Business

Auctioneer's call is best in the country

Jeff Stokes, founder and president of Stokes Auction Group in Edgewood, is the reigning men’s division champion following the International Auctioneer Championships in San Antonio, Texas.

The bid-calling competition is sponsored by the National Auctioneers Association (NAA), a trade group of more than 6,000 auction professionals. The competition was held July 9 during the 15th annual International Auctioneers Conference.

Contestants demonstrated their bid-calling techniques, including clarity, speed and rhythm of their chant, appearance, poise, body language and eye contact.

Stokes, who competed with 70 others from throughout the U.S, will spend the next year serving as an ambassador for the auction industry and the NAA.

“I’m honored and humbled,” Stokes said. “At 15, my father sent me to auction school to overcome a stutter. My family is all in the auction business.”

Stokes has 26 years of experience in the auction business and has won several honors. At 16, he won the title of Washington State Champion Auctioneer. In 1987, he was awarded the title of World Champion Livestock Auctioneer. In 1993, he was named World Champion Automobile Auctioneer. Stokes is the only winner of all three national championships.

Stokes Auction Group, headquartered in Edgewood, specializes in helping charitable organizations raise money through auctions. The company’s clients have included schools, civic organizations, political causes, community groups and healthcare organizations. The latter include Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

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