In honor of National Auctioneers Day on April 20, we’d like to take a moment to honor our auctioneers, John and Heather.
Each year on the third Thursday in April, National Auctioneers Day recognizes those who hold auctions and take our bids all year long. Auctioneers provide a service to both the buyer and the seller. They must maintain high standards to stay competitive.
According to the National Auctioneers Association, it is estimated nearly a quarter-trillion dollars in goods and services are sold by professional auctioneers every year.
John Kohler, Jr. grew up near Fayetteville, graduated from CASHS and Shippensburg State College and began his auction career in 1969 as an apprentice to Dennis D. Welker, calling sale throughout Franklin, Fulton, Cumberland and Adams counties.
He owned Kohler’s Auction in the 1970s and ’80s on Route 30 in Fayetteville (where Roxy’s Cycles is now), managing the auction around his full-time job and raising a family.
He founded Gateway Gallery Auction with his wife, Kay, in 1991, because auctioneering has always been his passion—and he needed something to do in retirement.
John’s work over the past 50+ years as a professional auctioneer and appraiser has earned him a deserved reputation as highly versatile antique generalist.
While he has begun to transition from lead consignment specialist to an “of counsel” status, handing over many of the daily responsibilities to his daughter, Heather, he continues to consult with clients to bring their collections to the marketplace and continues to head the real estate division of the company.
John is a licensed auctioneer in Pennsylvania, a member of the National Auctioneer’s Association, the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association, the VFW and the Freemasons.
An active member of the community, he has lent his auction and appraisal expertise to many charitable organizations over the years including Montessori Academy, Women in Need, Cumberland Valley School of Music, Civil War Round Table, Mercersburg Historical Society, Shippensburg Historical Society, Franklin County Historical Society and the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter.
Heather Kohler, John’s youngest daughter, returned to Franklin County after living on the West Coast for several years and joined Gateway Gallery in 1998.
She is a 2008 graduate of Mendenhall School of Auctioneering and is a licensed auctioneer in Pennsylvania.
Heather was named president of Gateway in 2015 and she oversees daily operations, as well as actively seeks consignments, coordinates sales, staff development and oversees marketing and technology to take Gateway into the future.
Heather is a member of the National Auctioneer’s Association, Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association, the Rotary Club of Chambersburg and the Ladies Auxiliary VFW.
She was awarded the 2018 Rotarian of the Year and is a graduate of Leadership Franklin County. Heather frequently volunteers her auctioneering skills to various community non-profits including CVBCA and the Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Cumberland Valley Breast Care Alliance.
She is mom to a “tween” and dog mom to Bella, the popular greeter at Gateway.