Record Breaking cold temperatures (coldest since 1996) did not freeze our spirits for the 2019 Wisconsin Auctioneers Association Commitment to Excellence Convention in Stevens Point, WI. This year we had 120 attendees from all over the state of Wisconsin participating in networking, learning opportunities, great food and fun!

The 2019 featured speakers included Keynote Speaker/Comedian/Actor Jack Stahlman, the “Don’t Flinch Guy,” who spoke about having the “Intangible IT”. Tim Mast, the National Auctioneers Association President, joined us this year for the conference as the gala emcee, a contest judge and presented about sales and negotiations on fast-tracking rapport and closing the deal.

Jason Hallberg of Continental Auctioneers School presented two continuing education courses about the principles of personal property appraisal and selling real estate at auction. Carol Miller, WAA member, past-president and previous WI Bid Calling Champion, added inspiration by speaking about motivating employees by appreciation.

Jerry Thiel and Randy Stockwell presented an informational session about types of complaints being filed at the DSPS and why it is important to have a good contract. WAA member, Wayne Yoder Jr., presented a program on how to arrange your auction for success. Paul McCartan, General Manager of Grafe Auction Company and multi-state champion auctioneer, presented “It all Starts with a Cup of coffee” outlining the changes and transitions of booking auctions and modern techniques. John Seidl presented a humorous and eye opening presentation on Department of Transportation regulations on what we need to know. A breakfast town hall meeting moderated by Kendall Thiel and round table discussion about the SD vs Wayfair US Supreme Court ruling was moderated by Bridget Siler.

After 2 years of discussion and consideration, the board of directors and the Championship Auctioneer Committee decided to move the state champion auctioneer competition back to the WAA annual convention. The Wisconsin Auctioneers Rookie and Champion Competitions were emceed by Tim and Heidi Miller. This year the champion competition had 14 contestants. 2019 WI Champion Auctioneer title went to Jenny Markham-Geh from Genesse, Wl, Reserve Champion was Ray Henry from Foley, MN, and 2nd runner up was Quest Flesner, Taylor, MO.

The rookie auctioneer bid calling contest had 4 participants. 2019 Rookie Champion title went to Troy Krueger from Eau Claire, WI, and Chase Hestetune from Fennimore, WI, was 1st runner up.

Jenny along with the 2018 champion, Kathy Packard, will promote our industry by representing the Wisconsin Auctioneers Association at events throughout the year.

The Parade of Champions lunch pie auction sponsored by the WAA Auxiliary raised over $1000 in support of funding scholarships. We had numerous exhibitors and sponsors for the conference including AuctionZip, Auction Flex, Auction Time, HiBid, Wavebid, Proxibid, Global Auction Guide, Country Today, AgriView, Town ‘n Country, Tractor Zoom, Ellsworth Creamery Cooperative, MarkNet Alliance and Continental Auction School to name a few.

The Gala was emceed by David Allen and Tim Mast provided for a great evening of networking, fundraising and recognition. The WAA Auxiliary inducted a new hall of fame member, Elaine Bunczak. WI Senator Patrick Testin presented in honor of the Thiel Family and Thiel Auctions, and a small celebration was organized to commemorate 100 years in business.

We welcomed the WAA new board President, Jeff Hines, and Vice President, David Allen. The Ringperson contest was held during the gala, 8 contestants competed. The 2019 Ringperson Champion Title went to Jim Gavin from Reedsburg, WI, 1st runner up Gary DuFour from Antigo, WI, and 2nd place Mark Oberholtzer from Loyal, WI.

Your continued support of the Auctioneer Convention is appreciated. Plans are underway for 2020 Wisconsin Auctioneers Convention!