Kurt Aumann is our President and the Chairman of our Board of Directors, positions he has held since our inception. He grew up in the auction industry and graduated from auction school in 1982. After graduation, Kurt joined Aumann Auctions Inc., located in Nokomis, Illinois. In 1995, Kurt was promoted to CEO and started the transition of the company from a small local firm to the current international concern that it is today. Kurt has an impressive depth of professional experience in asset classes of all types. He is a Life Member of the National and Illinois Auctioneers Associations and has held numerous leadership positions in that organization. He has instructed for Lincoln Land Community College, the Certified Auctioneers Institute at Indiana University as well as numerous seminars across the country. Kurt is actively involved in consulting with other industries about the auction profession. He was instrumental in the development of the online auction industry and has worked with several companies as a software development and performance consultant. Kurt is involved in several community efforts including serving as a director for the Bank of Hillsboro, Hillsboro Area Hospital and the Fusion Health & Fitness Board, a non-profit community fitness center. He is an avid reader and has written two books. He is married to Kelly and has three sons, three stepdaughters and enjoys numerous hobbies.
J. J. Dower is the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer on our Board of Directors. J. J. became a professional auctioneer and real estate agent in 1986. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Leadership studies from Lincoln Memorial University. In 1988 he received his real estate brokers license and he became a Certified Auctioneers Institute (CAI) auctioneer in 1991. J.J. earned the Accredited Auctioneer Real Estate (AARE) designation and has been active in the real estate and auction business for 25 years. He is presently a partner in Ayers Auction and Real Estate, which has been in continuing operation for more than 57 years. J. J.'s specialty is real estate development with an emphasis on subdividing raw land to sell at auction. J. J. is a past president of the Tennessee Auctioneers Association and also the past president of the National Auctioneers Association. He is currently serving on the board of the National Auctioneers Foundation. J. J. has also been a presenter at a CAI continuing education seminar, the NAA Conference and Show, and at over 30 state conventions. J. J.'s business ventures also include a Hampton Inn franchises and commercial and residential investment properties. J. J. is married to Traci Dower and has two daughters, Addison (husband Matt ) and Alissa (husband Nathaniel).
J. Chris Pracht, IV is, and has been, a Professional Real Estate Auctioneer and Estate Specialist for over 35 years. He is the owner of Chris Pracht Auctioneers, Realty & Auction, LLC, with his main offices in Anderson and contact offices in Camden and Charleston, South Carolina with a professional team of associates nationwide. Chris is a Director/Stockholder and Co-founder of International Auction Marketing Inc,., DBA MarkNet Alliance. Chris has served as President of the South Carolina Auctioneers Association and was inducted into the SOUTH CAROLINA AUCTIONEERS HALL OF FAME in 2007. Chris Pracht was named the South Carolina Grand Champion Auctioneer winning the State title at the 40th Anniversary State Convention in Columbia, South Carolina, 2014. He served on the National Auctioneers Association Board of Directors, has served as Treasurer of the National Auctioneers Association, and was the first Chairman of the National Auctioneers Association Education Institute Board of Trustees. Chris was awarded THE NAA PRESIDENT AWARD OF DISTINCTION in 2004 and 2015. In 2009 he received the CAI-Distinguished Faculty Award at Indiana University. He is a graduate of Missouri Auction School. Chris is a lifelong member of the NAA and holds the CAI, AARE, and CES designations. Chris Pracht has spoken Nationwide for the NAA and travels and consults on multi-parcel method of sale. Chris Pracht is a current CAI instructor and has taught the CES (Certified Estate Specialist) and AARE (Accredited Auctioneer Real Estate) designation courses and has presented The Expert Witness & Courts in Federal Court in Charleston, South Carolina. Chris is an approved instructor by the South Carolina Real Estate Commission and South Carolina Auctioneers Association. Chris has worked for over a decade with children with cancer and blood disorders. He was elected the youngest member of the South Carolina House of Representatives at the age of 21 in 1976, where he served eight years. Chris has a BA degree in Government from Wofford College. Chris is a Rotarian and Paul Harris fellow. Chris Pracht has one son, Christopher, who is a lawyer and is general counsel for International Auction Marketing Inc., DBA MarkNet Alliance. Chris raises and works American Brittany Spaniels in the field.
Matt Corso has served as Chief Executive Officer for MarkNet Alliance since 2015. Previously he was the Chief Operating Officer for MarkNet Alliance since the company's inception in 2007. Prior to his employment with MarkNet Alliance, Matt served as the Chief Operating Officer of Aumann Auctions Inc., a nationwide auction firm specializing in several niche markets as well as real estate. Matt has completed the Certified Auctioneers Institute program held at the University of Indiana in Bloomington, IN and earned the CAI designation. He is a licensed auctioneer in the state of Illinois and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Auctioneers Association. As a NAA Director Matt speaks around the country at state auction association conferences on topics such as business development, productivity and mobile technology. Matt served on the Board of Directors and as the managing editor for the Breeze-Courier Newspaper in Taylorville, Illinois for seven years prior to his work at Aumann Auctions. He has mentored grade-school children through the Taylorville Mentoring Program and taught youth classes in his local church. He currently serves on the school board for VisionWay Christian School and leads the praise band for his church. Matt is married to Heidi and they have 6 children, Gracie, Mylie, Isaac, Piper, Paisley and Primrose.
Jeremy Piatt is the Chief Operating Officer and leads the technology support team for MarkNet Alliance. Jeremy's experience includes 15 years in the business world, including project management, information technology, negotiations and retail management. Jeremy is a member of the National Auctioneers Association and is pursuing his CAI designation. He obtained a Bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Springfield and is currently working on his Masters in Business Administration through Southern New Hampshire University. Jeremy enjoys hunting, fishing and playing basketball and has served on the Vision Way School Board as well as Taylorville Christian Church Elder Board. Jeremy is married to Beth and they have 3 children, Liam, Amos, and Emilia.
Claire is the Marketing Director and Customer Service Director for MarkNet Alliance. She has extensive experience in marketing and communications. Claire has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she studied communications and journalism. Claire has worked in corporate communications, marketing and advertising. She also has experience as an account executive and project manager. Claire is a dedicated animal rescuer and advocate, volunteering for local groups who transport dogs from high-kill shelters to rescues who help find them new homes. Claire is married to Thomas.
Jerry Lowry is the Chief Communications Officer managing franchisee recruitment and account development. Jerry joined MarkNet Alliance in 2018 after a successful 29-year career as a franchise business owner managing all aspects of day-to-day operations. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in finance from Illinois State University. He has served on various community boards and is a volunteer assistant for local high school sports teams. Jerry is married with two daughters and is an avid runner.
Austyn Niccolls is the Lead Programmer for MarkNet Alliance. Austyn previously did computer programming for the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault and worked for AT&T and Best Buy. He is pursuing his Bachelor’s in computer programming for the University of Illinois at Springfield. Austyn enjoys playing basketball and computer games in his spare time.
Kelsey Goldsmith is the Senior Tech Support Specialist for MarkNet Alliance. Kelsey received her Bachelor’s degree in Computer & Information Systems with a minor in Digital Media from Greenville College. Kelsey has worked for the Greenville College IT Support Center and served as the Digital Media Department Assistant. Kelsey is an active member of the First Baptist Church of Nokomis where she has taken on many different roles over the years, such as youth leader and website manager. When not at work or school, Kelsey likes to spend time with family and friends. Kelsey is married to Dylan.
David Anderson is a Programmer for MarkNet Alliance. He received his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Huntington University in 2016. David has worked in the IT department at Huntington University and also as a programmer for SonSet Solutions before joining MarkNet Alliance in 2018. In his free time, David likes to play video games with his friends and spend time with his family.