Sutherlin Auctioneer Named Grand Champion in 2003 Oregon Bid Calling Competition

September 19, 2003

Oregon Auctioneers Association Press Release.

SALEM OR – Call it beginners luck if you will. But whatever you call it, chances are you wont even come close to "calling it" like Jake Cheechov did.

Cheechov, of Sutherlin, Ore., took the top trophy at the 2003 Oregon Grand Champion Auctioneer Competition held September 20 in Salem.

Owner and manager of Pacific Industrial Auctions, Cheechov was a first time competitor in the bid-calling competition which was presented by the Oregon Auctioneers Association (OAA) and the Marion county 4-H. Industrial Publishing (IP/KOKE) Printing Company served as the event sponsor.

"This was my first time to enter and I won" said the first year member of the OAA. "I really enjoyed this contest, I had the opportunity to be around other auctioneers, and to hear their different chant styles"

Held since 1986, the competition serves to promote the auction method of marketing throughout the state, while emphasizing the importance of the auctioneer as an effective marketing specialist. This year, seven auctioneers faced off for the title auctioning three items to the audience. Contestants were judged on their appearance and poise, body language and eye contact with the crowd, and the clarity, speed and rhythm of their chant.

Auctioneers winning the other top two spots in the event were Rick Leathers, of Sandy, first runner up; and Mickey Meredyth, of Oregon City, second runner up.

Cheechov, whose auction experience lies in livestock, automobiles, as well as farm and construction equipment, said he got his first taste of auctioneering at age 13. He was working stock at a local livestock yard and he and some of the other boys would mock or mimic the auctioneer on staff. Then one day Cheechov was caught in the act. The auctioneer put him on the spot and made him "perform" for everyone. That experience stuck with him and when it came time to carry out a high school senior project, Cheechov decided to hold a benefit auction for his class.

"I listened to several tapes of local auctioneers and asked some of them for help. They gave me some tongue twisters to practice and some filler words to use." Cheechov recalled "Then I came up with my own little chant, which looking back wasn't very good, but ok for a 17 year old."

The auction was a success. Soon afterward, he graduated from high school and took some scholarship money and applied it to a career in the field, attending Western College of Auctioneering in Billings, Mont.

As winner of the Oregon Grand Champion Auctioneer Contest. Cheechov received a trophy, sponsored by IP/KOKE, and a one year OAA membership. He also received paid registration to the National Auctioneers Association's International Auctioneer Championship set for July 16, 2004 in Madison, Wisconsin. This annual event draws dozens of auctioneers from throughout the country who vie for the international world title.

Founded in 1973, the Oregon Auctioneers Association is a nonprofit organization that strives to increase the visibility and viability of the auction profession throughout the state of Oregon. Membership is open to auctioneers and associates who prescribe to and operate under the OAA's code of ethics and abide by their by-laws. For more information go to

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