Trace elected to Pa Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame
Jan. 27—Dan Trace is in select company statewide when it comes to being an auctioneer.
Trace, of Meadville, was named to the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame at the group's annual conference earlier this month.
He's one of only 64 inductees into the Hall of Fame, which began in 1990, and only the fourth from Crawford County. He joins C. Sherman Allen of Conneaut Lake, Mike Calvert of Linesville and the late Simon Miller of Cochranton.
"It's a big honor — it comes from (your) peers," Trace said.
Trace, 77, has been involved in the auction business for 30 years — getting started in 1993.
"It began when my uncle passed away and Sherman did the auction for the estate," he said, referring to Allen. "After that I started working with Sherman, helping him out."
It led to Trace becoming an apprentice under Allen, earning his state apprentice license in 1995. Trace became a fully licensed auctioneer on April 23, 1997. He then moved on to found his own full-service auction business.
"It's always something different — it's different all the time," Trace said of what he likes about his career.
The biggest change he's seen is the trend toward online auctions.
"It used to be people would come out, have a hot dog, a coffee and a piece of pie, and stay all day," Trace said of auctions. "You'd see a lot of the same faces."
Featured items often would be held until the end of the auction, he said. Now, Trace says, auctions usually only last two hours and featured items are interspersed to get people to bid.
Over the years, Trace has auctioned off everything from real estate to antiques and collectibles, from farms and livestock to general household and estate items.
Asked what has been the most unusual item he's ever had to auction, Trace hesitated for only a moment.
"When I was doing my apprenticeship they gave me a wastebasket to auction off — and I got it sold," he said with a chuckle.
Pennsylvania Auctioneer Association Hall of Fame honors only are awarded to those individuals based on integrity, honesty, high moral character, acute fairness and distinction, according to the organization. They're only bestowed on an auctioneer who, over the course of his or her profession, has committed to fostering excellence in the auction industry.
Trace has been an active member of the organization since joining its northwest Pennsylvania chapter more than 27 years ago. He's a past president of the chapter and moved up in the organization to become president of the statewide association in 2008.
He was named the Pennsylvania Auctioneer Association's Auctioneer of the Year in 2010. He's served as state chairman of the group's political action committee, too.
In May 2013, then-Gov. Tom Corbett appointed Trace to the State Board of Auctioneer Examiners. He's now in his third term on the statewide board and serves as its secretary.
But Trace hasn't just been involved in auctioneering.
Among his many other interests, he's served as an emergency medical technician (EMT), an EMT instructor, and an assistant volunteer fire department chief for 25 years.
Trace has been involved with the Crawford County Fair for about 40 years in various capacities — including auctioning baked goods, helping with 4-H auctions and working backstage at concerts.
Trace also has been active with Meadville Elks Lodge 219 for many years; he is now a life member and a past exalted ruler of the lodge.
Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.