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January 2009


2009 program to feature business school workshops, motivational keynote speakers

January 12, 2009
LAS VEGAS - Presenters will bring business-boosting insight from the classroom, the corporate world, and the kitchen to the American Gem Society Conclave®, held April 1-4, 2009 in Chicago.

Conclave will feature, for the first time, graduate-level business school workshops that provide tools for success and profitable change - even in a challenging economic climate. The program, sponsored by Venus Jewel, will be taught by award-winning university professors and researchers including:

  1. David E. Drehmer, PhD, BCETS - Drehmer, an associate professor of Management and Organization at DePaul University's Charles H. Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. He will present a two-hour, interactive workshop, "Revisioning an Industry: Harnessing Tools That Work." This class will help business owners use the profound shifts in today's jewelry market to their advantage.
  2. Christopher J. Eckrich, PhD - Eckrich, principal of The Family Business Consulting Group, Inc.® and adjunct faculty member at The University of Notre Dame, will present two seminars. "Family Business Succession: Making Transition Work," is a two-hour program aimed at helping business owners navigate the complexities of family succession and transition. "Non-Family Employees in Business: Roles and Opportunities," is a one-hour program that will examine how employees can work effectively in the "sometimes murky waters of family enterprise."
  3. Lisa K. Gundry, PhD - Gundry, an author and professor of Management at De Paul University's Charles H. Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, is also director of The Center for Creativity and Innovation at the university. She will present "Creativity and Innovation in Business," and provide tools that help generate ideas and increase business-enhancing creativity.

Renowned marketer and entrepreneur Seth Godin will serve as keynote speaker on Friday, April 3 from 8:30-10:00 a.m. Godin, a prolific author, writes a marketing blog and has penned numerous business and leadership books - like "Purple Cow," "Tribes," and "Permission Marketing" - that have spent time on The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Amazon.com bestseller lists. His "Unleashing the Ideavirus" is the most popular e-book ever written. He is also a contributing editor for Fast Company magazine and founder and CEO of Squidoo.com, a recommendation and idea Web site.

Godin's presentation, "The Opportunity of a Lifetime," will take place during the Conclave Opening Session, which is sponsored by Hearts on Fire.

Award-winning celebrity chef Jeff Henderson, star of the Food Network's "The Chef Jeff Project," will present on Friday, April 3 from 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. Henderson, who became the first African-American to run a restaurant at the famed Caesars Palace Las Vegas, chronicled his journey from prison inmate to executive chef in the bestselling memoir Cooked. Henderson is known as a voice of personal and professional change, and authority on human potential.

Henderson will speak and host a subsequent audience Q-and-A session during the American Gem Society's Titleholder's Luncheon. The luncheon, which honors the accomplishments of each new Society titleholder, is sponsored by the Natural Colored Diamond Association (NCDIA).

"Our staff, board, and sponsors have been working hard to deliver a fantastic program in 2009," said Ruth Batson, executive director and CEO of the American Gem Society™. "Each piece of the program - from the interactive workshops to the inspirational keynote speakers - has been designed to help Conclave attendees succeed by strengthening and sharpening themselves and their businesses."

The Society has announced that it will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2009 by opening Conclave, the organization's prestigious annual membership gathering, to non-member retailers for the first time.

The four-day event, held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago hotel, will feature an intensive educational program, hands-on workshops, a two-day Supplier Showcase and Fashion Show, and a special president's celebration marking the Society's milestone anniversary.

For more information or to register, visit www.americangemsociety.org and click on the Conclave icon. Or, contact Evelyn Ramos at 866-805-6500 ext. 1008 or eramos@ags.org.

For Conclave sponsorship opportunities, contact Ruth Batson at 702.255.6500 ext. 1007 or rbatson@ags.org.

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), Registered Supplier (RS), 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. For more information regarding the American Gem Society, please call 866.805.6500, or visit their Web site at www.AmericanGemSociety.org.