With effervescent spirit running through her every word and vibrant passion directing her stories, it’s no question whether or not the Valley’s Heather Novak can entertain and amp up a crowd—and there’s proof in dollars for that. Organizations throughout the nation have raised millions of dollars thanks to her.
What started last spring as an act of kindness helping a local private school’s charity event has blossomed into Heather Novak, LLC Professional Benefit Auctioneer—an active and effective benefit-auctioning lifestyle and a thriving business.
Since that inaugural event, Novak hit the ground running into the auctioneer world. After getting bit by what seemed to be the “auctioneer bug” and being encouraged by good friend and established auctioneer, Letitia Frye, Novak ventured to the Worldwide College of Auctioneering just this past fall. After 14 consecutive days of 17-plus hours of auctioneering, Novak truly experienced what a close-knit, niche career path she had chosen, and there was no turning back.
“If you’re going to make a commitment or a decision, it should be all or nothing. You’re either in or you’re out—there’s no waffling. That’s how I live life, all in,” she says.
In every aspect of her life, personal and professional, Novak pushes herself out of her comfort zone. Whether it was learning to competitively swim or making a career change, she strives to always try something to push her outside of that line of comfort. That’s what she says that she loves most about auctioneering. “It’s out of my comfort zone and never anything that I would have envisioned myself doing. I’ve always been on different boards and committees fundraising for different charities, but I’ve never been on this side of things.”
With a past in advertising and real estate for more than a decade, sales come naturally for Novak. Auctioneering is simply a different form of sales, she says. “It’s a show—you’re putting on a show. Every event is different and challenging, and it’s fun. You really get to work and feel the crowd. However, you have to know your audience and how to truly entice what you’re selling.”
Novak can stir up a riot in many types of auctioning atmospheres: cattle, auto, real estate and benefit. However, benefit auctioneering with nonprofits is what calls to her heart and means the most. “The purpose behind each item is so different. You’re not just selling an item, but you’re fundraising for these incredible organizations and these real stories of real people whose lives will drastically change with these proceeds.”
To prepare for an event and to make her work the most effective in the life of others, there’s a lot of research behind the 25-minute on-stage show. Extensive research on the items/packages at hand, the organization, and the crowd is just the start. Equally as important is building relationships with the stories, organization, and families behind each item and the audience.
Her résumé of notable clients includes the Thunderbirds of Scottsdale, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, St. Jude’s Hospital, notMYkid, the Arizona Kidney Foundation and many more. Already, she’s traveling across the nation to charitably perform. “I know that 2015 is already bigger than what I’m planning.” Novak will be ready for it. Her vibrant personality, drive and extreme passion for every aspect of life is more than encouraging, it’s contagious.