News & Press: American Gem Society News

Fifth-Generation Jeweler Receives Beatrice Shipley Scholarship

Tuesday, December 10, 2019  
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Awarded for study at GIA and AGS

 Madelaine Genna
Portrait of Madelaine Genna, GIA and AGS Beatrice Shipley Scholarship recipient.

GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and AGS (American Gem Society) have awarded the Beatrice Shipley Scholarship—named in honor of Mrs. Shipley for her many contributions to both organizations—to fifth-generation jeweler Madelaine Genna from central Florida. The scholarship provides tuition for Genna to complete the GIA Graduate Gemologist program on-campus, the AGS Way Course and to attend the 2020 AGS Conclave in Denver, CO.

AGS and GIA jointly established the Beatrice Shipley Scholarship, which was announced by Susan Jacques, GIA president and CEO, at the 2019 AGS Conclave in Seattle, Washington.

“It is an honor to help the next generation of industry leaders prepare for their careers with education from GIA and AGS,” said Jacques. “Madelaine Genna grew up in our industry; it is wonderful to see her passion propel her into a successful career. We are so proud that she is the first to receive the Beatrice Shipley Scholarship.”

“We would like to express our gratitude to GIA for helping our members achieve their goals,” said Katherine Bodoh, CEO of AGS. “I was so inspired by the applications we received from our wonderful members. I’d also like to thank John Carter, President of the AGS Board of Directors, who brought this brilliant idea to AGS and GIA.”

Genna grew up behind the counter of her parent’s jewelry store in Florida, where she developed a love for gems and jewelry at a young age. After graduating from college with a degree in advertising and public relations, she worked for a number of jewelry designers. Today, Genna remains involved in the family business and says that once she completes her studies at AGS and GIA, she has a vision to grow and expand the family jewelry business. Already, Genna is an AGS certified sales associate and has her GIA Diamond Essentials certificate

“I feel so fortunate to be the recipient of a scholarship in honor of Beatrice Shipley. She was a woman in business when there were few, and a driving force in the formation of GIA and AGS. I have the utmost respect for these organizations, as my family’s affiliation with them has truly allowed their business to flourish. Beatrice is someone I greatly admire as she represents all the amazing things that a woman can be and I’m so proud to be associated with her in this way,” said Genna.

Both GIA and AGS were founded in the 1930s when Robert and Beatrice Shipley cashed in their savings to create two organizations with the goal of educating jewelers, professionalizing the industry and creating a guild for these jewelers to join.


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Mission Statement

The American Gem Society (AGS) is a nonprofit trade association of fine jewelry professionals dedicated to setting, maintaining and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior through education, accreditation, recertification of its membership, gemological standards, and gemological research.

The Society is committed to providing educational products to inform and protect the consumer and to contributing to the betterment of the trade by creating industry standards to protect the jewelry-buying public and the fine jewelry industry as a whole.

AGS Laboratories, founded to support the AGS mission, is a nonprofit diamond grading laboratory with a mission of consumer protection. Adhering to the AGS Diamond Grading Standards, AGS Laboratories is dedicated to offering diamond grading reports that provide consistency and accuracy based on science.

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