Michael Parker Benefit Auctions
The path to Michael Parker Benefit Auctions actually began in 1946, when AB Parker, Jr. attended Biggs and Canon Auction School. He wanted to sell tobacco – and he did.
In 1947, AB was selling tobacco when a farmer approached him about his sheets of tobacco. AB listened patiently, but not as attentively as he should have because he was distracted by the farmer’s daughter, Virginia Britt. AB got the best price he could for the tobacco. Apparently the farmer was satisfied, because three months later AB married the farmer’s daughter.
For the first few years of their marriage, AB and Virginia traveled the tobacco markets. AB sold tobacco from Bedford, Virginia to Quitman, Georgia. He also had the distinction of opening the Sparta, Tennessee tobacco market in the mid 1950s.
When AB quit auctioning tobacco, Virginia worked with him at commercial auctions as a clerk. In 1949, AB and Virginia had a daughter named Barbara, who later worked the commercial auctions as the cashier.
During his 50 year career, AB sold tobacco, dewberries (above right), antiques, coins, guns, real estate, estates, personal property, automobiles, livestock and about anything else that could be sold. AB not only sold at commercial auctions, he sold at charity sales, harvest sales, church sales, school sales and at any other sale that needed an auctioneer.
AB’s auction business went through several evolutions. First as Sandhills Auction Company, AB worked with local auctioneer Roy Sims. Then AB worked as a solo auctioneer.
When auctioneers were licensed in North Carolina in 1973, AB got his license. AB’s license number was one of the lowest in North Carolina: NCAL 53.
Michael was raised in a family dedicated to civic and community service. AB Parker was a charter member of the Moore County Rescue Squad, Unit #2, Vass, NC in 1962. During AB’s more than 30 years of service to his community, he answered countless calls, won several state championships in First Aid and Heavy Rescue. In 1972, the Vass Rescue Squad were World Champions in Heavy Rescue. AB rose to Captain of the squad and served as statewide commander of the North Carolina Association of Rescue Squads.
In 1977, Michael joined the Rescue Squad at 13 years old, and was on teams that won three state Junior First Aid Championships and then four state Heavy Rescue championships.
Michael retired from the Rescue Squad in 1997, but continues to support his community through Michael Parker Benefit Auctions.
Upon graduating high school, Michael attended Mendenhall School of Auctioneering in High Point, NC. Michael was licensed that same year with license number 2714. Michael and his father formed AB Parker & Son Auctioneers. Also in 1982, Michael began NC State University. During college, Michael worked weekends in three different auction houses and helped his father run the auction business.
In 1984, Michael met Carol Parker, a student at UNC-Chapel Hill. Carol began attending Michael’s auctions and began working the ring. In 1986, Michael and Carol were married. Carol obtained her Real Estate Broker’s license and her auction license. Together, they formed Parker Auction and Realty Service, Inc. (PARS) and sold real estate, general auctions and charity auctions.
In 1986, Michael started law school at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law and Carol started her masters at NC State University. Michael and Carol put themselves through graduate school running PARS.
In 1989, Michael became a prosecutor, but continued doing charity auctions for local non-profits. Although a lawyer does not have to be a licensed Auctioneer to conduct auctions, Michael has never let his license lapse and is a lifetime member of the Auctioneer’s Association of North Carolina.
Although AB died in 2000, Michael continues his family’s history of community service with Michael Parker Benefit Auctions. As a professionally trained advocate who teaches others to advocate, Michael is uniquely qualified to bring an organizations’ needs and message to the community. As a prosecutor and a rescueman, Michael has seen the devastation that can come from drunk driving, child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, gang activity and unmet community needs. As Michael says, “Conducting Benefit Auctions affords me the opportunity to do the things I love most in life: conduct auctions and help the community by advocating for causes I believe in.”
Matthew Parker, Michael's son, works the ring and as Cashier at non-profit benefit auctions. At 18, Matthew is poised to be the third generation Parker Auctioneer.