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Shelly St John


Shelly, a successful fundraising auctioneer with extensive experience working alongside top nonprofit organizations, understands that auctioneering transcends mere fast-paced speech—it's about empathizing with event guests. This is where Shelly excels. She possesses a deep understanding of audience demographics and connects with them through captivating story development and compelling messaging. Shelly leverages intellectual insights, emotional intuition, and an understanding of the psychology behind charitable giving to inspire guests to donate generously. She believes passionately that financial support is vital for every organization, driving her commitment to achieving exceptional fundraising results.

Results, What are Those?

Shelly is dedicated to ensuring that every school or nonprofit raises the necessary funds. She combines her extensive fundraising experience, event planning expertise, public speaking skills, and a touch of stand-up comedy to deliver high-energy benefit auctioneer performances. Her approach consistently achieves record-breaking fundraising results on a national scale, helping organizations exceed their financial goals and support their missions effectively.

The Early Years

Shelly's journey began in front of crowds as a runway model in Minneapolis, Chicago, and LA, where she honed her skills captivating audiences. Transitioning into the hospitality industry, she delved into marketing, public relations, catering, and conference services. With experience planning events ranging from intimate gatherings to large-scale affairs accommodating up to 10,000 guests, Shelly has mastered every facet of orchestrating successful live auctions and fundraising galas. Her comprehensive expertise ensures seamless execution and unforgettable experiences for all attendees.

Shelly during the early years

OK, maybe not so early . . .

Shelly's career began on the runway as a model in Minneapolis, Chicago, and LA, showcasing her ability to captivate audiences. She later transitioned into the hospitality industry, specializing in marketing, public relations, and catering. 

It's always been about the shoes!

Her experience spans event planning and management, where she excels in creating memorable experiences and executing successful live auctions and fundraising galas.

The Personal Side

Shelly's personal journey, marked by overcoming childhood bullying and surviving a brain tumor as an adult, has deeply shaped her career path. She describes her role as a benefit auctioneer as a lifelong calling, expressing immense gratitude for the opportunity to positively impact tens of thousands of lives annually.

Reflecting on her experiences, Shelly believes that everyone, regardless of background or status, encounters moments where they need support. Whether it's aiding a baby in need of a life-saving transplant, providing scholarships for learning disabilities, assisting with medical bills during cancer treatment, supporting distant aging parents, or rescuing beloved pets from euthanasia, Shelly understands the universal need for assistance.

The founding of The Auction Divas was a heartfelt endeavor shared with her dear friend and business partner, T. Sammi Diva. Sadly, Sammi lost her battle with cancer on September 2, 2009. Shelly fondly remembers Sammi for her rare friendship, immense talent, and compassionate spirit. Sammi's legacy lives on in Shelly's work, as she continues their mission with a profound sense of purpose, believing that Sammi watches over their efforts from above.

Professional Develop and Education

Shelly has dedicated much of her career to sales, marketing, and public relations. For twenty years, she operated her own marketing firm, Primary Objective, LLC, serving a diverse clientele including both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. In 2007, Shelly ventured into auctioneering through real estate auctions with Sheldon Good and Company, Real Estate Auctioneers. Early on, she was invited to conduct benefit auctions, an experience that ignited her passion for fundraising and marked the beginning of her fulfilling career in the field.

Masters — Heroic Public Speaking, Port Authority

Licensed Fundraiser, Colorado

Licensed Auctioneer in Colorado, Texas, Illinois, Washington DC and Florida and 22 other states . . .

Colonel — Worldwide College of Auctioneering

Real Estate License — VanEd Real Estate School

Associates Degree — Lowthian College