The 2019 National Auctioneers Association Conference & Show in New Orleans was one for the books! Once again, our auction family never ceases to amaze me. From our amazing NAA staff hustling to make sure everything ran smoothly, while adjusting to the many changes that were thrown their way, to many members stepping in to fill positions for others not able to attend because of the weather, this auction family weathered the storm together and stepped up to the plate to make this Conference & Show exceptional. We should be extremely proud of our association. As Hannes has said, this was the “conference that was and the hurricane that wasn’t”. Thank you to the NAA Officers and Board of Directors, our CEO Hannes Combest, and NAA Staff for all of your hard work. It’s greatly appreciated and doesn’t go unnoticed.
During Conference & Show, I had the opportunity to compete in the National Auctioneers Association’s 32nd International Auctioneer Championship. It was my privilege to share the stage with 68 competitors, in the men’s and women’s divisions, who are some of the best and brightest auctioneers in our industry. I am extremely honored and very humbled to have been named the NAA’s 2019 Women’s International Auctioneer Champion. Honestly, it is still so surreal. I’ve spent the last few days trying to find the words to express my emotions and still not sure if I’ve found them.
This was my fifth year competing in the IAC. Every year, win or lose, it’s a privilege to step on stage with so many deserving contestants, top professionals in our industry, and most importantly, friends. To all of the contestants, congratulations, you are true professionals and the reason our industry continues to grow. I hope you will all step on stage again next year in San Diego. No matter what happens, know that this experience is one where you will not only learn from yourself, but others, and you will strengthen relationships at the same time, relationships that will last a lifetime. Enjoy the experience of being your best self and representing this amazing industry. I’m a firm believer that iron sharpens iron, so thank you for making me a better person and for helping me grow personally and professionally. If there’s ever anything I can do for you, I hope you won’t hesitate to reach out. A big congrats to Jerry Hall who was awarded this year’s Chuck Cumberlin Sportsmanship Award and to Marcela Davila who was awarded this year’s Bob Steffes Rising Star Award.
To our panel of Judges, thank you for giving your time to judge our contest. I know that it’s not an easy task and I wouldn’t have wanted to be in your shoes. Thank you for believing in my abilities to serve as an ambassador for our great association. As I’ve told many of you, best panel of judges I’ve ever had!
To my Co-Champion, Trey Morris, I’m looking forward to an exciting year ahead. I’ve watched you keep your head down for the last couple of years, work hard, and prepare for this moment. This year is going to be a heck of a ride and I’m looking forward to sharing this experience with you.
To our International Junior Auctioneer Champion, Tyce Freije, I am so proud of you. You are going to be a great representative for our industry and an exceptional mentor to our next generation of auction professionals. I can’t wait to watch you continue to grow as an auctioneer and as an individual.
To the 56 IAC Champions who came before me, thank you for paving the way. I promise to hold this honor in the highest regard. This responsibility won’t be taken lightly and I will do my very best to represent you and our industry to the best of my ability this year and for years to come. So many of you have poured into me the last few years and especially in the last few days. I will forever be grateful for your continual support and encouragement. It means the world to me to have mentors like yourselves and am looking forward to becoming a part of the IAC family.
To my auction family, thank you for your continued support. In 2011, I attended America’s Auction Academy and shortly after attended the Advanced Bid Calling Class at World Wide College of Auctioneering. This year marks my eighth year in the auction industry and as a first generation auctioneer, I could have never imagined the amount of love and support I continue to receive from all of you. I always say that this industry is so unique because your peers and competitors are constantly rooting for you, lifting you up, and taking you under their wing. I’ve had my fair share of people take me under their wing, encourage me, and push me to the next level. There will never be enough gratitude or thank yous to show you my appreciation.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your ambassador for the next year. Again, I promise to represent you to the very best of my ability. I will continue to protect, promote, and educate others about our great association and the auction method of marketing. I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at your state conventions and I hope that throughout the year you will reach out to me if there is ever anything I can do for you.
To Craig, thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this industry that I love so much. You’ve been such a huge part of my life, since the day I was born, and I can’t thank you enough for always being so supportive of me, my dreams, and my goals. Thank you for your guidance, for encouraging me to follow my passion, and for being a wonderful mentor and friend along the way. Most of all, thank you for letting me work beside you, day-in and day-out, and for being willing to share this journey with me. You are constantly helping me grow as an individual and challenging me to reach a greater potential and for that I will forever be thankful. I hope you know how much you are appreciated and loved.
To my Mom and Dad, thank you for always supporting me in everything I do, for always being there, for always believing in me, and for setting great examples of what it’s like to live a Christ-centered life. I am who I am because of you. You’ve spent years running me up and down the highway allowing me to chase my dreams. You’ve spent days watching me on the golf course and sitting out in the cold, rain, and heat just so that you could watch me compete. You’ve spent hours listening to me practice my violin and more recent years my chant. You’ve attended innumerable lessons, rehearsals, concerts, competitions, and tournaments and not once, not ever, have I heard you complain. You’ve made so many sacrifices so that I could accomplish my goals and I’ll never have enough words to thank you for all that you’ve done and continue to do. I love you.
If you’re still reading, I’m genuinely impressed. In all seriousness, thank you. It’s important to me to thank all of the people who have helped me achieve one of my biggest goals and have helped me capture that “front row moment”. If we listen, the Lord will lead us exactly where we need to be and I wholeheartedly know that he led me to this NAA family. This association has been life-changing for me and has had an incredible impact on my life. Let’s continue to support each other, love each other, and hold our industry in the highest regard. I hope that you will mark your calendars for the 2020 NAA Conference & Show in San Diego, CA, July 14-18. See you down the road!