The Benefit Auction Institute team is comprised of industry veterans with 80+ years of combined experience in benefit auctions.

Connie J.M. Johnson, CAI, BAS

Connie J.M. Johnson, CAI, BAS

Co-Founder, President

Connie considers one of her greatest assets working in nonprofit fundraising (individual giving, event planning and communications) for over 16 years, truly understanding nonprofit challenges from their side of the fence. Full bio

Kurt Johnson, CAI, BAS

Kurt Johnson, CAI, BAS

Co-Founder, Chief Financial Officer

Kurt is Minnesota’s 2011 Champion Auctioneer and the inaugural recipient of the National Auctioneer Association’s Chuck Cumberlin Sportsmanship Award. He is Minnesota’s first benefit auctioneer and instructor and was instrumental in developing the BAS certification program for the NAA. Full bio

Designations Explained

BAS (Benefit Auctioneer Specialist ) - The National Auctioneers Association (NAA) created this designation to provide Auctioneers with advanced training in planning and conducting successful benefit auctions. Students are taught the fundraising components of benefit auctions, item acquisition, audience development, revenue generating activities and items, marketing and public relations. 

CAI (Certified Auctioneers Institute) - Established in 1975 by the NAA, the Certified Auctioneers Institute, commonly referred to as CAI, focuses on developing skills required to operate a successful auction firm business. This designation is completed over a three-year period, one week at a time, covering topics like marketing and advertising, business ethics, legal financial and accounting principles, auction technology, promotional strategies, and negotiating skills.

AARE (Accredited Auctioneer Real Estate) - This NAA designation was created to provide Auctioneers with advanced training in the selling of real estate at auctiion.