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 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 36 years. He is presently a partner in Ayers Auction and Real Estate, which has been in continuing operation for more than 65 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, National Auctioneers Foundation, and also the past president of the National Auctioneers Association. 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. is also a member of the NAA Hall of Fame and was inducted into the National Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame in 2021. 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). He also has four grandchildren Dower, Chip, Annaleigh, and Benton.
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. He was inducted into the South Carolina Auctioneers Hall of Fame in 2007 and the National Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame in 2017. 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.
Jodi has worked in the auction industry for over 20 years. During her time with Aumann Auctions, she has served as an executive assistant, shipping manager, CEO, and Auction Manager. Jodi became an Illinois Licensed Auctioneer in 2021 and has managed real estate, personal property, and land transactions. Jodi is also the facilitator for the Montgomery CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) program. CEO is a year-long course designed to utilize partnerships that provide an overview of business development and processes. Jodi currently serves on the Cross Over Ministries Board, The Sources of Strength Steering Committee, and the Montgomery County Economic Development Committee and is an active member of the Central Illinois E-Rotary Club. During her free time, she can be found advocating for mental health and suicide prevention/awareness in our community in honor of her late son Kaden. Jodi and her husband Kris reside in rural Nokomis with their sons Kolin, Kyle & Konnor.
Claire is the Marketing / 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.
Austyn is the Chief Technology Officer for MarkNet Alliance. Austyn previously did computer programming for the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
Bradley is the Chief Financial Officer for MarkNet Alliance. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Blackburn College. He has held various roles in accounting, including working as an accounts receivable clerk for the Blackburn College business office. Bradley is also an active member of Cornerstone Ministries in Litchfield, where he and his wife serve in children’s ministry and on the praise and worship team. Away from work Bradley enjoys watching St. Louis Blues hockey and spending time with friends and family. Bradley is married to Alexis.
Jacob is the Senior Tech Support Specialist for MarkNet Alliance. He received his Bachelors of Business Administration with a minor in Marketing from The University of Illinois in Springfield. In the past, he has work in manufacturing and quality control where he learned to be detailed in his work. When he is not at the office, Jacob enjoys listening to podcasts, hiking and spending time with friends and family.
David is a Programmer for MarkNet Alliance. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Huntington University. David has previously worked in Tech Support for Huntington University and as a Programmer Intern for SonSet Solutions. He also serves in the Technology Department at Grace Baptist Church in Taylorville, IL. David is married to Dominique.
Alex is a Tech Support Specialist for MarkNet Alliance. Alex holds a Bachelors in Computer Management and Information Systems from Southern Illinois University. Alex's prior work experience ranges from Information Technology Specialist to Software and Hardware Help Desk to City of Springfield Technical Support where he handled technology needs for city agencies and the police department.
Mary Kate is a Marketing Coordinator for MarkNet Alliance. Mary Kate holds an Associates Degree in Fine Arts from Lincoln Land Community College. Mary Kate has experience in marketing from her previous position as the Marketing and Membership Director at the Christian County YMCA. She is also the Vice President of the Illinois Federation of Business Women - Taylorville Chapter. She enjoys making pottery and selling it at local shops & farmers markets. In her free time, she likes to go on walks with her dog, cook and read.
Sarah is the Member Support Specialist for MarkNet Alliance. Sarah has been in the auction industry for over 12 years, spending most of that time doing digital marketing. She's been with MarkNet Alliance for 2 years and specializes in helping members with Facebook and Google Ads marketing. She also manages the email marketing for MarkNet Alliance's subsidiary, Bid To Buy Guns. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two kids and two dogs.