71st Annual PA Auctioneers Association Conference: A Collaborative Success Story

February 8, 2019

The members of the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association (PAA), one of the largest auctioneer associations in the U.S., gathered in Harrisburg from Jan. 8 through 11 to meet, greet and grow their businesses during the 71st annual conference. The membership of the PAA is made up of auction professionals who are passionate about the industry.
Outgoing PAA president Tim Keller of Lancaster unveiled not only an updated logo this year, but also a new website. “The update was long overdue,” stated Keller of H.K. Keller. The website can be found at the same address, www.paauctioneers.org, and is now more user-friendly and easier to keep current. For the public, an auctioneer search in the users area can easily be done using search words or a map. Auction searches are also easy to do. For members, the site will allow them to list all of their auctions, photos and details.
In attendance during the four-day event were hundreds of auction professionals, including auctioneers, apprentices, auction students, support personnel, vendors, and presenters. All had access to numerous 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. On Jan. 11, Keller passed the presidential gavel to Jeffery Pennington of New Castle. Pennington, of Jeff Pennington Auction Service, was the chairperson of the 2019 conference.
Nineteen presenters offered a wealth of information. Many of PAA’s own members shared their expertise on the following topics: Facebook Marketing (Mike Keller and Tiffany Earnest); Contract Auctioneering (Matt Hostetter); Real Estate Tips (Matt Hurley); Boot Camp to the Big Stage (Patrick Morgan); Understanding Your Competition (Tim Keller); and a lecture called Bid Calling Critique (Matt Hurley and Matt Hostetter). The organization also brought in a wide variety of outside specialists with presentations such as Towing and Hauling Regulations (Kevin Havern, retired PA state trooper); more in-depth training for existing users of Auction Flex and Wavebid; Ringman Skills (Sam Grasso); Digital and Print Marketing (Jenny Gamblin of Shearer Printing); Secrets of Salesmanship (Timothy Sweet, a professor at Grove City College); The Auctioning of History (Bob Lucas, historian); Selling Firearms at Auction (Jean Zabel, former ATF officer on behalf of the National Shooting Sports Foundation); PA Bedding and Upholstery Law (Christina Slaybaugh of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry); Various Legal Subjects (George Michak, PAA legal counsel); Principles and Business (Earl Springer of Sheetz Inc.); and the National Auctioneers Association President Tim Mast spoke on the subjects of real estate at auction and negotiation tactics.
Following the presentation by Earl Springer of Sheetz Inc., the generosity of the attendees through a “live appeal” along with a straight $1,000 PAA donation were able to present “Sheetz for the Kidz” a check in the amount of $4,000. Sheetz for the Kidz is a Sheetz employee-driven charity partnership with the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
The PAA annually hosts the PA Auctioneer Competition at the Farm Show Complex during the PA Farm Show. On the evening of Jan. 10, the banquet room was completely packed while auction goers saw the best auctioneers in the state in action. There were 22 contestants, and Josh Mayhugh of Chambersburg was awarded champion. The runner-up was John Stauffer of Newmanstown, and rookie-of-the-year (licensed for under two years) was David Weaver of Allenwood. Top female competitor for the second year in a row was Elizabeth Stamm of Jonestown.
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 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 industry. The 2019 Hall of Fame inductees were Harry A. Anderson of Rogers, Ohio, and Charles L. Wehrly of Glen Rock.
The recipient of the prestigious award of Auctioneer of the Year was awarded to Scott C. Wehrly of Glen Rock. The nominations for this award are chosen by auctioneers in his/her area, and the winner is selected by his/her statewide peers. Wehrly 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. It was a special event, as both father and son were given awards.
Several auction companies won awards in the first-place categories within the PAA Advertising/Marketing Contest, including Hurley Auctions, Ken Geyer Real Estate Auctioneers, Hostetter Auctioneers, B.L Oberholtzer Auction Service, Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co., Pook & Pook Inc, HK Keller, and Sanford Alderfer Real Estate. Judged and chosen by all auctioneers in attendance was the advertising/marketing award of "Auctioneer's Choice." The winner of this award was Hostetter Auctioneers. The "Best of Show," strictly a judges' award, was bestowed on Hostetter Auctioneers as well.
Officers for the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association for 2019 include Jeff Pennington, president, of New Castle; Daniel Reeder, president-elect, of Beaver Falls; Matt Hostetter, vice president, of Beaver Falls; and Robert A. Ensminger, treasurer, of Harrisburg.
Tim Keller will serve one more year on the PAA Board of Directors as immediate past president and 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 or contact them at info@paauctioneers.org.


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