On April 16, 2009, over 600 guests attended the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners annual Awards Gala held at the Minneapolis Hyatt Regency. Connie J. M. Johnson, Vice President and General Manager of Kurt Johnson Auctioneering, Inc. was honored with the 2009 Established Woman Award. This award recognizes, "a woman business owner who has been in business for at least five years and has what it takes to sustain a steady business for years to come."
NAWBO-MN honors women business owners for the contributions they make to the Minnesota business community and culture, as well as to the larger national and global economies. "These pioneering women have forged their own paths to success and carved out new rules in business with intelligence, compassion and courage."
Connie was asked the following questions and had these answers:
What motivates you today?
Professionally I’m motivated by two things:
- Our company, Kurt Johnson Auctioneering, Inc., bears the name of the person I most love and respect—my husband, Kurt Johnson. I expect our company to reflect well on his character and reputation.
- Kurt Johnson Auctioneering, Inc.’s mission: To educate, motivate, entertain and benefit our clients.
Who are your role models and/or mentors?
I learned great lessons from:
- My late father, Al Mueller. He balanced entrepreneurial savvy with kindness, compassion, and generosity. He earned people’s respect—both those who worked for him and those who sought his services--because he was relatable and instilled the trust that he could provide what they most needed from him.
- The late Brother Raymond Long, St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. Brother Ray was my favorite teacher and my valued advisor. He was the first person to tell me I had strong leadership qualities and his greatest gift was helping me to see the possibilities in myself.
- The international, cultural exchange program, Up With People. This program afforded me a year of experiential learning—a sort of internship on wheels. Advance promotion work with/for people around the globe provided both the means and necessity to reach for lofty goals, and to achieve them. Failing was not an option—so we didn’t!