Starr Snead and Sherry Truhlar present…
"The Future of School Auctions"
A complementary, candid conversation
Schools implemented swift and massive changes in 2020 to adjust to the pandemic --- classrooms and fundraising went online.

Many schools running virtual galas saw net incomes that matched or exceeded an in-person event.  Some repeated that success in the second year.

Lower (or free) ticket costs extended participation to families who traditionally wouldn't attend the gala.  Some schools saw alumni and grandparents participate.

What does this mean for the traditional school auction?

And are we overlooking a unique opportunity if we cast aside 2020's gold nuggets in a rush to return to the same as it ever was?


Join Starr Snead, Sherry Truhlar, and friends for a frank conversation about what we’ve learned over the past 16 months and where we might be headed.
REPLAY WITH LIVE Q&A
June 30, 2021
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1pm - 3 pm Eastern
12pm - 2 pm Central
11pm - 1 pm Mountain
10am - noon Pacific

Time left until the replay with live Q&A begins...
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Zoom link will be emailed to you upon registering

Some questions we’ll explore:

What does a virtual gala offer that can’t be mimicked by the in-person event?
Hybrid is the buzz word of 2021.  How shall we marry the best of virtual with the best of in-person?  Realistically, what can be done to ensure a good experience for all guests (in-room and at-home)?
Who is seeing greater success -- large schools or small ones?
IDEA: How should inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility affect our decisions?
What kinds of virtual galas have performed best?
How has the digital divide hurt or helped?
Is a bi-annual virtual gala realistic?
And yes -- we'll be asking for your opinions, too.
The live event with panelists was June 16.

But on June 20, 2021 we will re-broadcast the event.  A live Q&A with Starr and Sherry will be part of the re-broadcast.

The Conversation Starters
Starr Snead
Fundraising consultant

Starr is the founder and principal of Advancement Connections, a firm dedicated to serving advancement professionals and volunteers in schools throughout the United States and internationally. Based in Charleston, SC, Advancement Connections provides fundraising, constituency relations, marketing/enrollment, strategic planning and communications services exclusively to PS-12 schools.

Prior to Advancement Connections, Starr was the executive director of the Advancement Program Council (APC) in Washington, DC.

Starr has worked in independent schools since 1972 as a teacher, administrator and more recently as advancement director for Greenhill School in Dallas; Heritage Hall in Oklahoma City; and Ashley Hall in Charleston. From 1982–1997 Starr directed Starr Snead & Associates, an international consulting firm in New Haven, Connecticut.

Starr holds an A.B. degree in Psychology from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, an M.A in Reading Education from the University of Rhode Island, and an M.S. in Special Education from Fordham University. She is an alumna of two Connecticut schools – Pine Point in Stonington and Westover in Middlebury. Starr served as a trustee of Pine Point from 1989–1996 and on Westover’s Alumnae Association Board of Governors from 2001–2010.

In August 2009 she joined the board of trustees at Trident Academy, a K-12 school for students with learning differences, in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, serving that school for three years. In July 2010 Starr was appointed Executive Director of the Palmetto Association of Independent Schools (PAIS), a part-time position she held until October 2017. In October 2010 she was elected to the President’s Commission at Wheaton College. She is currently a trustee at Westover School, and as of April 2019 now serves as board president.

Starr is a frequent speaker at CASE and NAIS conferences. Her popular workshops and seminars offer practical solutions to today's development, enrollment and advancement challenges, combining nearly five decades of personal and professional experience with the "best practice strategies" of many of our nation's leading independent schools.

Sherry Truhlar
Auction Strategist

Sherry Truhlar is President of Red Apple Auctions, a boutique auction firm specializing in fundraising events.  Since 2005 she’s been a trusted educator for auction planners seeking to improve the profitability of their galas.

In a typical year, Truhlar will serve as auctioneer to 55 to 70 clients across the USA, of which about one-half are schools.

A prolific blogger and vlogger since 2009, her content and ideas have been published in dozens of media outlets, including The NonProfit Times, Florida's Sun Sentinel, Town & Country magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Missouri Meetings  Events, AUCTIONEER, MV Times, The Vine, and other publications.  Most recently, the Wiley: Jossey-Bass newsletter Special Events Galore! featured her advice about virtual galas in its April newsletter.


She's spoken for multiple years at AFP's Planet Philanthropy conference (Florida), AFP's Bridge conference (Washington, D.C.) and to various AFP chapters across the USA.  In 2020 she was asked by the National Auctioneers Association to speak at a summit for other auctioneers, to educate others about her transition from in-person galas to virtual events.

Sherry holds a B.S. in public affairs, a B.A. in communication, both from Emporia State University in Kansas.  Her M.A. international relations is from the University of Wollongong (Australia).

Though based in the Washington, D.C. area, she maintains her bliss by sidestepping the political scene. 

Some of our guests ...
Chris Pryor
(Falls Church, VA)  As Assistant Head of School for Advancement and External Affairs, Chris Pryor actively raises awareness and support for Congressional School, an Infant – Grade 8 independent school in Falls Church, VA. Prior to Congressional, Chris served Flint Hill School and Highland School, in each case as Director of Admission and Financial Aid. Chris currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Arlington Soccer Association.

He is a former member of the Association of Independent Schools of Great Washington’s (AISGW) development committee and former chair of the admission committee.

Chris graduated from The Lawrenceville School and has degrees from Gettysburg College and the University of Virginia. He lives in Falls Church City with his wife and two children. 

Brigid Vance
(Tulsa, OK) Brigid Vance joined Undercroft Montessori School as the Development Director in 2018. She brings with her more than a decade of experience in nonprofit fundraising and communications. Her background is in all areas of funds development, including grants, special events, and capital campaigns.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies and Italian from Scripps College.

An Undercroft alum (1989-1997) and mom to a current lower elementary student and future early childhood student, Brigid is thrilled to bring her professional background to the school she loves so dearly.
Shelley Reese
(Boston, MA) A non-profit leader who is passionate about creating, shaping, sustaining, and connecting communities, Shelley Reese has over 20 years of experience in a variety of communities – helping them tell their stories and secure the funding needed to fulfill their vision. Shelley brings an entrepreneurial spirit to her work as the Director of Development at Park Street School. Her ability to lead strategically while also implementing tactically have been evident in her prior work at Esperanza Academy, The Learning Center for the Deaf, The Sage School, and Babson College.

Shelley holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Eastern Nazarene College and a Master of Arts in Business Communications and Public Relations from Emerson College.

Register here to attend this FREE Webinar

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And behind the scenes making the show happen …
Peter Maguire
Peter Maguire has been an Audio-Visual production specialist for over 25 years. Starting his career on beautiful Cape Cod, MA, then leading production departments for national organizations in Boston, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Washington DC.

Pete has produced thousands of events during his career, and now specializes in virtual events. All be it the standard in a post-COVID world, Pete has always included virtual in his extensive portfolio of production services.

During his spare time, Pete is a proud father, drummer, vinyl record & music enthusiast, collectible curator, and host of his own podcast.

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