Best of the Best 2019 - CityView

The results are in! Our own Bear Stephenson was voted "Best Auctioneer" as Knoxville's Best of the Best 2019 in CityView Magazine.  Congratulations!

by Nathan Sparks. . ." This year we had an enormous surge of voter participation.  At times, we had over 25,000 voter per day, and the grand total was just under 380,000 votes It was by far our biggest turnout - ever! . . ."

. . . an interesting point about who is really the best and why. It is the “why” that consistently allows for fresh, more motivated talent to enter the winner’s circle. Traditional business models touted who they were and what they did or offered, but we would say that companies like Apple broke that mold. They started with “why,” and for the modern consumer this creates a bond through how they feel about the company’s actions. And when your customers believe in not only what you are doing, but why you are doing it–shazam–it’s like magic. They will follow you anywhere.

That kind of emotional loyalty builds modern brands. Customers tell you not only where they go, but why they go there.


In the “People” category:  Best Auctioneer – Bear Stephenson
Best of the Best
Gail Martin’s Champions of Hope Award Presented to Bear Stephenson

The Education Foundation for Clinton City and Anderson County Schools 

The Mission of the Foundation is to raise funds, foster academic development, invest beyond what tax dollars provide, develop teachers, encourage community involvement, and reward academic excellence.

On November 19, Kelly Johnson of Clinton City Schools awarded Bear Stephenson the Gail Martin’s Champions of Hope Award at the Education Foundation for Clinton City and Anderson County Schools’ annual breakfast. Bear was praised by Clinton City Schools for his ongoing support of South Clinton Elementary School, including a generous donation for a new digital communication sign.  Bear has a long standing history of supporting local schools, and it was an honor for him to receive this recognition.

Education Foundation Award 1
Clinton Courier-CHS Wall of Fame to Induct Four: Bostic, Human, Fowler, Stephenson to be enshrined


This year the Clinton High School Wall of Fame will induct four new members. They are Paul “Jenks” Bostic, Susan Fowler, W.D. Human, and William “Bear” Stephenson.

Established in 2004 as part of the school’s centennial celebration, the Wall of Fame seeks to honor CHS graduates who have distinguished themselves in their careers, as well as non-graduates who have had a significant influence on the school.

William “Bear” Stephenson is a 1966 graduate of Clinton High School where he was President of the state 4H Club and a delegate to Boys State. He was ultimately elected to the position of Boys State Governor – an honor few if any other Clintonians have shared.

Stephenson earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Tennessee Technological University. He served as President of his freshman class and as a student government officer. He was also a member of the U.S. Army R.O.T.C. program. Upon graduating in 1970, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army combat engineers. He served a two year active duty commitment which included a tour in Vietnam. He returned as a 1st Lieutenant.

Following his military service, Stephenson held several different positions at various local banks. In 1976 he began a career in real estate which eventually led to his establishing the Stephenson Realty and Auction Company in 1982. He continues to work there today.

In addition to his business skills, Stephenson is noted for another talent; that of auctioneer. He graduated from The Nashville Auction School in 1983 and became a certified auctioneer from the Certified Auctioneer Institute at the University of Indiana in 1988 – the first Anderson County resident to do so. He has used that talent to conduct more than 50 auctions each year – auctions that benefit numerous civic and charitable organizations. He has never charged for his services because he feels it is a way to give back to his community.

He has found other ways to give back as well. He has been a leader or director in myriad organizations – from the United Way to Rotary International to the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce. He has served on numerous boards and committees. In 2004 Governor Bredesen appointed him to the Tennessee Real Estate Commission where he was elected chairman in 2012. He has been inducted into the Tennessee Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame, and earlier this year he received the “Good Scout Award” for his work with the Boy Scouts of America. His military service, his business skills, his leadership, and his selfless commitment to his community are exemplary.