA Marketing Contest winners. Jeff Jourdan, Destin, Fla., claimed three of the top four awards. Jourdan won Best of Show ― Photography division, Auction of the Year and Grand Champion. Best of Show Printed Auction Materials was won by Richard Hart, BAS, GPPA, Orlando, Fla.
Representatives from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital were on hand at the Opening Session to thank NAA members for more than $4 million in funds that have been raised by the association in the past 15 years.
The keynote speaker at the Opening Session was award-winning magician and speaker Devin Henderson. Henderson began his interactive presentation with several magic tricks and also used illusions and slight-of-hand to convey his message: “Schmooze ‘em or Lose ‘em.”
Henderson’s message of treating people well and showing a genuine interest in people was a hit with attendees.
NAA Director Harold Musser, CAI, Cody, Wyo., was a participant in one of Henderson’s acts. Despite unknowingly having his necktie and wristwatch removed by Henderson, Musser was as impressed with the message of the presentations as much as he was by the delivery.
“He was great,” Musser says of Henderson. “I was one of the victims, and I had no idea my belongings had disappeared ― he’s very smooth.”
Musser says Henderson’s message was important for everyone and that it relates well to the business world as well as everyday life.
“His message of being sincere and caring was outstanding,” Musser says. “Some people can easily go up and talk to strangers, but for other people it doesn’t come as easy and takes some work. His message can help out everybody. You never know how the smallest act of putting yourself out there can pay off later on.”