ORLANDO, FL— Jerry Girvin has received the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) Bernie Hart Memorial Auctioneer Award for 2012. The association, which represents more than 300 auto auction members in North America, presented the award at its 64th annual conference this month in Orlando, Fla.
Named in honor of Bernie Hart, who served as NAAA’s executive director for more than 30 years before retiring in 1988, the annual award recognizes the industry’s most visible person.
Girvin earned the award for a career spanning more than 45 years where he worked four to six auctions a week and continues today at two Manheim facilities in Pennsylvania as well as auctioneering for numerous charitable organizations. The epitome of a professional auctioneer, a likeness of Girvin in action appeared on the cover for the 2004 NAAA Member Directory and was also used as the logo and web site icon for the 2012 National Auto Auction Week promotion.
Receiving his honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force after serving in Vietnam, Girvin followed his brother Tom into the auctioneer profession. Never attending auctioneer school, he began by taking odd jobs at Garden Spot Auto Auction in Ephrata, Pa., to learn the ropes of the business. Given his passion for automobiles and his teenage experience working at a car dealership, he was soon selling vehicles there and then at Manheim Auto Auction (The Top of the Market).
It wasn’t long after his start that Girvin began calling at Fredericksburg, NADE, Belair, Perryopolis, Carteret, PADE and a host of other auto auctions. His work often required hours of travel to the western part of the state. In the first four decades of auctioneering, Girvin only missed two sales — one for a blizzard and another when he broke his foot. A week later he was back behind the wheel, using a cane for the gas and his left foot for the brake so he could get to the auctions.
He and his brother also formed Girvin Brothers Auctioneers to call household goods and real estate auctions in Lancaster County, Pa. Years later the brothers partnered with Ken Geyer to establish the Geyer Girvin Auction Company, which handled real estate, antique and estate sales throughout Central Pennsylvania.
Today Girvin’s love of auto auctioneering remains strong. He still calls for his two favorite Manheim auctions doing the exoctic, BMW and Friday sale as well as being a seemingly permanent fixture on the Ford Motor Credit lane.