The sheer electricity Shawn Hagler and Matt Moravec brought to the competition at the 2022 World Automobile Auctioneers Championship (WAAC) in Des Moines, Iowa, was palpable. When they had control of the lane, everyone else at the auction paused to take notice of these two World Class Competitors. Onlookers ceased to be critics and became fans as we were all entertained by two of the great auction champions of our generation.
It is no surprise to anyone in attendance that Shawn Hagler was crowned as the 2022 World Automobile Auctioneers Championship in the Auction Team division of the competition. There were many great teams at the competition, but watching the dynamic of these two gentlemen compete so seamlessly, displaying effective communication as they take command of their lanes showcases the professionalism of these two professional world champions.
It is apparent of Shawn’s heart and soul is so easily displayed in his career for his love of the auction industry and is an altogether different experience. He draws the attention of everyone in the building, exuding an energy that charges the whole event with excitement and emotion. You know who that gentleman in the cowboy hat is and there’s no doubt why he is crowned, a Two-time World Champion in the World Automobile Auctioneers Championship.
As World Champion Ringman Matt Hart says, “Shawn is one of the best I’ve been around and it is a privilege to compete against him and ultimately see Matt Moravec and him win. He is a First Class Guy, personally, and a World Class Champion in the ring.“
From the very beginning, it was clear that Matt & Shawn have worked together honing their craft, displaying effective communication, working as a team and in their perspective positions of an auction team. They brought a measured confidence to the lane that only comes from being a seasoned competitor with hundreds of hours of practice. We all know how hard it is to perfect a chant, to control the floor as a Ringman and to stay focused on the task at hand. But to do all of this and make it entertaining and fun is what separates championship auctioneers from the herd.
This level of excellence doesn’t happen accidentally, both Matt and Shawn have competed in the World Championship and worked together at Mecum Auctions. As 2022 WAAC Ringman Champion Matt Hart states, “You don’t go to a contest and do something other than what you do at work every day.” Both of them have competed a number of times previously, and have kept coming back, doing their best, going home and working harder each year to “bring their best.” It was evident; it was all business. They were there to work, to get there and get it done. They work together seamlessly as an auction team to bring out the best in one another and showcase their effective communication as a team and their hard work, skills and talent awarded them the coveted title in the Auction Team division.
As Shawn Hagler shares in his Ringman school, World Champion Ringman College,, “Professionalism is huge. We be ourselves, be professional, and get it done.” When asked what competitors do to prepare for the competition, Shawn states, “It’s commitment that makes the difference. We aren’t doing anything different today than we do every day and that’s going to work to make car deals and make customers happy. To prepare for that, you’ve just got to do it.”
For those considering competing in future competitions, the message of this year’s competition is that talent is necessary, but it is persistence, hard work and patience that pay off in the end. However, the joy of the Championship goes well beyond taking home a trophy. “People ask me what happens if they come and lose,” states Paul C. Behr. “I tell them they aren’t going to lose. If they come, even if they don’t compete, they are going to network, fellowship, grow and learn from the best in the industry. If you come to the competition, you aren’t going to lose…you are going to win in some way or another.”
A big part of that learning experience is learning from past champions, as well as building the future of the industry. We are all auctioneers in the same industry and that creates a camaraderie that is clear at an event such as the WAAC. As World Champion Scott Goodhue has stated, “It’s obviously great to be told you’re a champion by your peers, but that doesn’t make one great, it makes me like the guys who helped me. To me, helping others in this business is going to help the future of our business. Winning puts your name in front of your peers and creates more opportunity to help people.”
In the end, lessons and experience each year can’t be duplicated in any other way. Competing amongst your peers is an opportunity and experience all on its own. You can’t do it by practicing by yourself or even necessarily working an auction…it’s not the same. It’s a special atmosphere and environment. Regardless of finishing 2nd or 3rd, it isn’t all about winning…it’s an amazing group of men and women. You can’t find a gathering of people like this in any other industry. It’s having an opportunity to learn and experience something new every time.
As always, Shawn’s dedication and response in earning and being crowned with a championship is as follows:
“I compete because iron sharpens iron. I feel that if I ever get comfortable with the level I’m at I’ll begin to decline. I’m always trying to improve. “If you’re cruising along, you’re probably going down hill.”
I chose to compete in the Auctioneer and the Team Competitions because not only do I want to be considered a World Class Auctioneer, but I also believe it’s vital to our industry to show the importance of an Auctioneer and Ringman working together. Most people don’t realize how much communication occurs between a Professional Auctioneer and Professional Ringman, both verbally or nonverbal, and to watch some of the best in the world do it, is amazing to witness.
I’m happy when other people are successful as well. When I’m asked to work the ring or auctioneer for another contestant, I consider it a huge honor and compliment. I get the satisfaction of helping my friends with their success.
Winning the World Champion Ringman title in 2009 got my name out on a national level, which increased my business. I’ve gotten more work from the people I’ve met from going to the WAAC. The WAAC is not just about winning championships. It’s about networking and building lifelong friendships.
At this point of my career I’m in a position to give back to the industry that’s been so good to me. That’s why Vaughn Long and I started World Champion Ringman College. We wanted to ensure our profession continues to thrive as future generations come up. We were so fortunate to be trained by Paul C and other great auctioneers that we wanted to share some of the tips that we were taught. And with the friendship and networking with fellow champions from the WAAC, we have the honor of them as instructors at our Ringman training school. They are a great asset to us and to our students.