He is a three-time world champion auctioneer who since 1974 has called bids for items such as collector cars, livestock, multi-million-dollar real estate sales and charity benefits.
Paul Behr, who is president and owner of the World Wide College of Auctioneering and the World Automobile Auctioneers Championship, has conducted more than 9,000 auctions in 30 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Those accomplishments led to the National Auto Auction naming Behr a Warren Young Fellow. NAAA presented Behr with the honor earlier this month during the 2019 championship event at the Charleston Auto Auction.
Behr joins 112 honorees who have earned the lifetime distinction of being named a Fellow. For the honor, Behr received a gold medallion and a framed commemorative certificate. His name will be engraved on a plaque of esteemed Fellows at NAAA headquarters.
NAAA president Chad Bailey, who is also a member of the National Auctioneers Association, said in addition to his wide-ranging experience, Behr was honored for his devotion to educating and training future generations of auctioneers.
After returning home in 1971 from serving as a U.S. Marine in Vietnam, Behr was the last in the profession to be personally trained by legendary auctioneer Col. Joe Reisch. Today he continues instructing students at his World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa, according to NAAA, and last year he was inducted into the National Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame.
In 2011, the association recognized Behr as NAAA Auctioneer of the Year with the Bernie Hart Memorial Award, named after long-time NAAA executive director Bernie Hart, who served the association for more than 30 years before retiring in 1988.
He is one of only two people in auctioneering history to be named a World Champion Auctioneer three times. The other was Jeff Stokes, the 2005 recipient of the Bernie Hart award.
Behr also earned the titles of International Auction Champion in 1988 and World Livestock Auctioneer in 1989.
“He has worked at many of the major auto auctions around the country as well as being a factory car auctioneer for Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota and Subaru,” Bailey said in a news release.
For the honor, NAAA made a $2,500 donation each in their names to NAAA’s nonprofit Warren Young, Sr., Scholastic Foundation. A Fellow is a donor at that level, or in whose honor or memory a contribution is made in that amount, to support the scholarship organization.
The Scholastic Foundation was established in 2004 and named in honor of Warren Young, Sr., a pioneer of the auto auction industry who retired after 35 years of service to his profession and NAAA. The foundation has helped 168 students with higher-education funding and raised more than $2.3 million. Each year, it awards $52,000 in merit scholarships for study at accredited institutions.