Being a finalist for the past nine years finally paid off for Emily Wears Kroul as she was named the nation’s top bid caller — winning the Women’s National Auctioneers Association’s 31st International Auctioneer Championship.
“It’s kind of like the Super Bowl of auctioneering,” Wears Kroul, 28, of Solon, said. “I’ve been a finalist for nine of the last 10 years. I think they were waiting for me to mature. I’m still young for the profession but have grown a lot. There were 15 women competing this year and seven finalists.”
Wears Kroul, who has been an auctioneer since age 18, works with her father, Brent Wears, running Wears Auctioneering based in Solon. Her father handles the on-site auctions, and she heads up the online auctions, which are a growth area for the business, and on-site weekend auctions.
She previously has won several state auctioneer competitions: Iowa in 2009, Colorado in 2012 and Wyoming in 2014.
Wears Kroul also is an auctioneer on A&E’s reality show “Storage Wars.”
Auctioneering still is dominated by men, but Wears Kroul said over the past several years, more women have been going into the profession and competing in the championship. She teaches some classes in auction schools and said she is seeing more women coming into the profession to run fundraising auctions.
Wears Kroul and the men’s champion, Barrett Bray of Edmond, Okla., were selected last month during the National Auctioneers Association’s 69th annual International Auctioneers Conference and Show in Jacksonville, Fla. Each champion received a $5,000 cash award, trophy and championship ring.
During the competition, the auctioneers go through a preliminary round and have to sell two items to the crowd. Next is an interview round in which each contestant answers three impromptu questions about the industry. Then there is a final round of bid calling that includes the top male and female finalists, Wears Kroul said.
As the champion, Wears Kroul will serve as an “ambassador” for the association. She will travel to various state auctioneer associations to recruit them to join the national association. She also will be a spokeswoman for the national association, speaking to the press and supporting the association’s main charity, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
Wears Kroul said this win was “special” because her mother got to be there. She said she and her father always go to the championships, but this was the first time in about five years that her mother attended. Wears Kroul’s husband, Cody Kroul, a professional rodeo steer wrestler, had to miss the competition because he was competing.
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