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Next week is by far my favorite conference of the year. The Industrial Auctioneers Association is a group of the best firms in our world. Just once a year we attend a conference without bringing a booth or pitch materials. Just a great business and social event where everyone gets to puff their chest and say how great a year they had. Except me. It’s the one place I feel the most humble. Once upon a time I had the arrogant idea that competitors were slowing us down and we should simply buy them all. I actually tried to do it. Everyone knows that story. Kirk and I climbed that ladder together one rung at a time. We got to the top right when the ladder teetered and crashed head first on cement. Fortunately we are Doves and hard headed enough to just put the ladder back up, open HGP and step back on it. Older and wiser, we now know how important partners and colleagues are to keep the ladder sturdy. Competition is now fun. I embrace the challenge and have learned that losing a deal can teach even more than winning – that often collaboration benefits both not only us but our colleagues and the client. That does not mean I don’t want in all my heart to insure HGP stands tall. Just now we are ok sharing the podium with the best of the best. Time to have a few beers, some good laughs and be humble enough to maybe even learn something new from a peer. It has been a great year for not just HGP but our industry. We can all make a toast to the growth of industrial auctions. However if you have a deal, no need to call any of our competitors – HGP will let you know if we need any help. Cheers. RD