Press Release

A Conference for Auctioneers?

Yes, that’s right - a conference for Auctioneers! Actually, it was the 72nd Conference of the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association. One of the largest Auctioneer Associations in the U.S., the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association (PAA), gathered in Harrisburg PA on January 7th through the 10th to meet, greet and grow their businesses for the 72st year.  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. 

In attendance were hundreds of auction professionals including auctioneers, apprentices, auction students, support personnel, vendors, and presenters.  All had access to many educational seminars during the course of the event that will allow them to better serve their buyers, sellers and the industry as a whole. E. R. Munro & Co. was the Corporate Registration Sponsor. Other generous conference sponsors included Alderfer Auction, AuctionTime/AuctionFlex, Lancaster Farming News, Sanford Alderfer Real Estate, Shearer Printing & Digital, Auctioneer Software by Spectrum Net Designs, the PAA Central Chapter and United Merchant Processing Association.

The PAA focuses on educating the auction professional. Continuing education points were available to the many auctioneers who maintain advanced auctioneer certifications or auctioneer licenses held in other states requiring education.  17 Presenters from around the country offered a wealth of information.  The event utilized the expertise of PAA members and National Auctioneer Association (NAA) representatives as well as other specialists who gave presentations such as Bid Calling Critiques (NAA’s Trey Morris & Matt Hostetter); Cyber Security (George Howley); Getting Back to the Basics (President Jeff Pennington); Making your Goals a Reality (Trey Morris); Strategies that Take you from Invisible to Invincible (NAA’s Beth Rose); Auction Announcing (Trey Morris); PAA & the PA Farm Bureau (Lynn Dietrich); Protect & Perpetuate Your Business (Larry Oxenham of the American Society of Asset Protection); Facebook Marketing (Tiffany Earnest); Real Estate, Revenue & Relevance (Beth Rose); Safety at Auction Events (PA State Police); Unspoken & Spoken Communication (NAA’s Brigitte Kruse); Auctioneer and Attorney: Advantages of Obtaining Legal Representation at Real Estate Auctions (Attorneys Patrick Deibler and Ashley Glick); Psychology in Photography (Stephanie Errigo); Auction PR Pro (Brigitte Kruse); The Auction and the Estate (Attorneys Deibler & Glick); Antique Tools (Mark Eastlick); and rounding out the week on Friday with a panel on the subject of Effective Marketing (Mike Calvert, Rich Coccodrilli & Tim Keller).

The PAA annually hosts the PA Auctioneer Competition at the Farm Show Complex during the PA Farm Show.  On Wednesday evening, January 8th, the room was completely packed while auction goers saw the best auctioneers in the state in action.  There were 21 contestants with Ben Svonavec of Somerset PA coming out as the overall Champion.  The Runner-up was Brian Burk II of Meshoppen PA.  The Rookie (licensed for under 2 years) was David Gossert of Chambersburg PA and the Top Female Competitor was Kim Douglass of Boyertown PA. Continuation of this competition was made possible by the Exclusive Presenting Sponsor, Manheim Pennsylvania.  In attendance and spectating was their General Manager Joey Hughes. Other sponsors for the competition included, Shearer Printing & Digital, Patrick Morgan Auction Services, H.K. Keller, Hostetter Auctioneers and Geyer Real Estate Auctioneers.

Several awards are given out to honor some of those who have dedicated their careers to the industry and who have made the industry better for all.  Three auctioneers 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 auction industry.  The 2020 Hall of Fame inductees were James Clayton of Waynesboro PA, H. Brent Souder of Hatfield PA, and Linda Lewis of Wyoming PA (only the second female to be inducted into the Hall of Fame).

The recipient of the prestigious award of Auctioneer of the Year was awarded to Thomas Saylor of Felton 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.  Mr. Saylor 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.

Several auction companies were garnered awards in the first-place categories within the PAA Advertising/Marketing Contest, including Hurley Auctions, Alderfer Auction, Patrick Morgan Auction Services, Cordier Auctions & Appraisals, Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Company, Hostetter Auctioneers, Fortna Auctioneers, and Hunyady Auction Company. Judged and chosen by all auctioneers in attendance was the advertising/marketing award of  "Auctioneer's Choice".  The winner of this award was Pook & Pook, Inc. The "Best of Show", strictly a judges' award, was also bestowed on Pook & Pook, Inc..

Officers for the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association for 2020 include: Jeff Pennington, President for the 2nd year, of New Castle; Matt Hostetter, President-Elect, of Beaver Falls; Jamie Shearer, Vice President of Downingtown and Robert A. Ensminger, Treasurer, of Harrisburg.  Patrick Morgan will serve on the PAA Board of Directors as a past president.  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 or contact the association at