When the winner of the 2012 World Automobile Auctioneers Championship was awarded, it marked a historic day for the 24-year-old competition.
Becoming the first woman ever to take the World Champion title was Cheri Boots-Sutton of Belton, Mo., who competed 10 times before taking home the top prize this year.
Her win came with a championship trophy, championship diamond ring and $5,000 in prize money.
Meanwhile, James Benton Pendleton, of Salt Lick, Ky., was named Reserve Champion and Tom Stiffey, of Orlando, was runner-up.
Moving on to the Ringman Division, the Champion Ringman honors went to Kentucky’s Preston Hardee, who took home a trophy and a $2,500 check. Colorado’s Sean Allen was named Reserve Champion.
As for the Team Competition, top honors went to James Benton Pendleton and Dustin Taylor. They earned a $5,000 check. Second-place honors in the Team Competition went to Boots-Sutton and Bradley O’Leary.
The competition was held at the Sanford Auto Dealers Exchange in Sanford, Fla., which hosted the event for the second straight year. It featured 78 contestants from the U.S., Canada and the U.K. who vied for the three world titles.
NIADA TV aired the championship live for the first time. More than 125,000 viewers tuned in.
"We were very pleased to return to SADE for this year’s championships,” said Col. Paul C. Behr, president of the World Wide College of Auctioneering. “The facility is well-suited for the event, the owners Michael Tumminello and Jeff Brody were extremely gracious hosts, and the auction staff handled all the details brilliantly.”
Tumminello added: “We were honored to host the World Auctioneer Championships again at SADE. It is an extraordinary thing to see so many talented auctioneers in action, and wonderful opportunity to host the professionals work so hard for us in the business of buying and selling vehicles.”
Offering his perspective, ServNet’s Pierre Pons — who attended both times SADE has hosted — noted: “The ServNet auctions applaud SADE’s in hosting back-to-back championships. It is not often that an auction has the opportunity to open its doors to people from all areas of the auction business.
“The participation of auctioneers, ringmen, independent auction owners and the presidents of the two corporate auction companies shows support for the event across the board and lends solidarity to our industry,” he continued.
The top auctioneers, ringmen and teams, respectively, were as follows:
Top 15 Auctioneers
1. Cheri Boots-Sutton
2. James Benton Pendleton
3. Tom Stiffey
4. Harold Brown
5. Steven Holt
6. T.J. Freije
7. Ben DeBruhl
8. Steven Rubin
9. Michael Chambers
10. Bobby McAdams
11. Woody Woodruff
12. Ryan Jordan
13. Trey Gallaway
14. Tom Zeller
15. Roger Emigh
Top 5 Ringmen
1. Preston Hardee
2. Sean Allen
3. Bradley O'Leary
4. Ed Behr
5. Nick McMichen
Top 5 Teams
1. James Benton Pendleton – Auctioneer
Dustin Taylor – Ringman
2. Cheri Boots-Sutton – Auctioneer
Bradley O'Leary – Ringman
3. T.J. Freije – Auctioneer
Bobby McAdams – Ringman
4. Harold Brown – Auctioneer
Ben Gunter – Ringman
5. Burt Guy – Auctioneer
Billy Armstrong - Ringman
The judges for the competition included a host of industry leaders, inlcuding:
Charlotte Pyle, president of the National Auto Auction Association
Christie King, president of the National Auctioneers Association
Tom Caruso, chief executive officer and president of ADESA
Sandy Schwartz, president of Manheim
Tim Riley, president of Midway Auto Auction
Neal Davis, 1996 World Champion Auto Auctioneer
Greg Duff, national remarketing manager for Automotive Credit Corp.
Robert Wagner, asset remarketing national manager for Hyundai Motor Finance Co.
Scott Eyster, assistant vice president of asset remarketing for US Bank
Brian Garner, remarketing manager for Automotive Resources International
Jack Rennels, vice president of remarketing for Emkay Inc.
Thomas Grady, Southeast wholesale manager for Avis Budget Group