ELYSBURG, Pa. — More than 250 auctioneers, apprentices, support personnel, vendors and guests attended and participated in the 61st annual conference and trade show of the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association Jan. 14-17 at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey.
Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association President Daniel A. Trace of Meadville, Crawford County, described the four-day event as an “excellent conference of speakers, seminars, activities, and events…from antique Christmas, advertising graphics and layouts for auctioneers, business planning and taxation, benefit auctions, real estate, trends in auction markets and updates on legislative initiatives in the Commonwealth auction.”
Conference participants took part in 11 educational seminars during the course of the event that will allow them to better serve their buyers and sellers.
A separate program was available for continuing education purposes Jan. 17 on state regulations for auctioneers, including sales tax, game commission issues and selling firearms at auction, as well as a workshop on contracts for auctioneers and related issues.
These accredited continuing education sessions earned participants four CEUs to be applied to their advanced auctioneer certifications or auctioneer licenses held in other states requiring education.
More than 60 participants were in attendance at this advanced program.
An auction was held Thursday evening where auctioneers and guests bid on classified advertising, trips, services, antiques and other items.
The auction helps offset the overall cost of the conference which, in turn, provides quality education for auctioneers.
Because auctioneering is a consumer-driven industry, Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association auctioneers are always striving to improve their services to the public.
Several Pennsylvania auctioneers came up winners during the event.
Michael P. Weaver of Allenwood, Union County, garnered the Pennsylvania Auctioneer Champion Jan. 14 at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show, the largest indoor agricultural exhibition in the nation.
He competed with several dozen auctioneers to be the best bid caller in the state as well as for the top prize of cash, a trophy and paid registration at the International Auctioneer Championship set for July 2009 in Kansas City.
The runner-up was Lee Alan Hostetter of Beaver Falls, Beaver County.
The association also named a Rookie Auctioneer Champion, an individual who has been an auctioneer less than two years.
This honor was bestowed on William R. Omalacy of Smithfield, Fayette County.
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.
Auctioneer of the Year
One auctioneer, nominated by auctioneers in his area and selected by his peers, was named Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association Auctioneer of the Year for 2009.
This individual has shown excellent leadership, high ethical standards, willingness to share with others, participation in community affairs and outstanding contributions to the association and the auction profession in 2008.
Robert A. Ensminger, GPPA, CREEA of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, was the recipient of this year’s award.
Hall of Fame
Two 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 Ronald D. Funk of Paradise, Lancaster County, and Mark W. “Dutch” Kistler of Emmaus, Lehigh County.
New officers for the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association for 2009 include: president, Bill Anderson Sr. of Harrison City, Westmoreland County; president-elect, Gerald A. Rader of Skippack, Montgomery County; vice president, Kenneth A. Hansell Jr., CAI of Perkiomenville, Montgomery County and treasurer, Ensminger of Harrisburg, Dauphin County.