DENVER, Colo.— History was made in January as Solon native Emily Wears became the first woman to be named the Colorado Auctioneers Association Bid Calling Champion.
Wears, the daughter of Brent and Donna of Solon, earned her championship at the 54th annual convention of the Colorado Auctioneers Association (CAA).
Growing up in the auction business– Brent has owned Wears Auctioneering for 30 years– made an early impression on Emily, as she started working auctions at the age of 10, handling clerking duties.
“At that time we were transferring over to computerized clerking, so I transitioned in to learn the ropes. For about seven years, I clerked, did some cashiering, learned to ring, of course helped with set up and tear down… and did any odd jobs that needed done,” said Emily.
As a junior in high school, Wears and her cousin Brian went to Mason City and the acclaimed World Wide College of Auctioneering. She said it was probably her dad’s idea, but, she added, “it changed my life.”
Although she was a Lady Spartan athlete, music was her life and a degree in vocal performance seemed to be looming on the horizon.
“Music was my forte,” she said.
But after auctioneering school, a new path revealed itself.
“It was fairly clear that my path would be a business degree, and I would pursue a career in the auction industry.” She said she wasn’t a good auctioneer after completing the auctioneer program, but she improved quickly under the tutelage of her dad. Brent’s influence on her also manifested itself in her auction call, or chant; the rhythmic, almost hypnotic at times, cadence an auctioneer uses to call out the bids and prompt the bidders.
“I unintentionally, but not surprisingly, started to build a chant nearly identical to my dad’s,” she said. He taught her everything she knows, she said, and, “he’ll always be able to kick my butt,” in the auction ring.
Upon graduating with high honors from Solon High School, Wears attended the University of Northern Iowa for a business management major and a Spanish minor. But her heart called her to the mountains.
“I am still on that track, but my location has changed slightly. I had to follow my heart and move closer to the mountains in Wyoming,” said Wears. For the past three years, she has been a student at the University of Wyoming, with plans to finish that business degree next fall. From there, she plans to study in Spain the following spring semester.
Wears’ Colorado Championship is just the latest in a list of accomplishments and honors. In 2008, she placed second in the International Junior Auctioneers Contest in Nashville, Tenn. In 2009, she won the Iowa State Auctioneering Championship. 2011 was a busy and rewarding year for Wears, wining the Wyoming People’s Choice Auctioneer title and making it to the finals, and placing fourth in the International Auctioneers contest in Orlando, Fla.
Wears said, “I was only the second woman to win Iowa, and I was the youngest. My dad and I were the first dual-generation winners.”
Her Colorado win has added significance; she was not only the first woman, but also the youngest and the first auctioneer from out-of-state to win. With the honor came a custom-made belt buckle, inclusion on the Chuck Cumberlin traveling trophy (named for the Clarinda native and legendary Colorado auctioneer who died in 2009), and a $1,000 cash prize to be used in attending the National Auctioneers Association Conference and Show in Spokane, Wash. this July where Wears will compete as a representative of Colorado.
“I can’t describe the feeling I had at winning the Colorado contest. Amazing. Humbling. And, a wonderful honor.” Wears said she and her dad had never attended that convention before, so they were essentially strangers in a strange land. “For their association to welcome us with open arms and then honor me by naming me the ambassador for the association was incredible,” said Wears.
She describes the auction industry as one giant family.
“The CAA treated us so wonderfully and I am so proud to represent them as their ambassador for the year.”