Successful 68th Annual Conference and Show

Auctioneers, apprentices, auction students, support personnel, vendors, presenters, and guests flocked to the 68th annual conference and trade show of the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association on January 12 through January 15, 2016, at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey.

“The 3+ day event was a huge success” says 2015 PAA President Patrick K. Morgan of New Holland, PA.  He stated that “it is impossible to go away from the PAA Conferences without taking away some sort of valuable business knowledge”.  This year’s Conference Chairman of the event was Bill Anderson, Jr. of Harrison City, PA.  Bill noted that during the 68th annual conference it was a great pleasure to have many first-time attendees as well as all those that were repeat attendees, all taking the opportunity to enhance and build their auction business and knowledge.  Our vendors brought the best technology, tools, equipment, and marketing available in today’s advanced and competitive market place.

Conference participants had a choice of 17 educational seminars during the course of the event.  Continuing education units were available to auctioneers to maintain advanced auctioneer certifications or auctioneer licenses held in other states requiring education.

Chairman Bill Anderson, Jr. arranged for a wide range of diverse and numerous presentations by industry leaders including a National Auctioneers Association Director Joseph Mast; J. Scott King of J.P. King;  Jerry Cole of the Brewery Collectors Club of America; Roxanne Morison, an antique doll specialist; and Lee Lasher a specialist on Griswold cast iron.   Cary Aasness gave an inspiring presentation on Power Selling while Michael Fortna gave a presentation on Real Estate Marketing – the New Way.   The conference concluded with a seminar packed day on Friday.  Attendees had many options available to them between hearing from speakers like Russ Hilk discussing online auctions, Steve Humphrey on Collectible Clocks and Watches, Sherm Hostetter on Auction Agreements, Chuck and Stacey Whisman on Sports Memorabilia, George Michak on Auction Law, and an informative panel discussing online auctions lead by PAA members Matt Hostetter, Matt Hurley, Chris Answini and Michael Dilliard.  Tammy Miller gave a motivating presentation titled Just Jump after our luncheon.

Several Pennsylvania auctioneers stood out from the rest and came out winners during the event.  On January 13th hundreds gathered at the Pennsylvania Farm Show to watch and buy at the 2016 PA Auctioneer Competition and it was again a huge success.  Nineteen Pennsylvania auctioneers competed for the prize of cash, a prestigious silver trophy and paid registration to the International Auctioneer Championship set for July 2016 in Michigan.  J. Meryl Stoltzfus of Millerstown, PA won the title of Champion Auctioneer.

The runner-up in this competition was John Stauffer.  The judges also named a “Rookie Auctioneer Champion,” an individual who has been licensed as an auctioneer less than 2 years, to Brian Oberholtzer of Reinholds, PA.  The auctioneers were judged by a panel of eight judges on their bid calling ability, overall presentation, speech, appearance, and salesmanship. For the third year, the judging panel implemented judging software which was created especially for the PAA by Championship Scoring, a Montgomery County based company owned and operated by Alan Impink.  A portion of the proceeds from the contest and benefit auction went to the Farm Show Scholarship Fund to support students entering the agricultural field.  Members of the Central Chapter of the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association, chaired by Harry Bachman, spent an entire year planning and carrying out a most exciting auction contest.  The MC for the evening was 1995 Auctioneer Champion Nevin Rentzel of the Southeast Chapter.  Nevin was also the 2008 winner of the Champion of Champion Contest which is put on every five years.

An annual Fun Auction, organized by members of the Lehigh Valley Chapter, was held on Thursday evening, January 14th at the Sheraton,  where auctioneers and guests bid on classified advertising, trips, services, antiques, and other items.  This event helped to offset the overall cost of the conference which, in turn, provides quality education for all licensed auctioneers in the Commonwealth.

The recipient of the prestigious award of 2016 Auctioneer of the Year was awarded to Matthew S. Hurley of Greencastle, 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.  Matt 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 2015.

Likewise, two auctioneers were inducted into 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 Sanford (Sandy) L. Alderfer of Harleysville, PA and Harry H. Bachman of Annville, PA. .

Ten auctioneers and/or auction companies garnered awards in the traditional first-place categories in the PAA Advertising/Marketing Contest, including Michael F. Dilliard Auction Co., Hurley Auction Co.,  Ken Geyer Reals Estate Auctioneers, Martin Auctioneers, Pook & Pook, Hunyady Auction Co., Fortna Auctioneers, Rittenhouse Auction Co., Sanford Alderfer Companies, and Reed’s Auction Co.  Judged and chosen by all auctioneers in attendance was “Auctioneer’s Choice” award.  The winner of this award was Rittenhouse Auction Co. while the “Best of Show“, strictly a judges’ award, and was bestowed on Reed’s Auction Co.

Officers for the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association for 2016 include: Bill Anderson, Jr. President, of Harrison City, Westmoreland County; Tim Keller, President-Elect, of Lancaster, Lancaster County;  Kim Williams, President-Elect, Bloomsburg, Columbia County; and Robert A. Ensminger, Treasurer, Harrisburg, Dauphin County.  Patrick K. Morgan  of New Holland, Lancaster County will serve one more year on the PAA Board of Directors as Immediate Past President.  Kimberly K. Hemingway of Boyertown, Berks is Administrator.