GALLERY: OWIB auction kicks off Mardi Gras celebration

Perri Goldberg, MBA ’18, president of Olin Women in Business, wrote this post on behalf of the organization.

Members of the OWIB auction 2018 planning committee.

Members of the OWIB auction 2018 planning committee: Paulina Owens,
Neelam Vyas, Perri Goldberg, Amanda Wald, and Emily Hereford.

Drinks were flowing, food was indulged in, Mardi Gras masks and beads were worn, bids were placed on a wide range of silent items, and paddles were waved in hopes of winning live auction items at the Olin Women in Business Auction.

The February 9 event continued an annual tradition, one of the organization’s biggest events of the school year. Through silent and live auctions, the event raises scholarship money for an incoming female Olin graduate student. Students are excited each year for this event and look forward to the items donated by many St. Louis businesses.

We fortunately received more than 60 individual donations from business around St. Louis, including restaurant gift cards, fitness memberships, entertainment tickets, handbags, SQL lessons, handcrafted art, museum memberships, overflowing pet and wine baskets, and much more.

“It was an honor to partner with classmates, faculty, and local businesses to host such a fun and festive event,” said Emily Hereford, MBA ’18. “I truly enjoyed carrying on the great legacy of OWIB.”

Tremendous community support

While the silent items are always a hit, the biggest sellers of the event are the live items donated by our beloved Olin faculty, staff, and the greater St. Louis community. This year, the live auction items included lunches and dinners with some of our favorite professors and staff at Olin, including a home-cooked meal by Dean Mark Taylor, lunch with HBM Holdings CEO Mike DeCola, a vacation home in Manhattan Beach, CA, a boxing party at SWEAT, a full box suite at the Chaifetz Center for the Lorde Concert, and many more tremendous items.

This event is a wonderful way for the Olin community to come together and have fun, while raising money for a good cause.

It is also the perfect event to reconnect with Olin alumni. This year, we had a good handful of alumni come to the event. I attribute this to our auctioneer, Curtis James, PMBA 40. Curtis, a third-generation auctioneer working in Las Vegas at the Venetian Casino Resort in Finance, attended the auction last year as a student and knew how great the event was.

When OWIB approached him about hosting the live auction, Curtis did not hesitate. We couldn’t have had a better addition to the event. I hope Curtis’s appearance as the auctioneer becomes an annual tradition as he showcased his true auctioneering skills.

OWIB’s vice president of major events, Emily Hereford, and first-year officer Paulina Owens spearheaded this year’s event. Neelam Vyas, GBSA president, provided the vision, creativity, and decorative concepts to execute the Mardi Gras theme. As president of Olin Women in Business, I was worried that I was going to need to plan this huge event by myself. The auction was on my mind since the day I was elected into the position.

I knew I needed to put someone in charge who could remain organized, calm, and would get our student body involved to execute this major event-which includes multiple moving pieces. With that being said, I could not have worked with better people. Emily, Paulina, and I created a very strong planning committee and volunteer committee for the night of and flawlessly executed this event. Without these individuals, the event would not have been as successful as it was. We all had fun planning the auction and even more fun during the actual event.

Amazing results

“Planning the auction was a wonderful way for me to connect with local businesses and expand the Olin brand while also raising money for a noble cause,” said Paulina Owens, MBA ’19.

OWIB’s first auction several years ago raised about $10,000. This year, we were able to raise about $17,000 solely from the auction. Combined with contributions from donors—thanks to marketing and communication surrounding the auction through Olin’s Alumni and Development department—this year’s event raised more than $43,000 for the Olin Women in Business Scholarship.

I personally want to thank Emily and Paulina for their dedication to the auction (and planning an awesome event), OWIB, and the Olin community. I also want to thank the Weston Career Center; Accenture, Emerson, and Edward Jones for their monetary contributions; all of the local St. Louis businesses for their silent and live auction donations; and all of the professors, faculty and staff for their live auction donations. You are what keeps this event going each year and we cannot thank you enough for your contributions.

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