By Mimi O'Connor Posted February 19, 2008, 11:51 AM EST
Choosing an auctioneer? We asked some top event pros for their favorite people to run charity auctions. Here's the list of their favorites—and what the planners we polled had to say about them.
President and principal auctioneer, Christie’s Los Angeles. Lectures at museums and hosts a series of mock auctions for the advisory community and educational institutions. Fluent in German and French. Notable auctions include the Mauerbach Benefit Sale in Vienna and “Playboy at 50: Selections From the Archives.”
Planners say: “Very personable,” “really works the audience,” “she pulls that money out of the crowd if it’s there; she doesn’t give up,” “she matters in L.A.,” “straightforward and quick,” “people in L.A. know and like her.”
General manager, Bonhams & Butterfields (323.850.7500). Often works with celebrities on stage, and has conducted auctions for the United Cancer Front, Project Angel Food, Wheels for Humanity, and the Human Rights Campaign. Also an artist himself; easy on the eyes.
Planners say: “Able to read his audience,” “impeccable,” “that rare combination of charm and perseverance,” “has the pacing down; [an auction] never feels painful,” “enthusiastic,” “able to play well with people,” “great in eliciting increasingly higher bids,” “physically, just adorable.”
Auctioneer-actress-model with 10 years of experience conducting benefit and for-profit auctions (repped by Mimi Mayer: 818.760.9980). Atlanta native; speaks with detectable (but not overwhelming), charming Southern twang. Clients include the AMC Hollywood Auction, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Women’s Cancer Research Institute Pink Party, Autism Care and Treatment-Today!, and Merv Griffin’s Young Musicians Benefit.
Planners say: “Fantastic,” “engaging,” “unique mix of gorgeous, warm, and sexy,” “100 percent controls the room,” “really brings a crowd into the spirit.”
New York representative and chief auctioneer, Dallas-based Heritage Galleries (212.426.7320); she’s also a West Coast favorite. Former posts include president of Christie’s East and president of Phillips Auctioneers. Sold the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, as well as a Monet watercolor for $4.3 million. Benefit clients include the Make-a-Wish Foundation and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Planners say: “One of the best,” “able to work the crowd,” “more refined,” “wonderful,” “witty,” “knows how to get as much money as possible.”