A Trophy Winning Talker

October 6, 2003

By Diane Huber for the News-Review of Douglas County.

Jake Cheechov of Roseburg makes calls for a living. Bid calls that is. It began when he was working at a livestock yard in Creswell when he was 13, and he and the other boys would mimic the auctioneer on staff. Cheechov continued to work behind the scenes at auction yards, and he held a benefit auction for a high school community project. "I really fell in love with the business" he said "the people you meet are incredible." He attended a two week program at the Western College of Auctioneering in Montana, where he learned the basics of a chant and how to organize a sale. Since 1993 he's auctioned off livestock equipment and cars in Eugene and Roseburg.

Now Cheechov, 28 owns and manages Pacific Industrial Auctions in Sutherlin. His bid calling is so smooth he took the top trophy at the 2003 Oregon Grand Champion Auctioneer competition held September 20th in Salem. The Oregon Auctioneers Assn. has presented the contest since 1986 in order to test the marketing skills of the auctioneer. "The neat thing about the contest is it's judged by your peers" he said "its quite an honor to have your peers recognize you that way"

This was the first year that Cheechov registered to compete. He and six auctioneers were judged on the clarity, speed and rhythm of their chant, appearance, body language and eye contact with the crowd, while selling pies quilts and clocks. Next summer Cheechov will head to the world championships in Wisconsin to compete with 50-100 auctioneers for a $10,000 first prize.

In the mean time, he's busy preparing for his next sale on Oct. 18th – one of four a year he organizes. He and his business partner and fiancée, Amy Courtney, have been talking to dealers, contractors and appraising equipment. Soon they'll bring in tractors, bulldozers and excavators costing anywhere from $3000 to $50,000. Some items will be new and some will be older than Cheechov. "The advantage to buying at auction", he said "is that people pay only what they think that item is worth" "whatever an item brings at auction is what that item is worth"

On auction day the now mostly empty field in Sutherlin will be lined with rows of equipment according to condition, value and type. The bleachers will be filled with 150 to 300 potential buyers and Cheechov will do what he loves best.

By now the chants just roll off his tongue.
"As an auctioneer, you get your voice trained to sell for long periods of time and you get used to it" he said "Its just a matter of how you control your voice, breathing and volume" J.B.B Dimick has known Cheechov since 1993 when the two started doing benefit sales together.

"He's a pretty inspirational type of person, especially around other auctioneers and his peers," said Dimick an auctioneer and livestock consultant from Medford "He'll always treat a customer at one of his auctions fair and give them a fair shake"

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Swift. Smart. Simple. Sold!!!