We would like to introduce you to November 2014 World Wide College of Auctioneering Graduate Don McDowell.
1. Why did you decide to attend World Wide College of Auctioneering?
I opted to attend the World Wide College of Auctioneering because going to auction school has been on my bucket list. I have always enjoyed going to auctions and there is something enthralling about the rhythmic flow of a really good chant. Full time, I work in government relations for the Iowa Farm Bureau and since the 2014 election was over and I had a week of vacation to burn before the end of the year, the November 2014 session worked well into my schedule and in hindsight, I would not trade my experience for anything. I am also a cast member at The Last Laugh Comedy Theatre in West Des Moines where I do short-form improvisation. Since everything is audience driven, I keep waiting for someone to throw auction or auctioneer out as a suggestion.
Unlike many of my classmates, I am not sure if I will put my auction school experience to work professionally. However, should I decide to pursue a career there eventually, I fully believe that World Wide provides you with the fundamentals to be successful. In the months since attending, I have really enjoyed seeing the updates from my classmates as they begin their careers.
2. What one thing surprised you the most about auction school?
Even though you are only at auction school for 9 days, you do become very close with many of your classmates. I was blown away by the caliber of the instructors and their sincere interest in each student's success. The training and the curriculum is well worth the cost. You get out of it what you put in. I encourage anyone considering auction school to dive in all the way.
3. What state do you live in?
4. How many auctions have you attended this past year?
Not as many as I would have liked to attend. I enjoy antique auctions and I especially enjoy purebred livestock auctions. Even though I no longer raise livestock, I still love going to livestock auctions.
5. Tell us about your family.
I am not married and have no children. My dad and mom live near Sheldon, IA in O'Brien County. My dad, Dudley, farms and my mother, Carol, is a retired school teacher. My oldest brother Andrew lives in West Des Moines, my brother Steve and his wife Erin and their two kids Claire and Wesley live in North Liberty, IA and my sister Nancy and her husband Brian live in Sheldon, IA.
6. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose to live?
Iowa. I'm a proud Iowa boy and appreciate the good people and beautiful landscape.
7. Tell us about one "aha" moment while attending auction school.
I never really thought about the auction chant as really a conversation between two bidders. It seems simple and in hindsight, it's pretty obvious. However, you have a bid from someone and you are asking someone else for a bid and you keep going. It's more than talking fast or selling. It's a conversation. Realizing this helped me focus on what was actually important in developing my own chant.
8. Do you have a favorite quote that motivates you each day?
I always like the quote, "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito" - Dalai Lama
9. How many siblings do you have?
3 siblings. Proud to say I get along with all of them, too!
10. Do you have a favorite auction company, if so, which one and why?
I grew up attending many of Vander Werff and Associates auctions in Northwest Iowa and have always enjoyed Rich Vander Werff, Todd Hatterman, and John Schuck who are apart of that team. I consider them to be the preeminent auctioneers in the area. However, as I enjoy going to purebred swine auctions, it is hard to top Howard Parrish, Kevin Wendt, and Dan Baker who are national auctioneers from the Indiana and Ohio areas.