Jodi L. Sweeney
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"Someone You Should Know" - KWWL
12.15.2008

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WAUKON (KWWL) -- Do I hear 20? How about 22? That is the age of an eastern Iowa woman taking the auctioneering world by storm.

Jodi Sweeney shattered the "barn" ceiling by winning the Iowa Auctioneer's Association Statewide Calling Contest. Not only was Sweeney the first woman to win, she was also the youngest person. She went on to win the international competition as well.

Meet Jodi Sweeney, someone you should know.

When you hear the word auctioneer, an old-fashioned picture may come to mind.

"They've grown up watching livestock options, the old cowboy in the hat," auctioneer Jodi Sweeney said. "My grandpa wore a cowboy hat. Not my style."

22-year-old Jodi Sweeney of Waukon has already changed that picture forever.

"I love it," she said. "It's really challenging. When I competed in Iowa and beat the guys it made me think 'maybe I am good at this.'"

In 2007, you could say Sweeney shattered the barn ceiling by winning the "Iowa Auctioneer's Association Statewide Calling Contest". Not only was Sweeney the first woman to win, she was also the youngest person to win.

"I like it, it just made it more challenging," she said. "For me to try and prove myself in this industry since I am female and so young."

As the daughter and granddaughter of auctioneers, this University of Northern Iowa senior grew up helping the family business "Sweeney Auction Service." After the state title, her attraction to auctioneering grew stronger, and so did her dedication.

"I do tongue-twister exercises for practice and drills. I do them in the car when I'm by myself because I have new roommates and they don't really like to hear me do it," she said.

I realized I would be the 3rd generation member and that just meant a lot to me," she said. "Something I wanted to do for myself and carry on."

And she carried on the family name proudly, competing as the youngest contestant in the women's division of the International Auctioneer's Contest in Nashville, Tennessee this summer.

Sweeney hoped to place, but she ended up taking the international first-place crown.

"I just love the rush of it," she said.

Using her talent for good, Sweeney just finished a toy auction for St. Jude Children's research Hospital.

Whether working for charity or competing internationally, with Jodi Sweeney calling the auction, it's as good as sold.

Besides majoring in finance and real estate at The University of Northern Iowa, Jodi Sweeney works for her parent's business, as well as for an auction service out of Des Moines.

Online Reporter: Sunny Layne

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