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Q & A with Layne, 'The Auctionista'

March 2, 2017



Q: What led you to this industry?


A: Ten years ago, I was a financial advisor helping clients save for the future. The charitable sector was an unknown world to me. Around that time, I attended my first Gala Event at the invitation of a friend and I had no idea how the evening would unfold. I honestly had no concept of what was a silent or live auction or the role of an auctioneer.


The Gala auctioneer was an imposing man; berating and begging the crowd to bid on over a hundred items. It was a cringe worthy performance. He was clearly more comfortable and accustomed to auctioning off cattle than exotic getaways to remote destinations.


There was no finesse. No awareness of his audience. He was accustomed to a crowd of livestock bidders not white collar professionals seeking to support a cause through a fundraising event.

His style was at odds with the mission of the purpose of the evening. Bullying rather than inspiring. It was jarring and painful to watch.


I left the event mad. Mad that this man's skills were considered the best the charity could find. Mad that such an important aspect of the evening in terms of fundraising was handed to him to control and determine. Mad that the focus was on moving product through rather than inspiring giving.

In that moment, as I seethed at his performance, I instantly knew I could do better.


I was offended that a charity would think this was an acceptable and appropriate way to inspire an audience to open their wallets for the cause. I was determined to provide a more successful, more entertaining, more charity focused approach. One that left the audience a bit stunned the next morning by how much they spent but happy to have made a difference.


That evening, The Auctionista concept was conceived.


Q: How do you choose your clients?

A: My clients are from across Canada and represent all sectors and sizes from grassroots organizations to Foundations. A meaningful and rewarding client relationship is very important for me. When I am a “full-circle” contributor, that’s when I feel most connected with my clients and their cause. I enjoy working alongside event committees and event staff months in advance to help them achieve a record-breaking night on all counts. The experience comes full circle for me on event night when I take the stage to perform, represent their cause and inspire giving.


Q: What inspires you day to day?

A: When folks give generously to charities, funds are directed to programs and services that literally change and save lives. Moving the dial on philanthropy changes the world we live in and makes it a better place.


Q: What is the benefit of working with The Auctionista?

A: Wisdom, Direction, and Performance.

My philosophy: Bring the power of philanthropy, humanity, energy, and entertainment to every endeavor.


A Road Map to auction success is a customized destination for each client. A Benefit Auctioneer Specialist has invaluable, leading-edge niche expertise to help an organization raise significant revenue and awareness for their cause. Strategy, direction, and a professional performance achieve results.

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