Oct 20, 2022
Eltopia, Washington, August 10, 2022 – Chantel Kimball of Booker Auction Co recently secured the highest honor at the 2022 National Auctioneers Association (NAA) International Auctioneer Championship. At the NAA’s Annual Convention, Kimball competed in a fierce showing of the top auctioneers in the world.
Each year, one man and one woman are named the NAA IAC Champion. After participating in 9 previous IAC events, Kimball, a third-generation auctioneer, was finally the last name called at the event. Being named an IAC Champion has always been a dream of Kimball’s, “I’ve been a part of auctions since I was 4 years old. It began as a way to spend time with family and learn the importance of work ethic. Over my years of experience, I grew to love the industry and am honored to be an ambassador, sharing more about the important work we do.”
Kimball attended the Reppert Auction School in Indiana while still in high school. She then attended Spokane Falls Community College, where she was a dual sport athlete, playing volleyball and softball, and then ultimately graduated from Boise State University.
In 2011 Kimball began working full-time for Booker Auction Co. Today, she specializes in benefit auctions, focusing her professional efforts around securing vital funds for organizations that make an important impact in their respective communities.
The Booker family is a fixture in the industry and at competitions as Chantel becomes the 4th member of her family to win a championship. (2008 IAC Champion - C.D. Butch Booker; 2011 IAC Champion - Camille Booker; 2017 International Junior Auctioneer Champion IJAC - Cotton Booker) Additionally, 2022 marked two firsts for the family as Cotton Booker competed in the IAC for the first time, and Daxton Rettig, son of Camille Booker, enjoyed his first run in the IJAC competition. Kimball shared, “Sharing the competition experience with my cousin Cotton and my nephew Daxton is a special memory that I’ll never forget. I’m one of their biggest fans. I’ll cherish that experience forever. It’s a unique experience to work in a family business, but I’m grateful for my close relationships with each of them. My sister Camille knows what it takes to be a champion. Having her advice during the competition was integral to my success. My brother and sister-in-law were there to support me during the competition as well and that meant the world to me.”
Preparing for the competition was truly a family affair, involving her husband, sons Ace (3), Callum (1), and her colleagues. “Our team at the office put together a mock competition for me so I could practice. Repetition is so important to success. I’m especially indebted to my husband for his endless support and assistance throughout my career and over the years of competing. He was my interview coach and would me three questions each day and we focused on a strategy for how to deliver a polished response. That preparation made me feel confident in my abilities during the interview portion of the competition. My 3-year-old son would even choose a few of his toys for me to auction during my practice runs.”
Kimball’s journey to the championship trophy has not been without its challenges. After several setbacks, including an injury that resulted in a physical disability, there were numerous moments of adversity where it would have been easy for Kimball to give up on her goal. “After my injury and many years of unsuccessful surgeries, I was finally given the opportunity to try the ExoSym, a hybrid prosethetic-orthodic device. It took me awhile to gain back my confidence after that experience, but the ExoSym has given me my life back. Competitions always gave me something to strive for. I’m an athlete and I’m competitive. Having this goal to work towards and prepare for really pushed me both personally and professionally and gave me a competitive outlet after my injury. This year, my confidence level reached new heights and I think much of that was because of my acceptance of my disability and the work I’ve done to find new ways to move forward, making it part of my story.”
IAC competitors are evaluated on their chant, presentation, stage presence and other auctioneering essentials. Top competitors then move to an interview round where they are asked questions to showcase their industry knowledge. Champions are awarded a $5,000 cash prize, a trophy, champion medallion and ring, and the opportunity to represent the industry, traveling all over the country as ambassadors for the NAA. “I know how difficult competing is and I’m truly humbled by this opportunity to represent our industry over the next year, along with Jerick Miller, the men’s division winner.”
The NAA has played an important role in the success of Booker Auction Co. Kimball’s father, Merle Booker states, “The NAA has been the foundation or cornerstone of me and my family since 1984. The education, fellowship, referrals, and long-term friendships that have benefited our business is the reason we make it a priority to attend conference and show every year. The NAA allowed me to see the expertise and diversity within our industry.” Kimball advises all auction professionals to get involved in the organization. “State associations and the NAA are so important. The networking that you find there as a result is integral. The friendships I’ve made through professional organizations are so important to me. You can’t go into the auction business alone. You need to have people in your corner to mentor you and connect you. Get involved – you won’t regret it. The investment is well worth the return!”
About Booker Auction Co.
Based in Eltopia, Washington, Booker Auction Co. is a family owned and operated auction house specializing in Agri-business marketing solutions, Real Estate & Equipment Auctions, Appraisals, and Fundraisers. To learn more, visit bookerauction.co