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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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Site of 2013 Conference and Show features new trail system, hands-on IndyCar exhibit

IndyVisit the famed Indianapolis Speedway. Take a stroll along the sparkling new Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Or even tour the NCAA Hall of Champions.

Auctioneers who plan to attend the 64th International Auctioneers Conference & Show in Indianapolis on July 16-20 will find a revitalized downtown with hundreds of attractions, restaurants and activities.

Indianapolis has roughly 860,000 residents, but it boasts 20 million visitors a year, says Lisa Wallace, communications manager for the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“We are a very walkable city with a lot to do and see,” Wallace says. “A key advantage of Indy is the walkability and compact design of our downtown. You don’t need a cab or shuttle. You can easily walk to so many places.”

Steps from the hotel

The conference hotel, the JW Marriott Indy, offers 1,005 rooms and more than 103,000 square feet of event and meeting space.

Just outside the hotel is White River State Park, with 250 acres of green space, trees and trails tucked into a downtown urban setting.

The park includes numerous attractions, including the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indiana State Museum, NCAA Hall of Champions, Indianapolis Zoo, Farm Bureau Lawn concert venue and Victory Field, home of the Indians minor league baseball team.

Honoring veterans

Visitors also can pay respects to the nation’s veterans, as Indianapolis has more monuments and memorials dedicated to those who serve than any city besides Washington, D.C.

Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Monument Circle is one of the most iconic and provides an eagle-eye view of the city. Its circular design also gave Indianapolis the nickname “Circle City.” Along the city’s canal is the Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial.

Outdoor activities

New to the city is the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, a $63 million, 8-mile bicycle and pedestrian-friendly landscaped path that connects hotels, shops and restaurants and is lined with art, Wallace says.

If you are willing to take a short drive, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is about four miles northwest of downtown. The speedway last year celebrated the 100th anniversary of its famous 500-mile race.

IndyCar Factory

Dallara IndyCar Factory offers visitors the chance to explore 23,000 square feet of interactive and hands-on exhibits centered on the engineering and technology of the world’s fastest sport, IndyCar.

Thrill-seekers can even fly around the track at 180 mph with a professional driver. For the tame, a bus tour around the track is also available.

Easy travel

Not only is getting around Indianapolis simple, traveling to and from the city is easy, Wallace says.

Nicknamed the “Crossroads of America,” Indianapolis is within a day’s drive of half of the U.S. population, and the city’s award-winning airport is only a 15-minute drive from downtown. Shuttles are available through GO Express.

The hotel

The JW Marriott Indy offers a wide range of amenities and easy access to bustling downtown. With 33 stories, it is the tallest hotel in Indiana and the largest JW Marriott in the country.

Amenities include the following:

•    24-hour, full-service business center
•    Executive lounge
•    State-of-the-art fitness center and indoor pool
•    Day spa service on request
•    Multi-million dollar public art plaza
•    Free valet parking
•    Onsite Starbucks Cafe

Indianapolis Convention Center

A recent $275 million expansion has made the Indianapolis Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium a major destination for the largest events, trade shows and meetings in the country.

It is one of the largest convention centers in the U.S. and is connected by skywalks to more hotels and a four-story urban shopping mall.

Lucas Oil Stadium is a multi-purpose facility with a retractable roof, seating more than 67,000 people and featuring spectacular views of the downtown skyline.

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