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American Gem Society Awards Honorees, Elects New Board Members at Conclave 2019

All of the awards honor excellence, professionalism, and a commitment to ethics and consumer protection.




(PRESS RELEASE)SEATTLE, WA – The American Gem Society (AGS) presented a number of prestigious awards at their annual Conclave in Seattle, WA (April 8-10). All of the awards honor excellence, professionalism, and a commitment to ethics and consumer protection.

At the Titleholders Luncheon held on April 9, Marc Nanasi, RS, chair of the Young Titleholders Steering Committee, presented Meredith Schlessinger, CG, with the Young Titleholder of the Year Award.

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“Since she joined the Young Titleholders, Meredith brought with her enthusiasm, energy, and great ideas. She is perhaps more passionate than any of us when it comes to building a warm and welcoming community,” said Mr. Nanasi.

Additionally, Lisa Bridge, CG, was presented with a special plaque for her instrumental efforts in reigniting the Young Titleholders. “Lisa helped take our community from an idea to a thriving and growing part of AGS. She is a leader who embodies the values and mentorship that we all expect from AGS members,” Mr. Nanasi noted.

Also at the Titleholders Luncheon, Marc Altman, CGA, Chair of the International Guilds Council, presented three awards. The Guild of the Year Award went to the Michigan Guild. “The Michigan Guild President, Susan Barnett of Tapper’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry, spent countless hours calling stores throughout her region, eventually developing one of the Society’s most successful Guilds,” said Mr. Altman. “Additionally, the Guild has been instrumental in adding many fine firms to the American Gem Society membership.”

The Sallie Morton Award was presented to Phillip Bosen, CG. This award recognizes the contribution of individuals who have gone over and above in their service to the AGS Guilds each year. “Mr. Bosen was charged with Guild communications, creating many meeting notices, and establishing an online ticketing sales tool for the meetings. Without any guidance, he created a process to systematically produce our meeting notices for over 52 Guilds,” said Mr. Altman.


The John J. Kennedy Award went to Supervisory Special Agent of the FBI, Steve Gonzalez. Mr. Altman noted, “Special Agent Gonzalez voluntarily stepped into the role of ensuring the FBI’s partnership with AGS, and through his extensive network, the Guilds are assured outstanding meetings on security for years to come, as well as meetings at FBI facilities.”

At the Society’s annual Membership Breakfast on Wednesday, April 10, the membership confirmed the Board of Directors for 2019/2020. Niveet Nagpal of Omi Gems and Caryl Capeci of Chow Tai Fook, North America, were elected as Directors-at-Large. Beryl Raff of Helzberg Diamonds, and Yancy Weinrich of JCK Events, were the outgoing Board members, having served their terms fully.

“I would like to thank Yancy Weinrich and Beryl Raff for their years of service to the American Gem Society Board of Directors,” said John Carter, President of the AGS Board of Directors. “The soul of the Society is in the volunteerism of our membership and the countless hours they contribute to the advancement of our mission. Yancy and Beryl served their fellow AGS members tirelessly and we are a better organization because of men and women like them. In this same spirit, I am honored to welcome Caryl and Niveet to our Board. I look forward to serving with them and learning from their years of expertise in this industry.”

The 2019/2020 American Gem Society Board of Directors is as follows:

President: John Carter, CGA
President-Elect: Michael Richards, CG
Secretary: Lisa Bridge, CG
Sr. Advisor: Georgie Gleim, CG
Treasurer: Larry Rickert

Director-at-Large: Caryl Capeci
Director-at-Large: Mitchell Clark, CG
Director-at-Large: Amanda Coleman-Phelps, CGA
Director-at-Large: Scott Murphy
Director-at-Large: Niveet Nagpal
Director-at-Large: Scott Udell
Director-at-Large: Ronnie VanderLinden
Director-at-Large: Stewart Wicht


Chair: Conclave Subcommittee Alexis Padis, CGA
Chair: International Guilds Council Marc Altman, CGA
Chair: Gemological Sciences Committee Bryan Moeller, CGA
Chair: Education Committee Sarah Person, CG
Chair: Membership & Grievance Committee Kelly Newton, CGA
Chair: AGS Laboratories Advisory Committee Clayton Bromberg, CG
Chair: Finance, Audit & Legal Committee Larry Rickert
Chair: Young Titleholders Committee Marc Nanasi, RS



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