The Mississippi Auctioneers Association held its annual convention March 4, at the Ebenezer’s restaurant in Jackson.

The winter conference is the most anticipated event of the MAA’s year, as members and non-members alike gather together to hear world class guest speakers, network with like-minded professionals, elect officers and board members, and attend the spectacular bid-calling competition known as the Mississippi State Auctioneer Championship.

This year, about two dozen industry leaders were in attendance. The meeting was opened by President William Head, Jr. of Head Auctions, Flora, with a silent prayer. The convention welcomed a guest speaker before entering into round table discussion of topics affecting the auction industry. New officers were elected for 2016 after a brief lunch catered by Ebenezer’s. Forest native and Nanih Waiya resident Courtney Jo Weaver was elected as the new president of MAA. Henry Redmond of Poplarville and Brett Hollingsworth of Forest, were named vice president and secretary/treasurer respectively. The Association also voted in four new board members: Johnny Wright, Ovett; William Head, Jr., Flora; Corbert D.Hollingsworth, Forest; and Steve Ryals, Brooklyn, were elected to the Associations board of directors.

The MAA holds bid calling contests annually auctioning donated items to raise money for a charity voted on by the attending members. When the final gavel fell, Steve Ryals took home the top honor as the 2016 Mississippi State Champion Auctioneer. Johnny Wright was awarded the distinction of Mississippi State Rookie Auctioneer Champion. The contest raised more than 680 dollars to be donated to the Wahabi Shriners Hospital in Shreveport, La, more than doubling funds raised during last year’s championship fundraiser.

For more information about the Mississippi Auctioneers Association, visit mississippiauctioneers.org.