The 24 Karat Club of the Southeastern United States (SEUS) hosted its 40th annual Banquet at the Atlanta Country Club on August 9. The event was well attended with over 200 leaders of the jewelry industry and their guests enjoying an evening of networking and recognition.
2014 24 Karat Club SEUS Jeweler of the Year
Susan and William C. “Chuck” Steel, III of Steel’s Jewelry, Valdosta, Georgia, were presented with the 24 Karat Club 2014 Jeweler of the Year award. 2014 marks the first time in the award’s 19 year history that it was presented to a couple, as both Susan and Chuck have been equally responsible for the company’s direction and success.
Steel’s Jewelry began in 1985 as a wholesale benchwork business which included custom design and repair for independent retail jewelers. In 1988 it was incorporated as Steel’s Jewelry Company, and in 1989 opened the first retail store doing business as Steel’s Gold by Design. In 2001, Steel’s opened a free standing store in Summit Pointe, an upscale retail and professional office park. In 2007 Steel’s doubled their size and expanded their bridal boutique.
In addition to growing their business over the last three decades, the Steels have cemented themselves as cornerstones of their community. Their list of charitable and civic involvement is immense. They consider it an honor to support Moody Air Force Base by donating shopping sprees during the holidays for the children and families with members serving our country abroad, are big sponsors of That Others May Live, an organization which provides scholarships and assistance to families of injured active duty servicemen/women, and those who have lost their lives, help support a therapeutic riding facility for sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, Wounded Warrior Project, and make it a point to attend Red Carpet Welcome Home receptions for soldiers incoming to Moody. Myrna Ballard, President of the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce, commented, “the list of their community involvement is long and impressive. They are genuinely generous people who love their community - and our Air Force Base - and simply want to make things better. The list of things these two people do is longer than your arm!”
Other groups the Steels support include Haven Battered Women’s Shelter, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Valdosta, Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, Valdosta’s Festival of Trees, Partnership Cancer Fund, America’s Second Harvest, Children’s Advocacy Center, United Way, Valdosta State Women’s Softball (their field is named Steel’s Diamond at Blazer Park) and many others.
“We were very humbled to be nominated and selected as the first couple to receive the 24 Karat Club Jewelers of the Year Award, said Susan. “Our industry is all about relationships and we are fortunate to have met so many wonderful people. We have a lot of fun doing what we do and it really surprised us that other people noticed and appreciated how and what we’ve done.”
New members inducted
Two new additions to the 24 Karat Club membership were inducted at the 2014 Banquet, Ann Glynn and Gene Lambert. Glynn is President of public relations and marketing firm GJB, Inc., Executive Director of the Texas Jewelers Association and Vice President of Communications and Marketing for Jewelers of Louisiana. Lambert is the Southeastern Sales Representative for Simon Golub, covering GA, FL, AL and TN. A long time industry veteran, he has previously worked with First Class Imports, KC Designs, Parle/Idaho Opal and Dora Ring.
Sponsors of the night’s event included: Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, Diamond Council of America, Sterling Reputation, Stuller, Inc., Fallaize Insurance Agency, Southern Jewelry News, SJTA/The Atlanta Jewelry Show, Platinum Guild International, Berkley Asset Protection, InStore and InDesign magazines, Time Delay Corporation, Harmon Group, Benchmark, Judy Carter & Associates, Star Gems and Carolyn Woltz Lennon representing Simon Golub.
The 24 Karat Club Southeastern United States is a prestigious organization of industry professionals representing 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.