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Circle of Distinction Award Winners Announced

June 18, 2008


American Gem Society™ will induct honorees at ninth annual dinner

LAS VEGAS - The American Gem Society announced today it will honor industry leaders John J. Kennedy, Hugh Glenn, and Anna Martin at its Ninth Annual Circle of Distinction Dinner at New York City's Rainbow Room on July 29.

Kennedy is president of the Jewelers' Security Alliance (JSA) and will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award - one of the highest honors an individual can receive from the American Gem Society.

Glenn, former owner of the Hugh Glenn Corporation, and Martin, senior vice president and regional manager, Americas, of ABN AMRO Bank's International Diamonds, Jewelry, and Precious Metals Group, will be honored with Triple Zero Awards. The Triple Zero Awards are named after the highest grade a diamond can receive in American Gem Society nomenclature.

"Each of these winners embodies a spirit of service and leadership both within and outside the gem and jewelry industry," said Ruth Batson, CEO and executive director of the American Gem Society. "We share those values with John, Hugh, and Anna, and will be honored to induct them into the American Gem Society's prestigious Circle of Distinction this summer."

John J. Kennedy - Lifetime Achievement Award

Kennedy, an attorney who joined JSA full time in 1992, will receive the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award. He held prior posts in government, academia, and law enforcement, including assistant commissioner and deputy general counsel of the New York City Department of Investigation.

Since joining the gem and jewelry industry, Kennedy has worked with police departments and the FBI to help JSA's 20,000 members avoid burglary, robbery, and theft. He has become a frequent lecturer on jewelry security at trade shows, conventions, and large jewelry firms, and authored several pieces for trade publications on the subject. He co-wrote JSA's Manual of Jewelry Security and manages the organization's Web site.

A 15-year member of the Security Systems Council of Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., Kennedy has also served as secretary of New York City's 24 Karat Club since 2002.

He was named Person of the Year by JCK Magazine in 2001 and the Consolidated Jewelers Association of Greater New York's 2002 Man of the Year.

Hugh Glenn - Triple Zero Award

Glenn, whose namesake company was the U.S. distributor for Cyma Swiss watches, will receive a 2008 Triple Zero Award.

His entrée into the industry came in 1966, when the Zale Corporation in New York hired him as a watch buyer. He worked in watches throughout his career, and the Hugh Glenn Corporation propelled visibility and sales for Cyma in the United States.

Glenn, a director of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, launched the Sequoia jewelry collection with designer Yves Kamioner eight years ago. His service in the trade has included terms as president of the 24 Karat Club of New York and chairman of JSA.

Humanitarian organizations including the National Conference for Community and Justice and the American Jewish Committee have honored Glenn, who also chairs the advisory board for the Martha Stewart Center for Living at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital.

Anna Martin - Triple Zero Award

Martin, who has spent the majority of her 40-year career with ABN AMRO Bank working with the diamond and jewelry industries, will receive a 2008 Triple Zero Award.

She helped expand ABN AMRO's involvement in the industry from financier to a small number of New York-based diamond dealers to its position as the largest financial products and services provider to the diamond and jewelry industry.

The past president of the Women's Jewelry Association (WJA), Martin still serves on its board, as well as the Jewelers Board of Trade, the Gemological Institute of America's Board of Governors, and the Jewelers for Children board. Martin was inducted into the 24 Karat Club of America and the U.S. Diamond Industry Steering Committee's Hall of Fame, and won the WJA's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

The American Gem Society will pay tribute to Kennedy, Glenn, and Martin at the Circle of Distinction dinner, held July 29 at the Rainbow Room in New York City's Rockefeller Plaza. Tickets are still available; contact Peggy Campbell at 866.805.6500 x1005 or pcampbell@ags.org for further information.

The American Gem Society, founded in 1934 by Robert M. Shipley, is a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to proven ethics, knowledge, and consumer protection within the jewelry industry. The American Gem Society is the international professional organization awarding credentials of Registered Jeweler (RJ), Certified Gemologist (CG), Certified Gemologist Appraiser (CGA), and Independent Certified Gemologist Appraiser (ICGA). Members are held to the highest ethical and professional standards in the industry and must pass annual recertification examinations to maintain their American Gem Society titles. Less than five percent of jewelers in the country have met the exacting requirements necessary for membership.