One of the oldest industries and professions – ever! - is alive and strong in the  Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. One of the reasons is because of the Pennsylvania Auctioneers  Association (PAA). Back in 1948, the PAA was formed to help professionals in the Auction Industry to  continually improve the standard of education, ethics and performance of its members. This month, the  Association met yet again for their 76th Annual Conference and Trade Show.  

Who is the PAA? The PAA is one of the largest Auctioneer Associations in the United States, meeting once a year in Harrisburg, with local chapters meeting multiple times a year, to host educational seminars, an  Auctioneer Competition, Advertising & Marketing Contest, and a Fun Auction. The PAA is dedicated to making  the auction industry stronger. The membership of the PAA is made up of auctioneers, trade members and other  auction professionals who are passionate about the auction industry and the auction method of selling. Did  you know that anyone selling through the auction method in Pennsylvania (online or live) is  required by law to hold a state issued license?  

Focusing on educating the auction professional and beyond, the PAA provides continuing education points to  the many auctioneers who maintain advanced auctioneer certifications or auctioneer licenses held in other  states that require ongoing education. This annual conference allows the attendees to better serve their buyers,  sellers, and the industry as a whole. Over 200 auction professionals were in attendance, including auctioneers,  apprentices, auction students, support personnel, vendors, and presenters.  

25 Presenters from around the country offered a wealth of information. Some of the  presenters were from the PAA membership itself, including past Auctioneer Competition Champions Matt  Hostetter, J. Meryl Stoltzfus, and Brian Burke II who led a “Bid Calling Workshop”, where auctioneers could  bid call and get some pointers to prepare for the Wednesday evening PA Auctioneer Championship (results  listed below).  

Some of the other member-run sessions included “Fire Fighting Antiques and Memorabilia” put on by Brian  Enterline; “Understanding our Auction Law” by Patrick Morgan; member Dave Conley spoke about Antique  Farm Equipment; and the National Auction Association President, Lance Walker spoke about working with  Real Estate Brokers. 

Some other valuable sessions included “The Changing Marketplace and Evolving Buyer Expectations” by Paul  Gibson of Shipping Saint; “Demystifying Stock Market Risks” by Tom Cichocki of Morgan Stanley; “How to  Merchandise Dairy Cows and Understand a Cattle Catalog” by Adam Fraley; “Presidential Memorabilia” by  Historian Dr. Larry Cook; Adam Amspacher spoke on a “Niche Auction Specialty of American Artifacts and  Arrowheads”; and there was even a presentation on DOT and trailer hauling put on by the PA State Police.  

The attendees got to hear from Charles and Scott Wehrly along with Shawn Carbaugh about an auction  company going from one generation to the next, the history, and the progress of Wehrly’s Auction. The  seminar schedule ended with a session by the PAA Legal Counsel, Attorney Ryan Gonder and Governmental  Affairs Consultants Jessica Kemmerer and David Feidt.  

Today auctions are just as, if not more so, prevalent online as they are live. One of the Vendors, BidWrangler, held a “Tech Talk” session. Some other online focused session included “Managing Multiple Platforms for  Online Auctions” presented by Heino Koberg and Barb Smith with the assistance of BidSpirit who was also  present as a vendor. 

The PAA prides themselves on holding a Trade Show in conjunction with the conference. Attendees can come  and speak with companies that provide products and services to help improve the industry. This includes  vendors from online platforms, a moving company, various auction software, insurance, advertising (digital  and print), auction sound, auction equipment and more. Of Course, this event would not be what it is without  generous sponsors. The highest-level sponsors included E. R. Munro & Company who was the Corporate  Registration Sponsor and Platinum sponsors United Merchant Processing Association, Shipping Saint, Shearer  Printing & Office Solutions, Lancaster Farming, AuctionTime/Auction Flex and Auction Technology Group. There were many other sponsors at various levels, all of which will be listed on 

Several awards are given out each year to honor some of those who have dedicated their  careers to the industry and who have made the industry better for all. Gerald Rader of Skippack PA and  Kimberly Douglass of Boyertown PA were the newest inductees into the PAA Hall of Fame. This award is  given to individuals 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. Additionally, the title of Auctioneer of the Year is  given to an auctioneer who 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. This year’s recipient is Dennis Wolgemuth of Leola PA. Retiring Treasurer Robert Ensminger of  Harrisburg was acknowledged after 18 years of his dedication to the office of Treasurer.  

Of course, a Conference would be nothing without a bit of Competition!  Annually, the PAA hosts the Pennsylvania Auctioneer Competition Championship at the PA Farm  Show Complex in Harrisburg during the week of the PA Farm Show. This year, as always, there were many  hundreds in attendance and participating in the auction. The competition was held on Wednesday evening,  January 10th, highlighting the best auctioneers licensed in the state of Pennsylvania. 23 contestants competed,  with Shawn Carbaugh of Spring Grove PA as the overall Champion. The Runner-up was Nicholas Hummer of  Manheim PA; the Rookie (licensed for less than 2 years) was Alec Hess of Hanover PA; and the Top Female  Competitor was Kylee Hostetter of Beaver Falls PA. 

The Group also held an Advertising & Marketing Contest with both print and digital  categories. The "Best of Show", strictly a judges' award, was bestowed on Hostetter Auctioneers for a  promotional video. The “Auctioneer's Choice" award, judged and chosen by all conference attendees was given  to Pook and Pook, Inc. First-place category winners included Hurley Real Estate & Auctions (7), Alderfer  Auction (4), Patrick Morgan Auction Services LLC (3), Pook and Pook Inc (2), Fortna Auctioneers, Cordier  Auctions & Appraisals, and BL Oberholtzer Auction Service.  

Officers for the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association for 2024 include:  President Thomas Saylor of Felton PA; President-Elect Michael Calvert of Linesville PA; Vice President Brian  Oberholtzer of Reinolds PA; Treasurer Kim Douglass of Boyertown PA; and Lon Clemmer of Harleysville PA who will serve on the PAA Board as the immediate Past President. Kimberly K. Douglass of Boyertown PA is  the Executive Director for the Association. To find a PAA Auctioneer in your area or to find out more about the  association, go to or contact the association at

For more information contact:
Kimberly K. Douglass, Executive Director
Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association
P.O. Box 686, Gilbertsville, PA 19525