(ATLANTA) - The 24 Karat Club Southeastern United States (SEUS) hosted its 37th annual black-tie Banquet at the elegant Atlanta Country Club on August 6th. The elite event was well attended with approximately 200 leaders of the jewelry industry and their guests enjoying an evening of networking and recognition.
The night’s festivities began with the 24 Karat Club President’s Reception attended by Club officers and directors, new members and the evenings’ honorees. All members and guests then enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at a pre-dinner cocktail party.
The singing of The Star Spangled Banner followed the Presentation of Colors, presented by the United States Armed Forces. The song and ceremony were particularly moving as it occurred on the day the United States lost 30 Special Forces members when their helicopter went down in Afghanistan. 24 Karat Club member Kevin Reilly delivered the invocation.
Outgoing Club President Steve MacLeod welcomed members and guests to the event and introduced incoming President Terry Chandler of Diamond Council of America. Chandler thanked MacLeod for his service to the Club, recognized the night’s sponsors and announced the 2011-2012 slate of officers and board members.
New additions to the 24 Karat Club were then introduced. The group of new members included: Richard Arnemann, Harmon Group; Bobbie Hamburg, JCK; Eric Parent, Signature Engraving Systems; and David Siminski, United Precious Metals Refining. Patrick Drummond, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, also joined the Club in 2011 but was unable to attend the event.
The Club’s prestigious Robert Foreman Memorial Scholarship was presented to Suzanne Renee Bragg of Arcadia Fine Jewels in St. Simons Island, Georgia. In her acceptance speech, Bragg commented on her love for the industry and expressed her appreciation for the Club’s assistance in furthering her jewelry career.
The awarding of several other scholarships was also announced during the event. Sterling Reputation Scholarship recipients were Megan Sherrer of Lou’s Jewelry in Mobile, AL and Stephen Pratten of Augusta Stephenson in Oldsmar, FL; Diamond Council of America Scholarships went to Jerry Wiggins of Hayes Jewelers in Mobile, AL and Bill Davidson of Nancy & Co. in Northport, AL; and Jewelers of America Scholarships were awarded to Kim Odom of Doug Doggett Jewelers in Cullman, AL and Anabel Vargas of Rosenfeld Jewelers in Tucker, GA. The 24 Karat Club SEUS extends deep appreciation to these scholarship providers for partnering with the Club in their efforts to further the education and professionalism of our industry.
The awards presentation concluded with Club Treasurer Robert Loving introducing Mr. William C. Sites, the 2011 recipient of the coveted Jeweler of the Year Award. “Bill” Sites is the owner of Sites Jewelers in Clarksville, TN and Ward-Potts in Nashville, TN. Sites’ long list of industry achievements includes being the recipient of the 2010 American Gem Society’s Robert M. Shipley Award. A tireless advocate for the jewelry industry, he has served on the AGS board (as a director and then President), AGS Laboratories Board of Managers and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee board among many other industry and community organizations. He was inducted to the National Jeweler Retail Hall of Fame in 2006.
The presentation of awards and scholarships was followed by dinner and dancing to the tunes of the appropriately named band, Platinum. By all accounts the evening was a huge success with fun and camaraderie enjoyed by all who attended.
The Club would like to thank the following sponsors: Southeastern Findings/Namano, Sterling Reputation, Diamond Council of America, Stuller, Inc., Shah Diamonds, SJTA/The Atlanta Jewelry Show, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, Platinum Guild International, Fallaize Insurance Agency, Time Delay Corporation, P3 Mediaworks and Southern Jewelry News.
The 24 Karat Club Southeastern United States is a prestigious organization of industry professionals representing the leading members from the jewelry supplier sector. Members are considered and recognized because of their industry accomplishments, personal and civic contributions and their commitment to the betterment of the jewelry industry. For more information about the 24 Karat Club SEUS please visit www.The24KaratClub.org.