The American Gem Society honored Beryl Raff, Howard Hauben, and the Bromberg family at its annual Circle of Distinction dinner, held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on July 30.
Raff, the CEO of Helzberg Diamonds who also has held top positions at Zale Corp. and J.C. Penney, received the organization’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.
Raff thanked the industry for giving her a 30-year career she never imagined.
“I am just a Jewish girl from the suburbs who was supposed to marry a doctor,” she said. “I never accomplished a single solitary thing by myself. I’ve been helped by all the great people along the way.”
Beryl Raff and Ed Bridge (Photos courtesy of AGS)
She concluded by telling the gathering: “You are all an awesome group, and I love and respect each and every single one of you.”
The Bromberg family, owner of Bromberg’s in Birmingham, Ala., and Underwood Jewelers in Jacksonville, Fla., were given the organization’s Triple Zero Award.
“We share this recognition with the seven generations of our family in this business and with our employees,” said Ricky Bromberg, president of the Birmingham store, who appeared with father Frank.
Howard Hauben, Ruth Batson, and David Gardner
C. Clayton Bromberg, president of Underwood’s, said that the organization has “been responsible for setting us apart in Jacksonville.”
He closed with these words of wisdom, attributed to University of Alabama football coaching legend Paul “Bear” Bryant: “It don’t cost nothing to be nice.”
Centurion CEO Howard Hauben also received a Triple Zero.
The award “will go down as one of the best things to happen to me in my lifetime,” Hauben said.
At the evening’s close, AGS president David Gardner toasted executive director Ruth Batson’s 20 years of service to the organization.
Ruth Batson, Michael Richards, Ricky Bromberg, Frank Bromberg Jr., Clayton Bromberg, David Gardner