Local auctioneer wins state championship
Stephen LaRaviere is an auctioneer following in the footsteps of his dad, uncle and grandpa.
He said, "It was a way of life, that's all I knew - it was all we ever did and the only thing I ever wanted to be."
That life started before LaRaviere entered kindergarten - he auctioned his first chicken at just four-years-old. Since then, LaRaviere has gone on to auction other livestock, furniture, and now focuses on real estate.
And recently, he got into competitions.
"I never expected to win it but at the end of the night, I walked away with the trophy," said LaRaviere.
He is now the 2020 Virginia Auctioneer Champion. He might not have expected to win, but his father sure did.
"I guess growing up in the auction business he's gotten really good, I hate to say it, but I think he passed his dad up," said Stephen's father, Matthew LaRaviere.
LaRaviere was one of nine contestants judged on what he calls "more than just talking fast."
"They judge from your appearance to how you handle yourself on stage, your opening statement, how you describe your items; those things are a huge part of your score," said LaRaviere.
Now that LaRaviere holds the title and the trophy, he has a mission.
"Just young professionals - I'd love to prove to them that auctioneers are not a thing of the past; they're a thing of the future."
Stephen is now in charge of planning next year's competition.