Our Team
The Simple & Stress-Free Way to Buy & Sell Real Estate
Photo of John Nicholls

John Nicholls

  • President

John S. Nicholls is President of Nicholls Auction Marketing Group, Inc., and oversees all day to day operations of the company. A second generation auctioneer, John earned a Bachelor and Master degrees, and graduated from the World Wide College of Auctioneering and served as one of the school's featured instructors for several years. John currently conducts over 350 auctions per year for Fortune 500 companies and is a licensed Realtor. Under John's leadership, Nicholls Auction was named Business of the Year by the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce. John is an active member and past President of the National Auctioneers Association, and also holds the following designations:  Graduate of Certified Auctioneers Institute (less than 1% of all auctioneers hold this designation), Accredited Auctioneer of Real Estate and Auction Technology Specialist.  John also is a past President and Chairman of the Board of the Virginia Auctioneers Association. In addition, John has been a featured speaker at many state auctioneer associations throughout the country. and has had the honor to represent the auction profession on the TODAY Show, the National Association of Realtors Convention, St. Judes Children's Research Hospital, multiple news publications, and on a real estate auction consulting trip to South Africa. John is active at Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, VA, and serves on several Boards of Directors and Advisory Committees in his community. Some of John's honors include the following: 1994 Virginia State Champion Auctioneer, 2003 Virginia Auctioneer of the Year, 2003 World Automobile Auctioneer Champion (Nashville, TN), 2006-07 NAA Men's Division Champion of the International Auctioneer's Championship (Orlando, FL), 2015 National Auto Auction Association's Bernie Hart Memorial Auctioneer of the Year Award, 2016 Virginia Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame Inductee, 2023 National Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame and World Wide College of Auctioneering Hall of Fame.

Photo of Charles Nicholls

Charles Nicholls

  • Founder and Chairman of the Board

Charles Nicholls is the founder and chairman of the board of Nicholls Auction Marketing Group. He, along with his wife Jean, founded the company in 1968 and together they have devoted their professional lives to building a successful business. Charles graduated from the Reisch Auctioneering School (now World Wide College of Auctioneering) in Mason City, IA, in 1968. He is a member of the National Auctioneers Association and the Virginia Auctioneers Association where he has served on the Board of Directors and numerous committees. For 40 years, Charles Nicholls was the head auctioneer at the two largest auto auctions in the state of Virginia. He is a licensed realtor, a certified appraiser by C.A.G.A., and one of the first holders of the Contract Auction Specialist designation. Charles is a trustee and active member of Spotswood Baptist Church, and he is very active in the Fredericksburg community serving many non-profit organizations for 50 years. He was awarded the Bernie Hart Memorial Award by the National Automobile Auction Association in October 2004 in Nashville, TN. This award recognizes a lifetime of superior achievement, leadership, and overall professionalism in the industry. In 2006, Charles was honored by being named to the Virginia Auctioneer's Hall of Fame. Charles, a gifted teacher and mentor to many, is a true legend in the world of auctioneering.

Photo of Shields Jones

Shields Jones

  • Director of Marketing

Shields Jones, a graduate of Virginia Tech, joined Nicholls Auction Marketing Group in 1984, after being raised as a second generation auctioneer in the business. Shields is an active member of the Virginia Auctioneers Association, and is a Past President. After a stellar career with the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., Shields currently serves as an Executive Assistant for NAMG, and works closely with the day to day operations of the company. Shields possesses an expertise in all forms of Internet and world wide web marketing, print media, public relations, visual and audio media, and various other advertising outlets. He also came to Nicholls with an expertise in antiques and glassware and also works closely with Nicholls' estate auction division. Shields also has a passion for the State 4H programs, and serves several chapters throughout Virginia.

Photo of Kelly Strauss

Kelly Strauss

    Kelly Strauss is a real estate sales partner and the firm's Auction Coordinator. He joined the company in 1998, after graduating from the World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, IA. He served a three year term on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Auctioneer's Association, and is an active member of the National Auctioneers Association. In 2000, Kelly was awarded with the title Virginia Rookie Auctioneer of the Year. He was also awarded the 2009/10 Virginia State Champion Auctioneer. In his 25 year sales career, Kelly has attended various sales schools from Birmingham, AL to Dublin, OH. He is active in his church and community serving on the Board of Directors at the King George County YMCA, a past member of the King George County Planning Commission, the King George Chamber of Commerce and was Den Leader for the Cub Scouts. Kelly also holds certification in bi-lingual auctioneering (Spanish) from the World Wide College of Auctioneering. In addition to his love for real estate auctions, Kelly also conducts many automobile auctions for Fortune 500 Companies.

    Photo of Tony Wilson

    Tony Wilson

      Grover A. "Tony" Wilson is a real estate partner and a life-long resident of Orange County Virginia. Tony is a successful business person in the region and has been for over 30 years. In the spring of 2008, Tony was named “Business Person of the Year” by the Orange County Chamber of Commerce. Tony has an extensive background in marketing, management and sales, including completion of the “Management Success” Training School in Glendale, CA.  Tony is a member of the Virginia Auctioneers Association and the National Auctioneers Association.  Tony holds the following National Auctioneer Association designations:  CAI(Certified Auctioneers Institute), CES(Certified Estate Specialist), AARE(Accredited Auctioneer, Real Estate), and ATS (Auction Technology Specialist).  Tony is very active in community service related activities, and is a life member at his local volunteer fire department where he has held various offices to include Capitan and President.  He also served on the board of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, and the Orange County Economic Development Authority. Tony is past President of the Virginia Auctioneers Association, Virginia Auto Recyclers Association as well as the Orange Business Exchange.

      Photo of Craig Damewood

      Craig Damewood

        Craig Damewood, a life-long resident of Loudoun County, VA, is a 1978 graduate of Reppert's School of Auctioneering in Auburn, IN. In addition to real estate expertise, Craig has an astute 30 year auction knowledge of antiques, farm and heavy equipment, and estate liquidations. Craig conducts 250+ auctions per year for Fortune 500 companies in Virginia and large corporations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Craig is an active member in the National Auctioneers Association and the Virginia Auctioneers Association where he served as 2004 President , 2005 Chairman of the Board, and numerous committee assignments. Some of Craig's many accomplishments include: 1999 Virginia State Champion Auctioneer, 2003 Virginia Auctioneer of the Year, and 2012 Inductee into the Virginia Auctioneer's Association Hall of Fame.

        Photo of Brian Damewood

        Brian Damewood

          After spending several years as a television news reporter, Brian Damewood picked up the auction gavel. He works at four weekly auto auctions, and handles the marketing and online bidding for Damewood Auctioneers. Brian conducts benefit and fundraising auctions which have taken him as far south as Florida. In 2023, Brian won the International Auctioneering Championship competing with more than 70 competitors.

          In 2012, the Virginia Auctioneers Association(VAA) named Brian its "Auctioneer of the Year". He serves as the VAA's Chairman of the Board, and is an active member of the National Auctioneers Association. Brian attended auction school at the World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa. He is now living in Purcellville, VA with his wife Catherine,daughter, Penelope, and son, Henry. He is a 2004 graduate of Loudoun Valley High School. Brian graduated from Virginia Tech in 2008 with a B.A. in Communication and a minor in Real Estate.

          Photo of Sid Smyth

          Sid Smyth

            Sid Smyth is a lifelong resident of South Central Virginia living in Lunenburg County, and has been a full-time real estate Broker since 1999. In 2008, Sid received his Master’s Degree in Business from Virginia Commonwealth University with a concentration in real estate valuation, finance, and development. Sid graduated from the East Coast School of Auctioneering in 2003, is a graduate of CAI (Certified Auction Institute) in 2013 and has an AARE (Accredited Auctioneer in Real Estate) designation. Sid is active in Masons, Boy Scouts and serves on several community boards. He has an office at 1808 Main St. in Victoria and 205B North Main St. in Farmville, where he represents Nicholls Auction Marketing Group and Long and Foster Realtors.

            Photo of Lee Smyth

            Lee Smyth

              Realtor®, Lee Smyth currently serves areas in and surrounding Nottoway, Mecklenburg, Brunswick, Lunenburg, all located in Virginia, and Northern North Carolina. Lee has always held client satisfaction as his highest priority and works hard to make the entire home-buying and selling experience as productive and enjoyable as possible.  Clients working with Lee never fail to appreciate his friendly demeanor, professional integrity and incredible work ethic.

              Prior to his career in real estate, Lee Smyth earned his BA in Business Administration in Marketing from Radford University in 2005, followed by working in sales with Sunbelt Rentals as one of their top performers. Today, Lee works alongside his father, Sid Smyth, a respected name in the real estate industry.  Lee's extensive knowledge and experience allow him to handle a wide range of clients and situations.  Whether his clients are looking for a home for the very first time or they're seasoned investors, Lee works tirelessly to accommodate all of their needs and exceed their expectations.  Having grown up in Kenbridge, VA, Lee knows the local housing market well; he always manages to find his clients those hidden gems other real estate agents tend to overlook. 

              Lee values all of his clients and strives to build strong, lasting relationships with them.  Lee knows how much his clients put on the line when they invest in a home; he works closely with them every step of the way, making the otherwise overwhelming process completely stress-free. Lee is truly passionate about what he does and loves finding the best homes for his clients and their families.

              When Lee isn't hard at work he enjoys going hunting, fishing and hiking.  More than anything, Lee loves spending quality time with his amazing wife and their incredible son.  Lee also finds time to give back to the community by supporting charities like the American Cancer Society and Habitat for Humanity. 

              For inquiries, please don't hesitate to contact Lee Smyth at 919-208-9417.

              Photo of Chelsea Wilson Kearns

              Chelsea Wilson Kearns

                Chelsea Wilson Kearns serves as the Director of Marketing for all Nicholls Auction Marketing Group properties. Chelsea holds the Auction Marketing Management designation from the National Auctioneers Association, and is proficient in advanced Facebook and Google marketing, online metrics, and traditional marketing. Chelsea meticulously analyzes marketing trends and data from outside of the auction industry and adapts them to help Nicholls stay relevant in today’s ever changing and developing market.  Because of Chelsea's consistent analysis and marketing expertise, Nicholls consistently produces large potential buyer pools and greater financial returns for our sellers. When not working, Chelsea enjoys tent camping with her husband and two dogs, flying, and spending time with her friends and family.

                Photo of Spencer Wilson

                Spencer Wilson

                  Spencer Wilson resides in Orange County VA, and is a member of the Virginia Auctioneers Association and National Auctioneers Association.  Spencer was named the 2018 Virginia Rookie Auctioneer Champion and the 2019 Virginia Ringman Champion. Spencer has many talents and is very versatile serving several roles in the company as well as running the online bidding at our auction events. When not pursuing his passion of the auction business and helping other, Spencer enjoys fishing and the outdoors with his dog.

                  Photo of Josh Puffenbarger

                  Josh Puffenbarger

                    Josh Puffenbarger is a real estate partner serving the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and a life long resident of Augusta County, VA.  Josh graduated from Missouri Auction School and the Moseley Flint School of Real Estate. He is a active member of the National Auctioneers Association and the Virginia Auctioneers Association, currently serving on the board of directors.  As a full time professional auctioneer, Josh works for Fortune 500 companies as a contract auctioneer and is the lead auctioneer at Virginia's largest livestock market. Josh was named the 2015-2016 Virginia State Auctioneer Champion and awarded the 2016 Virginia Auctioneer of the year. Josh is very involved with his church and community, and he is a member of Victory Fellowship Church serving on their board of directors. As a former member of the local Ruritan Club, Josh served as an officer on their board of directors and helped raise thousands of dollars for the organization and the community.

                    Photo of Bill Billingsley

                    Bill Billingsley

                      Bill Billingsley has resided in Central Virginia since 1992, currently residing in Mineral, Virginia.  He’s Founder and CEO of F.W. Billingsley and Company, Inc., a full-service auction company.  He has represented Nicholls Auction Marketing Group in Louisa County and surrounding locales since 2017.  He attended Mendenhall School of Auctioneering in 1994 and is the 1995 Virginia State Rookie Auctioneer, as well as the 1998-99 Virginia State Champion Auctioneer, and the 2007 Kentucky State Champion Auctioneer.  In addition to selling Real Estate, Bill has experience selling heavy equipment, registered cattle, fire arms, and personal property, as well as conducting commercial liquidations.   He’s a member of the Virginia Auctioneers Association and a past member of the National Auctioneers Association.
                      A decorated, multi-tour, veteran of the Vietnam War, Bill spent nearly 40 years of his life in service to our Country.  He is very active in a variety of charitable causes in his community and throughout the U.S.  He served as a member of the Virginia 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees for 6 years, serving as President of the Board the last 3 years.  He’s active in the Louisa County 4-H Livestock Club and has conducted the annual Louisa 4-H Livestock auction for the past 25 years.  He’s a member of Louisa Baptist Church, and volunteers his time assisting the youth group in his Church, as well as those in several neighboring churches.  His hobbies include golf and other outdoor activities, and spending time with his family, including his 6 grandchildren.

                      Photo of Ray Crouch

                      Ray Crouch

                        Ray is truly a self made man with 50+ years of business experience.  Ray prides himself in learning something from every situation and every business, and when needed, has taken formal training to help him be at the top of his field.  Ray has started many businesses from the ground up including auto sales, tire sales, 3 auto salvage yards and all aspects of the real estate industry.  Real estate has, by far, been his first love and the industry that he is most passionate about.  In his position with NAMG, Ray enjoys helping people buy and sell real estate and making the process fast and stress free.

                        Photo of Mark Mast

                        Mark Mast

                          Mark Mast is the Southwest Virginia real estate representative for Nicholls Auction Marketing Group.  Mark graduated from the World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, IA, in 2014.  In 2016 Mark was crowned as the Virginia State Champion Auctioneer.  Mark is an active member of the Virginia Auctioneers Association.  He conducts a produce auction twice per week from April thru October as well as a regular automobile auction.  Mark creates value through benefit and fundraising auctions for important causes.  Mark, his wife, Lynette, with their two children, Derrick and Alyson, reside in Botetourt County in Troutville, VA.  When not working, Mark loves to spend time with his family, travel, and play golf.  Mark is active in his community and is a member of Fincastle Mennonite Church serving on several boards and committees and is a school board member.

                          Photo of Bill Harlowe

                          Bill Harlowe

                            Bill Harlowe brings a storied auction career to the NAMG team. Bill has been a powerful force in the auction community in the Charlottesville and Central Virginia area for over 40 years. Bill was the founder and CEO of the highly respected and successful Harlow-Powell Auction Ltd. Bill is a 1968 graduate of the Reisch School of Auctioneering (now World Wide College of Auctioneering), the prestigious Certified Auctioneers Institute, and the Weaver Real Estate School. An active member of the Virginia Auctioneers Association, Bill has served as President, Board of Directors member, featured seminar instructor, and was honored by being enshrined into the Virginia Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame. Bill currently conducts several auctions each week, and is an active member of the Blue Ridge Mountain Rotary Club having served as President and Board member. Bill and his lovely wife, Roberta, are life long residents of the Charlottesville and Fluvanna County area of Virginia, and are active members of Beaver Dam Baptist Church where Bill serves as Deacon and Bible teacher.

                            Photo of Lisa Nicholls

                            Lisa Nicholls

                              Lisa handles all the day to day finances, payroll and real estate closings. Lisa earned her Bachelor's Degree, and has a extensive knowledge of the legal field, accounting and payroll.

                              Photo of Nick Arrington

                              Nick Arrington

                                A lifelong resident of Northern Virginia, Nick graduated from Madison College in 1976, and was involved with managing, and later owning, several power equipment dealerships including John Deere CP Dealerships in Fairfax and Loudoun County, VA. In 1988, he graduated from the Mendenhall School of Auctioneering, and later that year obtained his Virginia auctioneers license. In 1991, he decided to concentrate his efforts in the field of commercial asset recovery and worked “Slow/No Pay” accounts for several national lenders with a concentration in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. In 1992 he became a Bonded Sales Agent to the United States Bankruptcy Court, and has been working Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Cases for 30+ years. Nick has sold every conceivable type of machinery, inventory stock, and intellectual property in his tenure with the Courts. In addition, Nick has served as corporate auctioneer for several regional real estate brokerage companies. He is a firm believer in the auction method of marketing for all types of real estate. During the 1980’s through 2015 Nick served as Fleet Management Auctioneer for Prince William County, VA, and the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority. Nick has 45 years worth of experience in the field of antique car and motorcycle restoration, racing, judging and sales including vehicles and automotive gas and petroleum collectibles. Nick is the past President of the Regional Early Ford V-8 Club and current Editor of the award winning “Valve Clatter” newsletter.

                                Our people produce first class results

                                The term “excellence” has been a vital part of our company DNA since our inception in 1968. When we founded NAMG, the tag line “The Auction Professionals” defined our company. As you read about and get to know our team members, we hope excellence and professionalism come to the fore as being, still, the life blood of our firm. We count it a blessing and a privilege to work alongside these fine auction professionals.

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