Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association Holds
Successful 65th Annual Conference & Show
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Nearly three hundred auctioneers, apprentices, auction students, support personnel, vendors, presenters, and guests attended and participated in the 65th annual conference and trade show of the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association, January 9-11, 2013, at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey.
2012 PAA President Randy A. Betton of Greensburg, Westmoreland County, described the 3-day event as an “excellent conference of speakers, seminars, activities, and events … from technology innovations, Internet-only auctions, antique Valentines, fundraising auctions, updates on auction legislative initiatives in the Commonwealth, and working the auction ring.”
2012 PAA Conference Chair Matthew S. Hurley of Greencastle, Franklin County, noted that there were events to appeal to the novice auctioneer as well as the seasoned professional, including fellowship, food, fun, and networking. He additionally highlighted a specific real estate-only track presented on Friday which drew much interest from within the license community of the Commonwealth.
Conference participants had a choice of seventeen educational seminars during the course of the event that will allow them to better serve their buyers and sellers. A total of 14.5 accredited continuing education units were available to auctioneers to maintain advanced auctioneer certifications or auctioneer licenses held in other states requiring education.
Several Pennsylvania auctioneers came up winners during the event. Matthew Hostetter, CES, GA, GPPA, of Beaver Falls, Beaver County, garnered the prestigious “Pennsylvania Auctioneer Champion” on January 9 at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show, the largest indoor agricultural exhibition in the nation. He competed against 29 other auctioneers in a sold-out competition to be the best bid caller and auctioneer in the state as well as for the top prize of cash, a prestigious silver trophy and paid registration to the International Auctioneer Championship set for July 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
There was an unprecedented situation in the Pennsylvania competition in that three individuals tied as runners-up, all earning the same score from eight varied judges. These auctioneers were Patrick K. Morgan of New Holland, Lancaster County; Paul M. Storm of York; and J. Meryl Stoltzfus of Millerstown, Perry County. The PAA also named a “Rookie Auctioneer Champion,” an individual who has been licensed as an auctioneer less than 2 years. This honor was bestowed on Zachary M. Toomey, of York. The auctioneers were judged by a panel of eight judges on their bid calling ability, overall presentation, speech, appearance, and salesmanship. A majority of the proceeds from the contest and benefit auction went to the Farm Show Scholarship Fund to support students entering the agricultural field. Michael Ivankovich, GPPA, MPPA, and members of the Lehigh Valley Society of Auctioneers spent an entire year planning and carrying out a most exciting auction contest.
A rousing fun auction organized by Charlene Caple and members of the PAA Central Chapter was held on Thursday evening where auctioneers and guests bid on classified advertising, trips, services, antiques, and other items. This event, which was one of the highest-grossing fun auctions in the history of the PAA, helps offset the overall cost of the conference which, in turn, provides quality education for all licensed auctioneers in the Commonwealth. Since auctioneering is a consumer-driven industry, PAA auctioneers always strive to improve their services to the public.
Out of the 33 auctioneer champions chosen since the competition began in 1980, the PAA selected its second ‘Champion of Champions’ in this event which is held only once every 5 years. A 6-member jury judged 17 contestants on clarity and articulation; salesmanship and attitude; professional appearance; ease of listening pleasure; and overall general impression. The coveted title of “PAA Champion of Champions” was bestowed on Matthew S. Hurley.
One special auctioneer, nominated by auctioneers in his area and selected by his peers, was named PAA Auctioneer of the Year for 2013. This individual 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 2012. Harry H. Bachman of Annville, Lebanon County, was the recipient of this year’s esteemed award.
Likewise, three auctioneers were named to the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame. This award is given to individuals based on integrity, honesty, high moral character, acute fairness, and distinction, and is bestowed on auctioneers 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 Sandra R. Brittingham, CAI, GPPA, of Uniontown, Fayette County; Robert H. Clinton, CAGA, of Ottsville, Bucks County; and Sherman Hostetter, CAI, GPPA, AARE, CES, GRI, CRS, SRES, of Beaver Falls, Beaver County.
Eighteen auctioneers and auction companies garnered awards in the traditional first-place categories in the PAA Advertising/Marketing Contest, including Hostetter Auctioneers, Hurley Auctions, Harry H. Bachman, Barry S. Slosberg, Cresswell Auction Service, Max Spann Real Estate and Auction Co., Michael Fortna Auctioneers and Appraisers, and Pat Errigo Auctioneers. Two separate, special awards were created for this year’s contest. “Auctioneer’s Choice” was judged by all auctioneers in attendance at the PAA Conference, and the winner was Hurley Auctions. Another new and distinct award was the “Katherine E. ‘Sparky’ James Award,” given in memory of Ms. James who was a very active PAA member and who streamlined and improved the marketing competition into a first-class event. Hunyady Auction Company of Hatfield, Montgomery County, won this award.
“Best of Show” is strictly a judges’ award which is removed from competition with the other entries and was bestowed on Hurley Auctions.
The 2013 conference also marked the end of three decades of PAA administration by Jeanie M. Crowl. Crowl remarked, “After 30 years in the trenches, I am retiring from the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association on or around January 31, or until I fade away completely. I’ve stayed in this job more than twice as long as expected and probably three or four times as long as I deserved. It has been rewarding and discouraging, carefree and tense, delightful and hateful.” She continued, “Having been in professional association management for half my life, at one time managing three non-profit organizations, I’ve hung on to my favorite the longest.”
Kimberly K. Hemingway, GG, of Perkiomenville, Montgomery County, will become PAA Administrator as of February 1, 2013. Kim has been a very active member of the Lehigh Valley Society of Auctioneers as well as the PAA.
Officers for the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association for 2013 include Matthew S. Hurley, President, of Greencastle, Franklin County; Mark L. Ferry, President-Elect, Latrobe, Westmoreland County; Patrick K. Morgan, Vice President, of New Holland, Lancaster County; and Robert A. Ensminger, Treasurer, Harrisburg, Dauphin County. Randy A. Betton, of Greensburg, Westmoreland County, as PAA President in 2012, will serve one more year on the PAA Board of Directors as immediate past president.