Ridge Bollheimer Wins Michigan Auctioneer Championship & Michigan Ringman Championship!
Mount Pleasant, Michigan – Ridge Bollheimer of Clarklake, Michigan, won the titles of Michigan Auctioneer Champion and Michigan Ringman Champion for the year 2023. This is the first time that one contestant has won both competitions in the same night! The Championships took place on February 3 at the Michigan Auctioneers Association Annual Conference held at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. The 5 Finalists in the Auctioneer Division were Kurt Mingerink (Byron Center, MI), Caleb DeKorne (Cedar Springs, MI), Ridge Bollheimer (Clarklake, MI), Colt Johnson (Clare, MI) and Darby Walton (Upper Sandusky, OH). For winning the title Michigan Auctioneer Champion, Bollheimer received a championship buckle, trophy, and he will compete in the International Auctioneer Championship in July in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The contestants were judged by accomplished auctioneers, including National Auctioneers Association Director, Mike Fisher, International Auctioneer Champion, Bryan Knox, Michigan champions Art Smith and Doug Sheridan and perhaps the worlds most recognizable Ringman, Sam “The Hitman” Grasso. The Michigan Ringman Championship contestants were judged on four categories: Crowd/Buyer Interaction, Performance, Relaying Bids and Communication with their Auctioneer, and Appearance/Presence. Also taking home honors were Brad Stoecker (Dimondale, MI), 1st Runner Up, and Greg Holiday (Belleville, MI), 2nd Runner Up.
Not to be confused with a ‘Bid Spotter’ – the professional Ringman is an occupation in the auction industry essential to professionally conducted auction events. In layman terms, the auction ringman works in unison with the auctioneer. The Ringman is a skilled negotiator who is confident, energetic, and assertive to help make the bid happen instead of simply waiting for the bid to happen.
Ridge Bollheimer was born and raised in Clarklake, Michigan. He was first introduced to the world of auctioneering at a young age, while attending many livestock and machinery auctions with his father. Ridge continued to enjoy the energetic atmosphere of auctions and the world of outdoorsmen, as he showed 4-H in his scholastic years, became an avid hunter, and went on to attend Jackson College and The Ohio Auction School. He received an Associates Degree in Business Administration and completed the program for auctioneering. From selling his toy animals to his family, to preparing 4-H livestock for sale to the local communities, and finally to taking the stage himself, auctioneering has always been a strong passion for Ridge.
Ridge launched his official auctioneer career when joining the Michigan Auctioneers Association and continued his devotion for the outdoors with the purchase of his own farm, Lane View Farm, located in Lake Somerset, Michigan. His seasonal dedication to Legends Ranch as a whitetail hunting guide, and the founding of Sunshine Acres sunflower fields with his fiancé Lindsay Meckley keeps their entrepreneurship moving forward. At just 26 years old, Ridge has been a member of the Michigan Auctioneers Association for 6 years and has continued to engage in strengthening his auction services while competing for the MAA. Achieving both the Auctioneer and Ringman Championship in the same night was a dream come true! His goal for this year is to expand his footprint to the communities of fundraising and benefits, while continuing to improve the abilities of his services while promoting the auction industry.
Established in 1951, the Michigan Auctioneers Association is dedicated to the enhancement of Michigan’s Auction Industry through education, promotion, advocacy and networking. The MAA is the professional association for auctioneers in Michigan, continuing to be one of the leaders in the industry, and is proving to continue in that direction in the future. The Michigan Auctioneers Association is the largest representation of auctioneers in Michigan, providing a forum for networking, sharing ideas and experiences. For more information about the Michigan Auctioneers Association and the auction industry in Michigan, log onto www.FindMichiganAuctions.com.