Michael P. Bertoia joins Bertoia Auctions’ staff in associate role Armed with a business degree and a lifelong fondness for antiques, 22-year-old Michael Bertoia, son of Bertoia Auctions' co-founders, Jeanne and Bill Bertoia, has joined the family business.
News-Antique.com - Jan 31,2008 - VINELAND, N.J. – Family-owned Bertoia Auctions has added a new link to its legacy. Michael P. Bertoia, 22-year-old son of co-founders Jeanne Bertoia and the late William S. “Bill” Bertoia, has joined the internationally known auction house, where he hopes to build a fulfilling career based on interests he has had since early childhood. In his associate’s role, Michael will implement new technologies while also serving as house photographer in the catalog-production area. Michael said that as his duties expand, he looks forward to being able to travel extensively as a representative of Bertoia’s.
A graduate of the University of Vermont, where he earned a B.A. in Business Administration, Michael said he “grew up in a house full of antiques and learned at a young age to appreciate their beauty,” adding with a laugh, “I remember my mother, father and Uncle Rich (Bertoia) working out of the downstairs of our house. I always wanted to play with my toys in the basement, but my dad always had his toys down there.” Both of Michael’s parents are widely acknowledged for their contributions to the toy-collecting hobby. As dealers, collectors and ultimately as auctioneers, they helped raise the profile of antique toys to unprecedented new heights. Michael’s uncle, Rich Bertoia, is also an antiques collector and enthusiast, and is part of Bertoia’s management team.
Both Michael and his sister Lauren had the advantage of growing up in an environment that constantly exposed them to antiques and enabled them to meet many high-profile collectors. As often as possible during breaks from college, Michael would return home to assist at Bertoia sales, while Lauren, a pharmaceutical sales representative in New Jersey, would actually plan her vacations around auction dates so she, too, could lend a hand – it’s a practice that continues to this day.
“(Bertoia’s) first auctions were held in Philadelphia, and back then my grandparents would take my sister and me to see them,” Michael said. “I remember there were huge crowds of people, and everyone seemed to like toys as much as I did … My father began collecting penny toys for me as a child, a collection that I still have today.”
“I feel like I have the best qualities of both my mother and father,” Michael said proudly. “I have developed a keen sense of time management and responsibility from my father, and share my mother’s creativity, passion and enthusiasm. My parents always stressed integrity, honesty and fair dealing as being the most important traits a person could have in this business. This made a big impression on me.”
Michael, who is an avid snowboarder and surfer, knows the feeling of an adrenaline rush, and equates that feeling in some ways to the auction process. “It has an atmosphere similar to that of a roller coaster experience,” he said. “Anticipation and excitement is building while you are waiting in line. Once the ride begins, it is a cycle of intensity and exhilaration. Once the ride is over, you can’t