Newsmaker: Unity man gets Pa. Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame Award
Mark L. Ferry
Noteworthy: Received the 2018 Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame Award at the professional group’s 70th annual convention in Harrisburg. The award recognizes integrity, honesty, high moral character and “acute fairness” as well as a commitment to fostering excellence in the auction industry. Ferry was president of the association in 2014 and has held other offices with the group at the chapter and state levels.
Family: Wife, Jeanine; stepdaughter and two step-granddaughters
Education: Greater Latrobe High School, Class of 1973
Background: Ferry gained an appreciation for auctioneers and the items they present to bidders as a teen, when he accompanied his mother to seek items for her antique shop. After completing an apprenticeship, he became a licensed auctioneer in 1979 and a member of the Pennsylvania association in 1984. An independent auctioneer, he has worked with partner Randy Betton since 1982, operating in Pennsylvania and other states. He conducts more than 100 auctions a year, selling everything from antiques and firearms to manufacturing equipment, farm machinery and real estate. His firm, Mark Ferry Auctioneers, has been active in auctions for such community organizations as the American Red Cross, the Westmoreland County 4-H program and the Latrobe Art Club. He conducts traditional on-site auctions but has embraced technology that allows parties to place bids using smartphone apps. An auctioneer’s rapid-fire vocal delivery can be developed, he said, noting it helps to avoid spicy foods and hot coffee before a sale. He was named the 2000 Pennsylvania champion auctioneer in an annual competition that is judged on vocal speed, rhythm, clarity and timbre and is held during the State Farm Show.
Quote: Ferry handles many estate sales. “We have a fiduciary responsibility to the estate,” he said. “Consumer protection is one of the tenets, along with honesty, fairness and being above reproach when you’re handling somebody else’s estate and life.”
— Jeff Himler