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American Gem Society Awards Honorees During Conclave

Young Titleholder of the Year, John J. Kennedy Award and Guild of the Year Award were among the 2022 honors given out.




(PRESS RELEASE) OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — The American Gem Society (AGS) presented several prestigious awards at its annual Conclave this week.

On April 27th, during the Titleholders Luncheon, Sarah Nanasi Russell, CG, past chair of the Young Titleholders Committee, gave out the 2022 Young Titleholder of the Year Award to Maria Brown, RJ, of Exclusively Diamonds.

“Maria has been a consistent and tireless contributor on the Young Titleholder Committee since she joined five years ago,” said Ms. Russell. “She has never missed an opportunity to volunteer for a task when we need extra help and her commitment to our everyday operations has been critical to our success.”

The Black in Jewelry Coalition (BIJC) collaborated with the Young Titleholder’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee to award one BIJC member a grant for Conclave. Ms. Russell announced the recipient of this grant, Latoya Boyd. The grant covered the cost of Conclave registration, lodging, and provided a $500 gift card from AGS towards travel expenses.

“The Young Titleholders are proud of this new scholarship and are grateful to the Black in Jewelry Coalition for helping them execute it in a timely and meaningful way,” said Ms. Russell. “We pushed the boundaries of our usual scholarship process and offerings to align with their continuing goal of ensuring a diverse and inclusive American Gem Society community.”

Additionally, Ms. Russell announced the recipients of the Young Titleholder’s Conclave Scholarship. This year, they awarded five individuals with this honor, which provided free registration to Conclave. The recipients were:

  • Annie Daniels: Duke’s Jewelers
  • Mollie Effler, CG: Wm. Effler Jewelers
  • Bryce Melius: Exclusively Diamonds
  • Taele Polamalu, RJ: Zachary’s Jewelers
  • Amy Root: Form To Feeling

Marc Altman, CGA, past chair of the International Guilds Council, presented five awards.

The Sallie Morton Award for 2020 and 2021 were also presented. The Sallie Morton Award for 2020 went to Harold Dupuy of Stuller, Inc., and Shelly Sergent of Somewhere In The Rainbow Collection received the 2021 honor. There was not a 2022 award presented, but the award will resume in 2023.

“This award recognizes the contribution of individuals who have gone over and above in their service to the AGS Guilds each year. Our members were able to tap into Harold and Shelly’s abundant knowledge and both welcomed calls to address the specific needs of our Guildies,” said Mr. Altman.

The Guild of the Year Award for 2022 went to the Greater Cincinnati Guild. “This Guild, along with its president, has been a great supporter and has contributed to helping us develop the national program we have today,” said Mr. Altman.

The John J. Kennedy Award, given to outstanding law enforcement and security professionals who have served the jewelry industry, went to Joseph Metsopulos with the New York City Police Department’s Major Case Squad.

The next Conclave will be held May 1-3, 2023, in Louisville, KY. More details are coming soon.




Thinking of Retirement? This Jeweler Went for the Company That Shares His Values

Richard Frank of Goldstein’s Jewelry in Mobile, Ala., had worked in his family’s store since he was 13-years old. As its owner, he was proud to be at the helm of Mobile’s oldest jewelry store, an AGS, IJO and RJO member business. But there comes a time in every jeweler’s life when a decision must be made regarding the future. And for Frank, that meant turning the store over to new owners. He chose Wilkerson to handle the sale, a decision, he says, made a long time ago. “Their reputation is such that all the things we value are what they value,” he says. And the results surpassed Frank’s own expectations. Would he recommend Wilkerson for other jewelers who are considering a going-out-of-business or retirement sale? “If you’re contemplating a sale to maximize the return on your business, there is no one else in the industry that I could even think of recommending.”

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