One of the largest Auctioneer Associations in the U.S. gathered in January for their 70th annual conference in Harrisburg, PA. The membership of the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association is made up of Auction Professionals who are passionate about the auction industry. Outgoing PAA President, Kim Williams of Bloomsburg, PA (only the second female president) handed off the gavel to Tim Keller of Lancaster, PA. Tim Keller was the chairperson of this very successful conference with hundreds of auction professionals in attendance including auctioneers, apprentices, auction students, support personnel, vendors, and presenters.
The event took place on January 9th through January 12th at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey. Conference participants had access to many educational seminars during the course of the event that will allow them to better serve their buyers, sellers and the industry as a whole. Continuing education points were available to the many auctioneers who maintain advanced auctioneer certifications or auctioneer licenses held in other states requiring education.
The group heard from several experts in various fields including Craig Fleming on building strong businesses; Russ Hilk of Wavebid on marketing; Lori Cherry-Dobyns of United Merchant Processing Association on credit card processing; Dana Balsamo on quilts; Andy Sedora of Liberty Financial Strategies along with Randy Brant, CPA and Steven Miller, Esq. on the challenges of owning your own business; Duane B. Britton of Britton Consulting Group on personal communications and working together; George Michak, Esq., PAA Legal Counsel; as well as Thomas Bayles, of Mortgage Craft, LLC; Ryan Mellinger of Prime Transfer, Inc; and Steve Wenzel of BB&T Wealth.
The association also heard from several professionals within the industry and within their own membership including Jamie Shearer, Nevin Rentzel, Matt Hurley, Bob Dann, Chris Answini, Kim Douglass, Matt Hostetter, Sandy Brittingham, Sandy Alderfer, Sherm Hostetter and Jeff Pennington who will be the chairperson for the 2019 conference as well as the 2019 Association President. Trisha Brauer, a current National Auctioneers Association Director gave several informative presentations to the group as well.
The PAA traditionally hosts the PA Auctioneer Competition at the Farm Show Complex during the PA Farm Show. This is the 39th year for the competition and this year they added the category of Top Female Competitor. Auction goers saw first-hand the best auctioneers in the state on January 10, 2018. There were 25 contestants with Jake Yoder of Port Royal, PA coming out as the overall Champion. Named both Runner-up and Rookie was Chase Noll of Kirkwood, PA and the Top Female Competitor was Elizabeth Stamm of Jonestown, PA.
Every five years the association also hosts the Champion of Champions Competition. This was held during the groups Fun Auction on January 11th at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey. This is a competition of the best of the best for all past PA Auctioneer Champions. Coming out on top with the 2018 championship was Matt Hostetter of Beaver Falls. Runner-up was J. Meryl Stoltzfus of Millerstown and in third place was Matt’s father Sherm Hostetter also of Beaver Falls. This was the third Champion of Champions Competition with past winners being Nevin Rentzel of York, PA in 2008 and Matthew Hurley of Greencastle, PA in 2013.
The PAA is honored to have so many members who have dedicated their careers to the industry and who have made the industry better for all. Several awards are given out each year to honor some of those auctioneers. Two auctioneers were inducted into the PAA Hall of Fame. This award is given to an individual based on integrity, honesty, high moral character, acute fairness, and distinction, and is bestowed on an auctioneer each year who, over the course of his or her profession, has committed him or herself to fostering excellence in the auction industry. The award winners were Mark Ferry of Latrobe, PA and Kenneth Hansell, Jr. of Lititz, PA. Both are very well deserving of this award. The recipient of the prestigious award of Auctioneer of the Year was awarded to H. Brent Souder of Hatfield, PA. The nominations for this award are chosen by auctioneers in his/her area and the winner is selected by his/her state-wide peers. Mr. Souder has shown excellent leadership, high ethical standards, willingness to share with others, participation in community affairs, and outstanding contributions to the PAA and the auction profession in 2017.
Several auction companies were garnered awards in the traditional first-place categories in the PAA Advertising/Marketing Contest, including Hostetter Auctioneers, Hurley Auctions, Ken Geyer Real Estate Auctioneers, Inc., Fortna Auctioneers & Marketing Group, Alderfer Auction, Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co., Martin Auctioneers, Inc., Comly Auctioneers & Appraisers, Cordier Auctions & Appraisers and Tammy Miller Auctions. Judged and chosen by all auctioneers in attendance was the advertising/marketing award of ”Auctioneer’s Choice“. The winner of this award was Cordier Auctions & Appraisals. ”Best of Show“, strictly a judges’ award, was bestowed on Alderfer Auction.
Officers for the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association for 2018 include: Tim Keller, President, of Lancaster; Jeff Pennington, President-Elect, of New Castle; Daniel Reeder, Vice President, of Beaver Falls; and Robert A. Ensminger, Treasurer, of Harrisburg. Kim Williams of Bloomsburg will serve one more year on the PAA Board of Directors as immediate past president. Kimberly K. Douglass of Boyertown is the Administrator.
To find a PAA Auctioneer in your area or to find out more about the association go to www.paauctioneers.org.