Certified Auctioneers Institute

CAI is different from NAA’s other designations. It’s a three-year program in which attendees spend a week each year onsite at Indiana University. It’s an intensive program involving late nights working on proposals, in committees, fine-tuning business plans, and other projects that happen in the time between classes.

CAI, unlike other designations, focuses on the business of the auction industry rather than on a particular asset class. While attendees learn about different types of auctions, the focus is on business planning, development and structure. Attendees register for CAI I, CAI II, and CAI III in successive years. Gaps between CAI I, II and III of more than two years require approval of the Education Director, and often are addressed by having attendees audit CAI classes for a year before returning to the program.

Want to know more about CAI week?

Requirements for CAI

NOTE: To attend CAI an application must be submitted and approved

To apply for CAI you must:  
  • Be at least 21
  • Have at least two years in the auction industry
  • Hold a high school diploma or its equivalent
  • Submit an application with references
To obtain the CAI designation:
  • Attend all three full weeks of instruction.
  • Complete an auction proposal, which is critiqued by the CAI Committee (between CAI I and II)
  • Work in committees to plan and execute the CAI Benefit Auction in CAI II
  • Complete a business plan (between CAI II and III)
  • Present the above business plan to their class and a team of examiners in CAI III
  • Be a current member of the NAA

Who should invest in CAI

Any auction professional who meets to requirements to attend are welcome! Auction professionals who tend to get the most out of the CAI program:
  • Owners currently working in their business
  • Professionals with 3 - 15 years of experience in the business
  • Small business professionals with 1 - 4 team members
  • Professionals with some cash reserves to start a business
  • Successors preparing for business ownership transition
  • Professionals with a vested financial interest in auctions
  • Professionals with multiple roles across the business
  • Professionals who want to increase networks, leadership, and satisfaction
  • Professionals who want to add lines of revenue or be more efficient with revenue opportunities
  • Owners looking to scale their business

What CAI can do for you

Earning the CAI designation proves your commitment to the auction industry by taking the time to obtain the premier NAA designation. Many clients look for designations when trying to find the right auction professional, CAI sets you above the crowd as a well-rounded, elite auction professional who:
  • Has strong professional relationships and networks
  • Has a mastery of auction methods and asset classes
  • Has educated business intelligence
  • Is an ethical business professional
  • Has business technology literacy
  • Is an invested auction professional
  • Has leadership mentality
  • Is an exemplary #NAAPro

Trisha Brauer, CAI, BAS describes this class as helping you learn how to strategically grow your business and learn strategies to best service your clients. CAI covers all the bases of being a stellar auction professional and enables like-minded students to have the opportunity to network that sets graduates apart from the rest of the industry.

CAI Week:
March 25-29, 2024

CAI Class I students must apply and be approved for the program prior to registering. 
CAI I Apply Now

CAI I students: Click here to learn how you could win discounts and freebies!

Once approved, Class I students can register with the same form as Class II and III.
Register for CAI II & III

Apply for scholarships

Future CAI Dates:

March 31-April 4, 2025
March 30-April 3, 2026
March 29-April 2, 2027

The last Monday of March!


CAI Member Registration Costs:

  By Feb. 25, 2024   After Feb. 25, 2024
CAI I   $1345  $1445
 CAI II  $1345  $1445
 CAI III  $1345  $1445

CAI designation renewal fees: $150 per year (due Oct. 31)

CAI Non-Member Registration Costs:

  By Feb. 25, 2024  After Feb. 25, 2024 
CAI I   $1670  $1770
 CAI II  $1670  $1770
 CAI III  $1670  $1770

CAI designation renewal fees: $150 per year (due Oct. 31) and NAA membership required

CAI Class I Money-Back Guarantee:

We are so confident in the CAI program that after you complete year one, if you don’t pick up one nugget that will allow you to grow your auction business or become a more efficient auction professional, we’ll refund your CAI year one registration fee.


Cancellation requests must be submitted in writing and received by the NAA no later than February 25. Canceled registrations will be refunded the registration fee minus the $250 non-refundable deposit. No refunds will be issued after February 25. Hotel reservation and full tuition must be paid by February 25 to attend CAI. 

2024 Classes Overview

Click each CAI year below to view a list of classes. Click on an individual class to learn more.

CAI I (Year 1) – Auction Business Foundations: Learn the various auction methods, specialties, and business skills.

MON. A.M. - Welcome and Orientation (Class Picture)  
CAI Leadership and Class Advisor

MON. P.M. & TUE. A.M. - Auction Specialty Opportunities  
Instructors TBA

MON. EVENING - CAI Social Event

TUE. P.M. - Proposals, Portfolios, & Contracts  
David Hudgins, CAI, AARE

TUE. EVENING - Class Project Working Groups

WED. A.M. - Public Speaking & Presenting

Tim Luke, CAI, BAS, MPPA

Jack Christy, Jr., CAI, ATS, BAS, GPPA

WED. EVENING - CAI Benefit Auction Event
CAI Class II

THUR. A.M. 1 - Prospecting 
Instructor TBA

THUR. A.M. 2 - Sales 
Instructor TBA

Jennifer Gableman, CAI, ATS

FRI. P.M. - Class I Wrap-Up & CAI Class III Graduation
Class Advisor 

CAI II (Year 2) – Business Operations Management: Learn what it takes to run and support a successful auction business.

MON. A.M. - Welcome and Orientation (Class Picture) 
CAI Leadership and Class Advisor

MON. P.M. - Business Planning for Professional Growth 
Jimmie Dean Coffey, CAI, AARE, AMM, BAS, CES MPPA

MON. EVENING - CAI Social Event

TUE. A.M. - Determining and Analyzing Your Business Value   
Ailie Byers, CAI, AMM, BAS

TUE. P.M. - Protecting Yourself and Your Business 
Rich Schur, CAI, AMM, BAS, MPPA

TUE. EVENING - Class Project Working Groups

Instructor TBA

WED. A.M. 2 - Gaining Loyalty through Customer Experience
Tim Keller, CAI, AMM, CES

WED. P.M. - Branding & Style Guides  

Sara Rose Bytnar, CAI, AARE, AMM

WED. EVENING - CAI Benefit Auction Event

CAI Class II

THU. A.M. - Marketing & Artificial Intelligence  

John Schultz, AMM

THU. P.M. - Consulting & Negotiations  
Instructor TBA

FRI. A.M. 1 - Born, Bought, or Built: Ensuring a Business with a Future 
Instructors TBA

FRI. A.M. 2 - Structuring Your Business Plan 
Class Advisor and Instructors

FRI. P.M. - Class II Wrap-Up & CAI Class III Graduation
Class Advisor

CAI III (Year 3) – Auction Business Development: Learn how to grow or specialize your business for long-term success.

MON. A.M. - Welcome and Orientation (Class Picture) 
CAI Leadership and Class Advisor

MON. P.M. - Honing Your Business Sales Communications
Tim Luke, CAI, BAS, MPPA

MON. EVENING - CAI Social Event

TUE. A.M. 1 - Culturally Diverse Opportunities 
Anne Nouri, CAI, AARE, BAS, GPPA

TUE. A.M. 2 - Ethical Business Strategies for Long-Term Success 
Tim Mast, CAI, AARE

Chris Rasmus, CAI, AMM

TUE. EVENING - Class Project Working Groups

WED. A.M. - Building Business through Relationship Marketing
John Nicholls, CAI, AARE, AMM

WED. P.M. - Mastering the Art of Business Development

Instructors TBA

WED. EVENING - CAI Benefit Auction Event
CAI Class II

THUR. A.M. & P.M. - Business Plan Presentations 
Panel of Examiners

FRI. A.M. 1 - Outreach & Professional Development
Trisha Brauer, CAI, BAS

Aaron Ensminger, CAE

FRI. P.M. - Class III Wrap-Up & CAI Class III Graduation
Class Advisor 

CAI 2024 Committee

Ken "Whitey" Mason, CAI (Chair)
Justin Vondenhuevel, CAI, AARE, CES (Vice Chair)
Carol Miller, CAI, BAS (EI Trustee)

Jennifer A. Gableman, CAI, ATS (CAI III Advisor)
Bradley A. Stoecker, CAI, AARE, AMM, CES (CAI II Advisor)
Willie Baker, CAI, AMM (CAI I Advisor)
Joshua S. Loewensteiner, CAI (2024 Recruiter)