It’s been three years since I last competed in the Virginia Auctioneers Association (VAA) State Champion Auctioneer contest. In 2009 I took 3rd place (2nd runner-up, as they say).
You can see photos from that event here.
Since then, I’d not entered the contest.
In part, I’ve been busy growing my business.
But another reason was that I hated the heat. The facility — though very nice and the owner always arranged for this awesome BBQ — wasn’t air conditioned. There I’d be, in a light wool suit with string-y hair from my sweat and the makeup melting off my face.
The men were uncomfortably warm, too. But they have short hair and no makeup.
So even though I liked the competition, I had that memory rolling around in my head. It wasn’t something I was eager to repeat.
But two weeks ago I was in Spokane, WA competing in the 2012 International Auctioneers Championship (IAC) contest sponsored by the National Auctioneer’s Association. (I made it into the finals in that competition, too.)
While there, I struck up a conversation with the current reigning Virginia champion, Taylor Linkous. He asked if I’d be competing in the Virginia contest.
“I’m a bit of a sissy with that heat. I really hate wearing a suit in it,” I said.
“Oh Sherry, that’s no excuse,” he said, “They moved the contest. It’s in air conditioning.”
Well shucks. He was right.
So I drove south to Richmond this past Saturday — the normally two hour drive took FOUR hours, thanks to traffic — to compete in the 35th annual Virginia Auctioneer Championship contest.
And I won 1st runner up!
I’m excited about this for a few reasons.
- I made a slight improvement over my 2009 performance.
- This year, money was awarded in addition to a trophy. I got $300.
- Unlike in the international competition which is only women, I also compete against men in this contest. In fact, I’m primarily competing against men. These Virginia guys are good bid callers, so I have to up my game to keep up with them. (This year one other contestant was a female, which was a nice surprise to have two women in the competition.)
- I’m a benefit auctioneer, and I’m competing against people who aren’t. Why does that matter? Because they have quicker, more fluid chants which are generally favored in these competitions. Think about this: Auto auctioneers are selling three and four days a week. In contrast, I only have an auction about 50 days a year! Some of these guys get a lot more “on the job practice time” than I do. (As is typical in these events, I was the only full-time benefit auctioneer in the contest.)
Anyway, I was pleased with my performance so I can’t beat myself up over anything I did or didn’t do.
And I want to congratulate all of the finalists, whom I’ve listed below.
- Champion: Brian Damewood (Purcellville, VA)
- 2nd place: Sherry Truhlar (Alexandria, VA)
- 3rd place: James Anderson (Bristol, VA)
- 4th place: Ben Yoder (Stuarts Draft, VA)
- 5th place: Josh Puffenbarger (Stuarts Drafts, VA)
- 6th place: H.L. Wenger (Harrisonburg, VA)
Thanks for encouraging me to enter, Taylor.
And to all 14 contestants, I applaud your courage for stepping up and competing. It can be nerve wracking when you’re being judged by others in your industry. Way to play!