A childhood dream was realized when Brent Graves attended auction school. As a young boy growing up in North Texas it was more common to find Brent at a cattle auction, equipment auction or estate auction. The rhythmic chant of the auctioneer and the control they maintained over the sales process was intriguing to a young boy learning about the world long before the internet. “Growing up our family attended a good number of registered cattle auctions conducted by the late Col. Eddie Wood, I wanted to be just like him. Col. Wood always wore a starched white shirt and blue jeans, he was admired by sellers and buyers alike. He would take command of the auction block and sell for hours without a break. He made it look easy.”
After attending Texas Tech University, Brent entered corporate America for a few years before attending auction school. “I left auction school in May and quite my full-time corporate job in July to become an auctioneer, it’s all I could think about. I realized I could not give my employer 100% and that wasn’t for to them.” Brent went to work as many auctioneers do, contracting their services by the day. He worked for smaller, regional auction firms for the experience and whatever they would pay. “I was very blessed early on to work for some of the undisputed best auctioneers in the world, the money wasn’t bad but the experience was priceless.” As a contract auctioneer Brent began working the wholesale automobile auctions in west Texas and New Mexico calling three auctions per week while working for other auctioneers on the weekends. “I enjoyed the experience of the wholesale auto auctions, it made me a better auctioneer for sure. I wanted to build an auction company and working three sometimes four car auctions per week was not conducive to building an auction company.”
With his wife Ashley by his side, Brent quit the car auction circuit and dove in head first building Alliance. While experience had shown Brent & Ashley what to do in the auction business, it also taught them what not to do when it comes to business dealings. A passion for the auction method of marketing, a love for rural land and the upmost respect for clients and customers alike Alliance was formed. Today the Alliance team offers a full buffet of auction marketing products to serve the specific needs of each client and reach as many customers as possible in an effort to “Exceed Expectations” of sellers and buyers alike.
Along the journey, Brent has been recognized as a leader in the auction industry. He was crowned the Texas State Champion Auctioneer in 2004 and was ranked in the top 25 auctioneers internationally in 2005. Brent has given back to the industry that he is so passionate about serving on the Texas Auctioneer’s Association board of directors from 2006 until retiring from service as the association’s president in 2013. As the president of the largest professional auctioneer’s association in Texas Brent established the first functional legislative action committee in the association’s 55 year history. Under Brent’s leadership the Texas Auctioneer Law was dramatically changed and brought up to modern standards for the first time since 1978.
Brent has been honored to be a featured speaker at the National Realtor’s Land Institute Convention, the National Land Auction Summit as well as teach numerous continuing education classes and auction school for aspiring auctioneers.
Today, Brent and Ashley make their home in Stephenville, Texas where each follow their passion for helping others. Brent in the auction business and Ashley serves as the Executive Director of Choices Life Resource Center, Stephenville’s Christ Centered Pro-Life Ministry, “God made me to be an auctioneer, he made Ashley with a heart to help young women and save babies” says Brent when asked about Ashley’s career. Together, Brent and Ashley raise their two beautiful daughters who each attend Huckabay ISD and participate in athletics, 4H and Stock Horse events. They are members of the First Baptist Church of Stephenville.
Lanny Zant – Auction Manager/Realtor
A native of the South Plains of Texas, Lanny attended Texas Tech University majoring in Agricultural Education before embarking on a 20 year career as a cotton producer. Lanny farmed over 2,000 acres of irrigated and dryland cotton while also working as an auction manager for Alliance in west Texas. Lanny and his wife of 18 years relocated to central Texas and make their home near Hico along with their two school aged children. Lanny has a keen knowledge for production farms and ranches and focuses his sales efforts on such properties. The Zant family is active in Hico ISD activities, livestock shows and Grace Bible Fellowship.
Mandi Strand – Office Manager/Realtor
Having spent her life acquiring experience around passionate and purposeful people and having the exposure to various business cultures and diversified professionals ensures her comfort level in working for a wide variety of organizations. She is a client minded professional who builds trust relationships, is dedicated to continuous improvement, and has a vision for success. Some of her business strengths consist of strong work ethic, compassion, leadership, and loyalty. Obtained her Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Services and Development from Tarleton State University in 2004. Mandi is a devoted member of Lingleville Baptist Church.
Katlyn Gast – Marketing Director
Growing up on a farm outside of Austin, Texas, Katlyn fostered a love for agriculture and animals. She grew up playing softball and riding horses avidly competing in saddle seat, hunter/jumper, team roping and barrel racing. Throughout her high school career Katlyn served on the Elgin FFA Horse Judging team, eventually winning state and 6th place individual, and advanced to Nationals. She is a recent graduate of Tarleton State University with a degree in Agricultural Services and Development and double minor in English and communications. She is a current graduate student in the Agricultural Consumer Sciences program at Tarleton State. Her degrees are focused on agricultural communications, journalism, graphic design and video production. Katlyn’s media and news stories have been published in several places including Texas FFA News, RFD-TV, Texan News Service and Stephenville Empire-Tribune. Katlyn is passionate about informing others about agricultural practices while deflecting misinformation about the industries. She is a team player who is devoted to creating impeccable advertisements and media that contribute to the growth of the company.