Special to the Journal
A fast-talking 13-year-old from Belton is the youngest licensed auctioneer in the state.
For Thomas Gallaway the lightning fast pace comes easy — auctioneering is the family “bidness.”
His father Trey Gallaway graduated the Texas Auction Academy in Dallas in 1998. Now, 18 years later, Thomas is among the alumni too.
What makes this story unique is that Thomas becomes the youngest male to graduate the auction school that has graduated over 2,000 individuals interested in becoming a professional auctioneer.
Because of his age and school policy, his mother Julie was planning on sitting in the back of the room acting as Thomas’ chaperone but after a morning of sitting through classes and encouragement from his classmates, she decided to join the group, sat through endless hours of lections, number drills and tongue twisters to graduate right alongside Thomas.
When asked about Thomas’ interest in attending auctioneering school, his father Trey said, “Attending the TAA boosted Thomas’ confidence in his auctioneering skills and knowledge. In addition to his clerking and technology expertise that he currently contributes to the family businesses, Thomas now plans to work as a Ringman and call bids during our auctions. This experience has united our family and brought us closer together. Thomas has wanted to attend auctioneer school from a very young age because he loves to learn and is eager to take on new challenges.”
Thomas attends North Belton Middle School in Belton ISD and will be in the eighth grade this coming school year. He excels academically and enjoys playing the saxophone and being a part of theater productions at his school.
“He couldn’t have had a better mentor than his father Trey,” said Mike Jones, president and school director. “I still remember when he attended the school back in February 1998 and I knew then he had what it would take to make it. He has been one of our most accomplished graduates, winning the Texas State Championship in 2010 and the World Automobile Auctioneer Championship in 2013. I was fortunate to have been in attendance at both events.”
“My father was in the car business and I went to auctions with him on a regular basis,” said Trey Gallaway. “I was always drawn to the auctioneers chant. After years of talking to the auctioneer and asking ‘how do you do that?’ and ‘what exactly are you saying?,’ he told me that I should go to auctioneer school and see if it was for me.”
After graduating the Texas Auction Academy, the senior Gallaway started out as a Ringman and worked until he got his chance on the Auction Block. After a good showing, he moved up to Auctioneer at all of his car sales. According to Gallaway, he started selling two auto auctions a week and last year called 269 auto auctions.
“I am a first generation Auctioneer and there hasn’t been anyone in our family to ever be in the auction business, but now my oldest son Thomas is following the new family trend and I couldn’t be prouder,” said Gallaway. “Having Julie become an Auctioneer is not something I planned but it is already proving to be paying dividends because of her increased knowledge of the industry.” Gallaway is also a state approved instructor at the Texas Auction Academy and had the opportunity to work one on one with Thomas and Julie during their training.
In summing up her experience, new Auctioneer Julie Gallaway said, “I have a new appreciation for the auction industry and the level of difficulty involved in conducting and calling auctions. As a mother and occupational therapist, I am accustomed to multitasking, but I never realized the demands this profession faces. The encouragement and professional growth I received from TAA was incredible.”
The June 2016 TAA class also made history by having the two youngest students to ever attend and graduate the auction school, Thomas at age thirteen, the youngest male and eleven year old Annalyssa Holliday of Sparta, Wisconsin the youngest female.
The Gallaways live in Belton with their two sons, Thomas and Trent. Trey is managing partner for Central Texas Auction Services, LLC and United Country-Central Texas Auction and Realty. According to Trey, his youngest Trent has already asked him when does he get to attend auction school.
The Texas Auction Academy was established in 1992 by Hall of Fame Auctioneer Mike Jones with the goal of offering first class Professional Auctioneer and Ringman training. The school has an international strategic partnership with United Country Real Estate and offers training three times per year. Students have traveled from across America, China, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Iran and Mexico to attend the school.
To learn more about the Texas Auction Academy go to www.texasauctionacademy.com or call 972-387-4200.
The Owners and Instructors of the Texas Auction Academy are proud members of the National Auctioneers Association and their respected state associations. The Texas Auction Academy is Texas Workforce Commission approved.