Written By:
Curt Kramer

On March 5th and 6th  this spring, Kendall Thiel, David Allen, Jenny Gehl, Bridget Siler and Curt Kramer represented the Wisconsin Auctioneers Association at the NAA’s 2018 State Leadership Conference in Kansas City.  The State Leadership Conference is designed to assist board members of state auctioneer associations to become effective leaders in their perspective roles.  It was also an excellent opportunity to meet and network with auctioneers from across the country and find out what is working or not working within their state associations.  This was the largest class to ever attend a leadership summit with over 85 attendees representing 34 different states.

Topics covered included Teri Harris of the KU Alumni Association speaking on the importance of membership trends and touching on ways to stay relevant and giving value to all members across the sometimes wide spectrum of organizations. The always entertaining Scott Shuman and Hannes Combest of the NAA gave some great insights on the relationship of the Executive Director and your board. Later in the day we broke into 4 round table discussions relating to different state convention ideas. They included topics on finding quality speakers, vendor relationships, bid calling contest and overall attendance and membership experience.  While we all gleaned some great information from other state members on these topics, we were also pleased to see our organization is really doing a good job on our annual convention.

The following day we had some good discussion on data management and security for ourselves and our organization, which seems very timely as one of our attending members has personally just had a battle with an email hacker! The best or at least most intense discussion of the summit came before closing remarks from David  Whitley of the NAA. He spoke about pending sales tax issues, namely the court case of South Dakota vs Wayfair.  This case which is now in front other Supreme Court may have some very unfortunate consequences for the  auction industry. Times like this we are really fortunate to have a strong NAA and various state associations.  If you are not familiar with this issue yet you can learn more about it from the article in this publication or visit auctiontax.com for more information.

For myself being a new board member it was certainly a great experience and time to learn with folks in the association and new friends made from across the country. I would like to give a shout out and thank you to David Allen for driving us all down and back, without mishap in some nasty weather.  If any of you have an opportunity to go to any events with David, Jenny and Bridget it is kind of like traveling with A list celebrities, they all know a ton of people from everywhere and are great networkers! Kendall as always is a fantastic ambassador for the Wisconsin Association; his only regret the entire time was ordering the Courdon Bleu instead of the Sirlon, kind of a rookie mistake but we will give him a pass on it this time!