(Press Release) Bettejean Ahee, matriarch of the Grosse Pointe Woods landmark Edmund T. Ahee Jewelers, will receive the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences International Star Diamond Award on Augist 4 for her work beside her husband in creating the venerable jewelry business and the family that still runs it.
The award recognizes excellence in service, performance, attitude and hospitality on a global level. Mrs. Ahee is one of very few women ever to win the prestigious “Families Monarch” recognition.
“Bettejean Ahee perfectly exemplifies everything we want to reflect in our Five Star Diamond recognition,” says Joseph Cinque, President of The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences which presents the award. “She was an active partner with her husband, Edmund, since the very beginning in 1947 while at the same time raising seven children, all of whom have become participants in the business themselves. It’s an incredible success story.” Seventeen Ahee family members are actively engaged in the business today.
“My mother’s stamp is on this business just as much as my Dad’s” says Peter Ahee, President. “While she was raising the family, he would consult her on everything that was happening in the business. That’s what we talked about every night at the dinner table, how to make the business better.
“She helped Dad in creating our company’s long-time guiding principle, ‘Always give the customers more than they expect,’ and she instilled that idea in each of us as kids. I think she’d still put us over her knee if she ever thought we were forgetting it!”
Ahee’s prides itself in creating “special moments” for special occasions in its customers’ lives. One very early “special moment” was when Bettejean allowed her then young husband to sell her engagement ring to help pay the bills.
Mrs. Ahee considers the company’s long-time success and her close involvement in it a privilege. “It’s a privilege to work with someone you love every day and to be part of so many special moments in so many people’s lives,” she says. “When you see your customers’ smiles, it really does make all the hard work feel worthwhile.”
The Ahee family now includes 21 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren and besides showering them all with love, Mrs. Ahee continues to instill her core values in each of them: Appreciate the importance of old fashioned hard work, treat everyone like family, and never take privilege for granted.
In 2013 Ahee Jewelers became the first and only retailer ever to receive the coveted Five Star Diamond Award. The company was named Michigan Retailer of the Year in 2001 and “America’s Best Jeweler” by The Wall Street Journal the only three years the Journal offered the recognition.
National Jeweler magazine also recognized Ahee’s as America’s Best Jeweler in 2007. Topping off these awards, In-Store magazine named Ahee’s “America’s Coolest Store” earlier this year. Meanwhile Chris and Pam Ahee, two the Ahee’s seven children, have each won a variety of national and international jewelry design awards.
Ahee’s also has been a strong long-time supporter of not-for-profit organizations including St. John’s Hospital, Beaumont Hospital, Detroit Public Schools and a variety of churches in the area.
The company is probably best known for its support of Detroit’s Capuchin Soup Kitchen, especially the annual Capuchin Souper Summer Soup Kitchen and Celebration at Comerica Park which has raised over $6 million to date.