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Andy White, Megan McCurdy win 2013 International Auctioneer Championships

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Andy White and Megan McCurdy hold their trophies after winning the men’s and women’s divisions of the 2013 NAA International Auctioneers Championship.

(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.

RUNNERS-UP AWARDS

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)

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A Q&A with Jeff Duncan and Billy Long

Jeff and Billy National Auctioneers Association members Jeff Duncan, CAI, AARE, and Billy Long, CAI, have made it to Congress.

Editors of Auctioneer magazine visited with the Congressmen in early December to learn more about their leadership plans for 2011 and beyond.

Selections from the NAA members’ answers to a series of questions follow:

Jeff Duncan, CAI, AARE, of Duncan & Co. Auctioneers, Clinton, S.C.

What influence, if any, did your background as an Auctioneer have on your decision to run for office?

I’m a small-business owner, so when I first ran for office it was at the state level. I served for eight years in the legislature here in South Carolina. Part of that was being a small-business owner and understanding the taxation and regulations we have to operate under and ‘what can I do,’ ‘what small part can I play?’ in making things easier for small-business owners. We understand the day-to-day plight of small businesses. If you do a lot of liquidation work, which my company does, you see the negative side of some of those tax and regulatory policies on small business. Auctioneers have a unique perspective on business in general, and that played a big part in my desire to run and try to make a difference.

What has your membership with the NAA meant to you during your run for Congress?

There’s no doubt that my membership in the NAA, the education programs, the relationship-building opportunities that I’ve had because of the NAA and other organizations that have been brought into the NAA’s fold … have given me an understanding of what other Auctioneers are seeing and facing around the country. It’s given me a tremendous support network across the country, and that support helped in the campaign. It goes back to … building coalitions and relationships. That’s what we do in the auction business. You have a specialty that you deal with, but then if you have an opportunity to go sell something that’s outside that specialty, you call another NAA member. In my case, another CAI-designated Auctioneer that I may have known or met — draw on their strengths to get the job done. That’s what I’m going to be doing in Congress. The NAA is a true model. It’s a successful model for how we run our businesses, and it’s a successful model for me to emulate as I move on as a Congressman.

Billy Long, CAI, of Billy Long Auctioneers LLC, Springfield, Mo.

What will be your first order of business in Washington, D.C.?

The first order of business is to repeal and replace health care, and as long as Obama is president you’re probably not going to repeal it. Hopefully we can work to defund health care. When I started running, the debt and the deficit were what I was concerned about. As time went on and they passed this health care bill, everybody’s attention has turned to that. I have yet to talk to anybody that likes that. That’s job No. 1. Number two is to get some of this out-of-control spending under control and quit spending money we don’t have and our grandkids don’t have and our kids don’t have.

What influence, if any, did your background as an Auctioneer have on your decision to run for office?

I’m somebody that has met a payroll for 30 years and signed the front of a check for 30 years. I think that’s played a key role in my wanting to serve and my ability to serve. I come to it with a small-business mindset and background as opposed to a political mindset and background. The local Auctioneer — people have trusted you all their lives to set grandma’s antiques and furniture out on her front lawn and sell them and to sell their real estate for them. Generally an Auctioneer is a trusted individual in a community, and I think that 30 years of name identification in the auction business helped me immensely. I also did talk radio for six years, and I think that helped immensely, too.

Read the entire Q&A in Auctioneer magazine, the official publication of the National Auctioneers Association.

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