1956 ~ 2008
A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME By Marsha Laya
A few months ago an article with this same title appeared in the Gavel. The point of that article was to suggest that perhaps a new name for the “Auxiliary” would help breath new life into the organization. The Auxiliary was attempting a new direction and a new name might help crystallize that vision for members, potential members and the MAA.
At the winter MAA convention in Bay City, the four members of the Auxiliary who attended the annual meeting decided that it was going to take more than a change of name to breathe life into an organization that had gone into cardiac arrest. None of the four active members present at that meeting were willing to continue in a leadership role. Lacking not only leaders, but active members, the Auxiliary was faced with making a difficult but necessary decision: disband or continue.
Before making that difficult decision, Annette Wells, President of the NAA Auxiliary described the struggles and successes of the NAA Auxiliary. She also shared with us the fact that our state was not alone. Struggling auxiliaries are not unusual. They are the norm. Why is that?
While the NAA Auxiliary may have found a new place within the auction industry, the four of us in attendance at the annual meeting believe that an Auxiliary to the MAA has outlived its usefulness. In the 1950’s when the Auxiliary was founded, spouses and other family members did not routinely work in the business. Today, the children have grown up and have joined their parents as equal partners in the business. In the 1950’s the Auxiliary provided a vehicle for spouses to meet, socialize and enjoy a little vacation at conventions with their little ones in tow. These are not the needs of today’s auction family members.
So the decision was made: disband. Remaining funds will be turned over to the MAA scholarship fund. The history and records will be archived. We had a wonderful 50+ years. Our former leaders, board members, hall of fame members and many, many other active members have left a legacy that will live on. We will always remain grateful for their years of service.
So where will the Auxiliary go from here? Is this the end? We firmly believe this is NOT the end. It is the beginning. It is an opportunity for spouses, family members and employees within the industry to take a new and exciting place within the MAA. Mike Bliss, immediate past president of the MAA invited the Auxiliary to “sit at the big table.” We were given an official place on the agenda at every meeting of the Board. The door has been opened. The future is bright.
The new MAA Board of Directors has NOT been handed a problem or a burden. They have been given an opportunity for growth. We believe they are ready for that challenge and there will be positive, productive changes made in the future that will benefit the MAA and the industry as a whole.
In the meantime, just remember … “When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long, and you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong, just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows lies the seed that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes the rose.” (Lyrics to Bette Midler’s song The Rose).
Hall of Fame Members
LaVeta Brodie – 2005
June Wilber – 2004
NAA Auxiliary Scholarship Info:
The Auxiliary Scholarship Program benefits members by assisting their children and/or grandchildren as they pursue higher education. The NAA Auxiliary is in its sixteenth year of providing this prestigious award. For more information, please visit the NAA Auxiliary Website at www.naaauxiliary.org.