Written By: Jim Massey, Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
WEST ALLIS — David Allen is a relative newcomer to the auctioneering profession compared to some of his peers in the business.
But it didn’t take the Cross Plains man long to rise to the top of the heap in terms of his auctioneering skills. Allen won the Wisconsin Champion Auctioneer Contest Aug. 8 at the Wisconsin State Fair ahead of eight other competitors in only his second time in the contest.
He finished second a year ago.
“I knew I had a shot this year after taking second place last year,” he said. “But it can be anybody’s day when it comes to one of these competitions, and today was my day.”
Allen is the owner of Wisconsin Fundraiser, a live auction fundraising company. He also conducts personal property auctions and has begun branching into real estate.
During the past four years, he has also partnered with Rich Ranft at Beloit Auction and Realty as a contract auctioneer.
“They are wonderful people and have been great mentors,” Allen said of Beloit Auction owners Rich and Pat Ranft.
Allen obtained his real estate license and was telling his great uncle about his potential career change, when the uncle suggested that he become an auctioneer.
“He was one of those guys like E.F. Hutton — when he spoke, you listened,” he said of his uncle. “I was working with a company at the time and had some vacation built up, so I took the time off and went to the (World Wide College of Auctioneering). I fell in love with the industry, the people.
“It’s the greatest profession in the world. The people are fantastic. I’ve been at it for seven years and still going.”
Allen said he is delving into online auctions because they are helpful to some customers.
“I just had a client that due to the space she would have had for parking and how fine her house was kept, she didn’t want a live auction where 150 or 200 people were walking through her house,” he said. “So the online auction worked great for her. We were able to market her assets and get her what she needed.”
Allen and his wife, Erin, have four children — Paul, Duke, Cali and Elsi.
First runner-up in the contest was Ray Henry of Foley, Minn. Randy Stockwell of Dorchester finished as the second runner-up.
Other finalists included Jack Hines of Ellsworth, Kathy Packard of Antigo and Kendall Thiel of Chilton.
The Wisconsin Champion Auctioneer Contest has been taking place in its present form since 2000. The forerunner to the contest was the State Fair Bid-Calling Contest, started in 1991 by the “singing auctioneer,” Le Roy Van Dyke and the late Roy Holler, a past president of the Wisconsin Auctioneers Association. During the first nine years, contestants were judged only on their bid calling.
After the 1999 contest, the competition was changed to the Wisconsin State Auctioneer Champion Contest, a preliminary competition to the International Auctioneer Championship conducted at the National Auctioneers Conference and Show. The contest includes interviews with the finalists.
Allen will be the WAA’s entrant in the national competition in July 2018.
The Country Today is a co-sponsor of the Wisconsin Champion Auctioneer Contest.