The Indiana Auctioneers Assn. presented its highest award last week to a North Judson bid-caller who devoted more than 30 years of his life to the auctioneering business.
The auctioneer, Ben Osinski, was inducted into the Indiana Auctioneer's Hall of Fame during IAA's state convention last weekend in Bloomington, Ind.
Osinski's auction business sells farm equipment, personal property and real estate in northern Indiana. He regularly volunteers his services for 4-H livestock auctions in four area counties.
Raised on a small farm in Indiana, Osinski served in the Vietnam War in 1968-69. When discharged, he returned to Indiana and spent 18 years as a corporate accountant.
In 1972, he and his wife bought a small grain farm and raised swine. After selling computers as a side job, Osinski decided to pursue his dream of becoming an auctioneer.
Osinski attended auction school in 1983 and earned his auctioneer's license that same year. He and his wife started with their own auction company and eventually opened an auction center on their property in 1997. Two daughters eventually joined the business.
According to a press release from IAA, Osinski pioneered computerized bidder registration and clerking in this area during the 1990s.
Active with the state and national auctioneer groups, Osinski served as IAA District 1 chairman in 1990, IAA state director from 1991-93 and again from 2005-09. He was awarded the IAA Marketing Award in 2010 for outdoor signage.
The 2013 hall of fame class also includes Jimmie Dean Coffey and his wife Phyllis. They became only the second husband and wife team to be inducted into the IAA and IAA Auxiliary hall of fame in the same year, respectively.
In other convention news, Mike Berger of Bremen was elected as IAA's vice president. Other officers include Chip Kugler, Jasper, treasurer; Mike Heimel, Beech Grove, director; and Sue Wickliff, Zionsville, director. Tom Freije of Hendricks County is the 2014 president.