Wow! What a week. My family arrived in Columbus, OH on Saturday excited for a great week of auction education and networking…but I had no idea how great the week really would be! We started the week in designation classes. I sat through the Contract Auction Specialist (CAS) designation and can say without question this is the best class I have ever taken. Whether you are a new auctioneer seeking contract work or a longtime auction professional, this class has something for you. My wife, Britni, took the Auction Marketing Management (AMM) designation. If you own an auction business, you and your marketing team need to take this class.
We kicked off the National Auctioneers Association Conference & Show by celebrating my Grandfather Bracky’s 82nd Birthday. Without him, none of the Rogers family would be in the auction industry today.
On Thursday I stood behind my hero, my father, Mark Rogers, as he was inducted into the National Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame. He and my grandfather are the only father and son to be both NAA Past Presidents and Hall of Fame inductees. Our week was awesome, and little did I know it was about to go to a whole new level.
Friday morning started off like any other contest. I put on my suit and met fellow contestants for mic check and roll call. I drew contestant number 16 in the preliminaries. I was happy with that draw. I felt good about my preliminary run, but knew I needed to do more. I relaxed during the day and came back focused on doing all I could in the finals to make 2017 my year.
In the sequester room before the interviews began I had a feeling I was going to draw number one. When it was my turn to draw, wouldn’t you know it, number one! Instead of being upset over it, I was pumped. I wanted to make the most of it. Being first in the interview kept me from pacing the room or getting inside my own head like I had done more than once in my competitive career. I came off of the stage feeling good about my interview answers, but I knew the talent was so strong that I had to be the best Dustin Rogers I could be and then some to win the IAC.
The finals began and the room was loud. People were eating and enjoying themselves. My longtime friend, Matt Hostetter, prayed with me before I went on stage. I was calm and ready to go. I knew I had to have over the top energy to score big as Finalist Number One in a room full of people eating and socializing. I tried to leave it all on stage.
I hadn’t felt nervous all day long. I was more calm than I’d ever been in a contest. I was sitting with my family when the women’s results were announced. I took Interpersonal Communication with Morgan Hopson. Congrats to her on her first time in the hardware with a Second Runner Up finish. I’ve known Chantel Kimball since we were kids. It was really awesome to see her finish First Runner Up after a Second Runner Up finish in 2016. Then John Nicholls announced Sara Rose Bytnar as Champion. I will never forget seeing Beth Rose’s face. What an amazing moment to see the first time a mother has handed her daughter the IAC trophy. History in the making! Congrats Sara, I cannot wait to serve with you as IAC Champions and Ambassadors for the NAA.
In the past when it was time for the men’s results, nerves would be getting the best of me. But this year I remained calm and at peace while listening to my great friend, TJ Freije, give his final speech as champion. What a great ambassador he and Beth both were and will continue to be. Second Runner Up, Jerick Miller. Just before walking on stage for the results I told Jeremy and Jason Miller, two of Jerick’s older brothers, that if I changed my last name it would be Miller. Each one of them are outstanding auctioneers and even better men. Welcome to the hardware Jerick. You are a future champion for sure. First Runner Up, Brian Damewood. I was super pumped for Brian. He and I had been in the finals together since his first time competing six years ago. He is always excellent and always consistent. A future IAC Champion for sure. I have to admit, I was both excited for these two men and nervous at the same time. I felt great about my run, but since 2011 I have heard my name called for either First or Second Runner Up…so I either won the contest or I didn’t place in the Top Three. Then the moment of truth. I will never forget hearing my chant and hearing John Nicholls announce my name. I was completely in shock. I wanted to laugh, cry, jump up and down all at once, but couldn’t get any of those emotions to come out. I hugged all my fellow competitors and met TJ as he gave me my medal and trophy. I did it! It still doesn’t seem real. I am the 2017 NAA International Auctioneer Champion. I am humbled, grateful and so honored to serve with Sara Rose Bytnar as IAC Champions and NAA Ambassadors. I’m your champion, I’m here for you. Let me know how I can help. God bless.