President's Letter

Dear Montana Auctioneers Association Members,

Thank you for your confidence and for electing me as the 2020 President of the Montana Auctioneers Association. I am very much looking forward to helping lead our association through the coming year. As I stated in my President's report at our last board meeting, as your newly elected President, I do not feel like I am the only leader. I believe that all of the board members are our leaders. We all have a list of tasks to complete so that we can make this association better with each passing year. We are very fortunate to have board members with unique credentials for completing each of the tasks they are assigned. If you are a member looking in, at times you might find it hard to see what the board is accomplishing. However, I can assure all of you that the board is working diligently to make this association the very best it can be.

A very big "thank you" to Jim Cooper, the Youngs, The Mussers, the Afflecks and everyone who had a hand in helping with our successful Montana Auctioneers Association conference in Billings in January. It was action-packed, as always, with many informative seminars.

One seminar in the 2020 convention that left a lot of us with questions was the ATF seminar, regarding what we can and cannot do as either licensed FFL dealers or unlicensed auctioneers selling firearms at auction. I have brought this to the attention of the National Auctioneers Association advocacy committee to review and perhaps work with the ATF to draft a definitive list as a guideline for all auctioneers. If you did not attend the ATF seminar and if you sell firearms at auction, I encourage you to be cautions, as there are specific guidelines regarding what we can and cannot do while selling firearms at auction.

I often think about how fortunate we are to have an association that desires to help our industry, to bring together auctioneers from across the state each year to network and talk about industry issues, sharing what has been working to make auctions more successful, sharing ideas, thoughts, or concerns, and creating educational seminars with the nation's top speakers each year so that all of us can take home nuggets to improve our business.

Last but not least, I would like to welcome all the new members of the Montana Auctioneers Association. I have to say, you have made the right choice by joining as a new auctioneer. I was one of those new members some 30 years ago, when I was a young first-generation auctioneer just out of auction school. I joined the MAA not knowing anyone and it was challenging. I remember wondering how I was going to pay the $35 annual dues or the conference fees but, somehow, I came up with the money. I kept coming back, attending seminars and meeting auctioneers. It was slow at first. I went to our conference one year and then didn't go for a few years. Then I came back until, finally, I realized how much information I was getting by attending our conference and being more active in our association. The more active in the association I became, the more successful my auction business became. I believe there is a direct connection to the Montana Auctioneers Association and success. To all the Montana Auctioneers Association members who have renewed: Thank you. You make this association what it is.

God bless you all!

Montana Auctioneers Association President
J.K. Kinsey, CAI, AMM

The 2020 Montana Auctioneer Bid Calling Championship in Billings was able to boast 18 contestants in the Pro Division and 5 Rookie contestants.

Congratulations to all those who participated!

Dan Goss with MAA VP Nick Bennett

Dan Goss with MAA VP Nick Bennett

Bid Calling Champion

2020 Montana Auctioneers Association

Cole Morrison with MAA VP Nick Bennett

Cole Morrison with MAA VP Nick Bennett

Association Rookie Champion

2020 Montana Auctioneers

MAA Director Gideon Yutzy with MAA VP Nick Bennett

MAA Director Gideon Yutzy with MAA VP Nick Bennett

1st Runner Up

2020 Montana Auctioneers

MAA Past President Brian Young with MAA VP Nick Bennett

MAA Past President Brian Young with MAA VP Nick Bennett

2nd Runner Up

2020 Montana Auctioneers

Article by MAA Director Reed Tobol

Charge Your Batteries for Success

I don’t know about the rest of you but I enjoy the feelings that run through me when I depart an auction convention.  To best describe it, it’s like coming off a battery charger and being ready to take the next thing that comes at you by the horns.  Every year I have gone to the Montana convention and even more so the times I have been the national show, these same feelings set over me. So what exactly goes on at these events that people who don’t attend miss out on?

Let’s begin with the obvious component of the auction convention; the fellowship.  It’s no secret that every one of us there shares the same passion for the industry which brings conversation and great success stories that only like-minded people can appreciate.  It is a time for many of us to see other auction professionals that we may only get to see once a year. Often times for many, this event could be ones breakout into the auction business and they are attending to get their career started on the right foot and meet the people who will be lifelong mentors to them on their journey.

Secondly, for as long as I have been a member of the Montana Auctioneers Association,  have had the privilege to fly in a speaker from the National Auctioneers Association.  This element of being a member could very well be worth the entire membership dues and convention costs for the year alone.  I’m not sure every auctioneer in the state understands how valuable this is to us.  These men and woman are working in the auction business every single day and experiencing challenges on many different levels and in many different sectors of the job than we may be back here at home.  It is those professionals who hit the roadblock first, learn the tricks and the solutions, then to top it off, fly to Montana and share the answers with us!  How much better could it get?  My first trip to the national convention was like auction education Christmas.  I attended a session every hour for a week and was having more information thrown my way than I could begin to retain. I was like a horse’s head shoved into a grain sack.

The final thing I want to emphasize is the investment in all this discussion.  It is no secret that everything good in life seems to have a cost associated with it.  It is our choice to decide what we do with our hard earned dollars.  When I was starting out in the business and didn’t know much about anything, one of my mentors, John Nichols, told me if I was planning on making it, I needed to become a part of something big.  He was referring to the National Auctioneers Association.  John was bold when he said it didn’t matter how you find the money, just make sure you are at Conference and Show. It took me a few years for that to hit home with me but I will say from my first time attending Conference and Show, the door of opportunities has blown open and it is among the select priority dates of my year.  The fact is, we sometimes run a bit low on juice and it is a refreshing charge to surround ourselves with the positivity that rubs on you at auction conventions.

NAA involvement with the U.S. Supreme Court case "South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc." 

Click on the button to see updates from the National Auctioneers Association.

Article by MAA Treasurer Merton Musser

Spring Greetings To All

Although winter wasn’t so brutal this year spring is always a welcome season in my book. With spring comes the onslaught of auctions which is what we look forward to. Certainly, appreciated the various workshops from ATF, Photography and our NAA rep, Peter Gehres, for sharing a wealth of knowledge with us. A shout out to Jim Cooper for coordinating a great weekend at the Billings Hotel & Convention Center. Jim did an exceptional job of getting local sponsorship and organizing the Auctioneer Competition - Congratulations, not only to those who won, but everyone that entered.

I would be remiss if I didn’t say how humbled I was to receive the “Hall Of Fame” award. One always hopes someday it would happen but it took me by total surprise. I remember the many other auctioneers who’ve received this award in the past and thought well someday when I get old maybe I would be so lucky, guess that’s another chapter in the life of this auctioneer. I have enjoyed every year being a Member of the Montana Auctioneers Association and will continue our support in years to come so the MAA can be to future generations what it has meant to me. We’re looking forward to attending the NAA C&S in San Diego in July and then Lewistown next January where the Shobe’s always do a bang up job with the convention.

Anytime you’re passing through Billings we’d love for you to stop by our office - the coffee is always on hand. For now, “Happy Trails”.

National Auctioneers Week will be April 27-May 2, 2020 culminating with National Auctioneers Day on Saturday, May 2nd.

The COVID-19 Pandemic

Dear Montana Auctioneer Association members,

As we are all aware of the COVID-19 pandemic going on in the world. We are asked to practice social distancing and not have functions with more than 10 people in order to keep the COVID-19 virus from spreading.

As auctioneers this is a challenging time for not only us but our clients. I would encourage you to look for new ways to accommodate your clients, postpone events or work closely with your clients on a safe solution.

If you do not currently have an online bid platform capability keep an open mind to partnering with a Montana Auctioneers Association member to assist you with that challenge or considering engaging in a platform of your own to accommodate your customers needs in this time.

Stay safe & healthy,

J.K. Kinsey
Montana Auctioneers Association President

Scroll to Top