(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.) – The International Auctioneer Championship began last Friday morning began with 100 contestants — 73 men and 27 women. That evening, the field was whittled down to 15 men’s finalists and seven women’s finalists.
And by night’s end at the J.W. Marriott hotel in downtown Indianapolis, Andy White, CAI (Ashland, OH), and Megan McCurdy, CAI, BAS (Wichita, Kan.), stepped ahead of the others, won their respective fields, and took their iconic places among the world’s best collection of auction talent known as IAC Champions.
In other words, as any past IAC Champion can attest, their lives just changed as the pair will go on to represent the NAA and the auction industry for the next year at many state association meetings, at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and through a host of local, regional and national media opportunities.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I think I made it through [my speech] as best I can make it through it,” an emotional White told a packed ballroom. “Judges thank you so much. NAA, thank you so much. And again, if I have not met you, I look forward to meeting you, and I look forward to representing you.”
Before this year, White had competed four times in the IAC (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012). He was the Ohio state bid calling champion in 2007.
Some 45 minutes after the event had completed, a still very amped McCurdy paused long enough from taking celebration photos and accepting congratulations from a myriad of well-wishers to share her thoughts on a long, trying, competitive day.
“It’s pretty amazing,” McCurdy said. “It was a fantastic day. It was full of tough competitors all day long in the men’s and women’s division.
“I’m just very thankful to the NAA and everybody who participated in it. It was just an amazing day. I’m excited to see what the future holds and what the next year holds for me. But, I’m ready to do anything I can for this industry.”
Like White, McCurdy had also participated in the IAC four times prior to this year (2007, 2009, 2011, 2012), and was a state bid-calling champion, having won the Kansas title in 2010. She also is currently serving as the President-Elect of the Kansas Auctioneers Association.
Earlier in the evening, Halie Behr earned the 2013 International Junior Auctioneer Championship (ages 12-18), becoming the second female in two straight years, and the second female overall, to win the competition, which began in 2007, following Julia Sparks in 2012.
Also, Chad “Cracker” Johnson, BAS (Chiefland, Fla.), was awarded the Chuck Cumberlin Sportsmanship award – a designation that drew a standing ovation from the packed house of his industry peers.
Men’s: First runner-up, Dustin Rogers, CAI (Mount Airy, NC); Second runner-up, Jason Miller (Quaker City, OH)
Women’s: First runner-up, Christine Strobietto (Jay, OK); Second runner-up, Emily Wears, ATS, BAS (Solon, Iowa)