1. After nearly 25 years at Christie’s, you recently left to start your own boutique auctioneering agency. Why? And what is the mission of your new venture?
It was a truly remarkable chapter to work for Christie’s for 24 years, but I was ready for a new challenge.
Over the past two decades as a charity auctioneer, I have received so many texts and emails from friends attending nonprofit galas complaining about painful fundraising moments. I have seen organizations spend a full year picking out invitations, choosing themes, writing speeches for their biggest fundraising opportunity of the year, and then handing the microphone to someone with no formal training to get onstage and do the single most important thing at the event: raise money.
After two decades serving as the lead charity auctioneer at Christie’s, and over a decade training auctioneers, I launched the Lydia Fenet Agency (LFA): an agency representing best-in-class charity auctioneers and training the next generation of talent.
Nonprofits using LFA auctioneers can feel confident that the auctioneer will not only be able to maximize the amount raised, but also make it entertaining and fun for the audience. I launched LFA in August with seven auctioneers and have already recruited three more auctioneers to keep up with the demand. We are only two months in, and LFA auctioneers have raised nearly $5 million for nonprofits and will be onstage for over 60 nonprofits this fall.
I am so excited to watch this business grow, and more importantly, help nonprofits unlock the dollars they need to continue their work.