Meet Our Team

Powered by Stars

Erin Ward Doherty
Founder, Star Benefit Auctions
Certified Benefit Auction Specialist
Professional Auctioneer

Erin Ward, CAI, BAS, is a third generation auctioneer from New York. She has been in the auction business her entire life with both her mother, Jill Doherty, 2002 IAC, and grandfather, Jack Doherty.

In 2010, Erin competed for the first time in the International Auctioneers Competition. Standing amongst the best in the world, she placed 7th, and she looks forward to next year’s competition. Erin is a recent graduate of CAI, (Certified Auctioneers Institute), the most highly respected education designation in the auction industry, and less than 5% of auctioneers nationwide have achieved CAI status.

Erin received her Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies with a focus in Art History from SUNY Purchase, New York. She took advantage of her time in college to study abroad in Spain, Italy, and China.

After graduation Erin attended World Wide Auction School and chose to pursue a career focused on benefit auctions. She is in the charter class to receive her Benefit Auction Specialist degree. Erin continually works with auctioneers from all over the world to learn the most modern and affective ways to increase revenue for fundraising events.

Erin is a diversely trained auctioneer, but specializes solely on benefits. She excels at communicating with people of all cultures and has taken the time to study the most affective ways to help organizations raise money. This includes helping event guests feel confident and excited about donating. “My goal is to make everyone leaving the fundraiser feel like a star!” shares Erin “It’s all about the organization and the guests.”

Jill Doherty

Professional Auctioneer
International Champion Auctioneer

With over 30 years in the auction industry, Jill has worked learning the trends of the benefit world and brings her insight to today’s auctions. Jill is a proud member of the New York City Auctioneers Association and the Islip Rotary.

Jill has won both the New York State and New York City Auction Championship. In 2002, Jill won the International Auction Championship, the most prestigious auctioneering award.

Jill has been featured on several television shows including David Letterman, Today in America, Good Morning America, Rolanda, and Rickie Lake. She has worked with an international art group performing auctions at the MoMA as well as in Manchester, England and Basel, Switzerland. Jill also has preformed many auctions in the Virgin Islands.

Today, Jill works with a group of professional auctioneers as part of the Star Benefit Auction team. Joining the company with her daughter Erin gives Jill great pride. She is excited to be part of the only mother-daughter auction team in New York. She loves when they can work together at events. Jill boasts that “it’s great to tag team auction with my daughter. The crowd loves it, and we always raise more money!”

Bobby D. Ehlert

Professional Auctioneer
World Automobile Auctioneer Champion
US Bidcalling Champion
Arizona State Bid Calling Championship
Former President of the Arizona State Auctioneers Association (2010)

The thing I love most about my career is that I help make thousands of dreams come true! With 15 years as a Professional Fundraising Auctioneer, I have helped designed hundreds of successful events that have generated millions of dollars for a variety of charitable causes and organizations throughout the U.S.

Growing up in a family of auctioneers, creating fun, memorable and lucrative events is in my blood, and I want to offer the best products and services possible. After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from Arizona State University, I went on graduate from the World Wide College of Auctioneering. I have acquired the Benefit Auctioneer Specialist (BAS) designation from the National Auctioneer Association, one of only 200 in the United States.


Sara Adams

Professional Auctioneer
Auction Marketing Management (AMM)
Graduate Personal Property Appraiser  (GPPA)

Sara Adams has been working with Adams Auctioneers Appraisers in Connecticut since 2009 and filled a full time position in 2013 upon receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts. She is Adams’ lead auctioneer and appraiser, working primarily with commercial and industrial assets. Additionally, she is a contract auctioneer working with Star Benefit Auctions, NY. She has a lifetime of knowledge in the field of auctioneering and appraisals as a second generation auctioneer, with utmost passion in the fields of fine art and benefit auctions. Her education and accolades are substantial, and include some of the finest auctioneer education, with favorable mention to her CAI designation that is expected to be completed in 2018. Sara sits on the Executive Board as Vice President for the Massachusetts Auctioneers Association.

Shannon Mays

Professional Auctioneer
International Champion Auctioneer
Certified Benefit Auction Specialist (BAS)
Certified Auctioneers Institute (CAI)

International Auctioneer Champion, Shannon Mays, travels the United States captivating audiences with her limitless energy, communication skills and infectious smile. With over 30 years of experience, she brings a long list of attributes to the table. As a leader in the industry, she is an instructor for World Wide College of Auctioneering as well as the Professional Ringmen’s Institute (PRI) and also conducts one-on-one instruction. Shannon is among less than 5% of the nation’s auctioneers with her certification from the Certified Auctioneer’s Institute. She has served on the Missouri Professional Auctioneer’s Association Board of Directors, an active lifetime member of the National Auctioneer’s Association, and a participant of several Chambers of Commerce in her area.

Shannon has her Bachelor of Science degree from Missouri State University and operates Shannon & Associates, celebrating 30 years in the auction industry this year.  The company covers a vast array of real estate sales and auctions in conjunction with the Benefits and Fundraising division.  Her past clients include the American Heart Association, The American Cancer Society, private schools as well as wildlife conservation groups.



Colleen Helwig

Professional Auction Assistant and Recorder

Colleen is a local to the New York / New Jersey area. She has been around the auction industry her whole life, and she has worked with Star Benefit Auctions for the past five years. Colleen has worked in several fields, but finds her skills as a sales woman are exceptional. Colleen has a BA from Rider University in American Studies. Today one of her favorite past times is sampling local cuisines and wines with her chef / foodie husband Kurt. She has a very extensive knowledge in local food and liquor trends and brings a great knowledge of local hot restaurants and neighborhoods to the table. When she works as an auction assistant she is able to talk with bidders about some packages in great personal depth and encourage additional bidding.

Colleen has helped hundreds of events raise money, and she has organized her own fundraiser for one of her sisters in need. She learned hands-on every detail that goes into putting together a benefit and can offer great solutions to many problems. Colleen is outgoing and loves working in the audience with the bidders. With a bubbly and fun personality, event attendees fall in love with her and feel ease and excitement bidding with her.

She is a great recorder and is excellent at capturing the bid numbers of all bidders as well as winning denominations. Colleen helps provide Star Benefit Auctions with a full report after each auction so we can work with the organization to improve future events. With Colleen as extra eyes and ears for the auction team, she makes sure that no bid gets missed and everyone that wants to bid or donate gets a chance. She is a great addition to any auction.

Brielle Slate

Professional Auction Recorder
Public Relations Assistant

Brielle has been a Community Relations Director for over 8 years in the New Jersey / New York City area.  It was a natural flow into the benefit auction sphere for her having worked with nonprofits and in corporate social responsibility for years.

She graduated Magna Cum Laude from William Paterson University’s Honors Communications Progam with a Concentration in Public Relations.

For Star Benefit Auction’s media inquires, please email

Jonathan Cuticelli

Professional Auctioneer
Professional Auction Assistant

Jonathan began working with Star Benefit Auctions 4 years ago.  Erin, Jill, Ryan and Jonathan had met by chance at a benefit auction in Stamford, CT and realized shortly thereafter what a great team they made.  When not working with Erin, Jonathan is principal auctioneer with Sheldon Good & Company, the most recognized and respected name in real estate auctions in the United States.  Over the course of 8 years in the real estate auction business, Jonathan has marketed, sold or advised on over $800 million worth of real estate and mezzanine interests by auction including residential, commercial, land and special-use properties throughout the United States.

Jonathan is energetic, outgoing and fun to have interacting with the audience.  He creates excitement amongst the bidder’s and loves working with the audience to maximize value for each item being offered.

Jonathan is a graduate of Eckerd College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management, graduate of the Texas Auction Academy, a licensed auctioneer in 16 states and is affiliated with the National Auctioneers Association.


Timely Support

We provide a full team to work every angle of your live auction fundraiser as well as professional guidance throughout the entire event planning process.

Innovative Ideas

Whether contemplating your organization’s first fundraising event, or refining and reinvigorating a long-established gala, don’t miss the opportunity to make the most of your event. By working with Star Benefit Auctions, you will increase awareness around your mission and reach your maximum revenue potential… especially in these tough times.


You do not need to worry about affording us. We pay for ourselves!

Clear Communication

Please feel free to contact us at any time for more information and to talk about how we can make your next benefit a huge success!

Recent Blog Posts

Learn from the top thought leaders in the industry.

Don't Be Shy. Get In Touch.

If you are interested in working together, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

Contact Us