Mary Lou Keen
(PRESS RELEASE) DALLAS, TX — The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) announced the retirement of Mary Lou Keen, longtime trade show manager for the association.
“I walked into the AGTA office twenty-two years ago and Mary Lou had already been with AGTA for nearly a decade. I quickly learned that Mary Lou was truly the “face” of AGTA to many, if not all of our members. And she was universally adored. That adoration stems from the person she is. A consummate professional, a vigorous champion of our members and the association, and honestly the most kind and caring person I have ever known,” said Douglas Hucker, CEO of AGTA. “The success that AGTA has enjoyed, and the position of respect that the Association has achieved within our industry are due in large part to the dedication and devotion that Mary Lou brought the office each and every day. I don’t know where the AGTA, its members, its staff, or myself would be if Mary Lou had not spent the last thirty years with us; but I know we would be less. Thank you, Mary Lou, my colleague, my friend.”
Keen served in her current role since 1991 and prior to that served in numerous roles throughout AGTA. She joined the AGTA in 1989 and helped develop the AGTA presence at past shows such as the Smart Show, the SJTA Show, MJSA Expo and the AGTA GemFair at the JCK Show. Keen was also an integral part of the development of current AGTA shows including the AGTA GemFair Tucson, the AGTA Spectrum Awards, the AGTA Pavilion at the JA New York Summer Show and the debut of the new AGTA GemFair Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
“It is hard to believe that 30 years have passed since I became part of the small office staff of AGTA. I am so fortunate to have spent these years with an Association that I am so proud of and to see its stature grow within of our industry,” said Keen. “I was fortunate to work with a committed staff, multiple dedicated Boards, talented members and supportive vendors. I am blessed to have had so many wonderful people in my life; I will always cherish these years.”
In addition to Keen’s service to AGTA, she has served on the board of the smart show and served on the advisory board of the Tucson Convention Center. Keen is the past recipient of the WJA Awards for Excellence for Special Services. She continues her philanthropy by serving her church community.