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Connie J.M. Johnson, CAI, BAS

Connie J.M. Johnson, CAI, BAS

Co-Founder, President

Connie Johnson 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. Her nonprofit background includes work for the St. Paul Area Council of Churches, the Minnesota Safety Council, and the Multiple Sclerosis Society, and she offers her sincere thanks to all who have been generous to these causes.

Now in its 31st year, she is also responsible for the marketing and operations of Kurt Johnson Auctioneering, Inc., an award-winning team that specializes in benefit auctions and includes: eight Minnesota Champion Auctioneers; eight past presidents of the Minnesota State Auctioneers Association; four Minnesota Hall of Fame auctioneers; three CAI (Certified Auctioneers Institute) designees; and eight BAS (Benefit Auctioneer Specialist) designees. Connie Co-Chaired the National Auctioneers Association’s 2013 Benefit Auction Summit with her husband, Kurt, when the event sold out for the first time and 96% of attendees said that it met or exceeded their expectations. She is a member of the National and Minnesota Auctioneers Associations.

In 2019 Connie and her husband, Kurt, were the first couple to receive the Minnesota State Auctioneer Association's Golden Gavel, awarded by the association's President for outstanding service during his term. She also served as a judge for the 2019 Bid Calling Championship. Connie is the 2018 recipient of the Certified Auctioneers Institute's Pat Massart Leadership Award, chosen by her peers as the outstanding leader of her class and awarded a scholarship in the amount equal to her final year's tuition. She is also a past recipient of the National Association of Women Business Owners’ Established Woman Award (Minnesota Chapter), honoring "pioneering women who have forged their own paths to success and carved out new rules in business with intelligence, compassion and courage." Connie has also won numerous marketing awards for Kurt Johnson Auctioneering.

She earned her B.A. in Public Relations from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. She was later elected to serve on her Alma Mater's Alumni Board and served on other boards throughout the state during her work with the Minnesota Safety Council.

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.