Lee Berg, Doug Hucker, and Joel Schechter accepted awards at the American Gem Society’s Circle of Distinction dinner in New York on July 29.
Lee Berg, CEO of Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. His company has stores in Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi. In his acceptance speech, Berg thanked his wife, Brenda, his three sons, Ryan, Scott, and Chad, their wives, and his business’ 200 employees, 43 of whom, he was proud to share, are AGS titleholders. “This industry has been my life,” he shared. “I’m a first-generation jeweler. I picked this industry, it didn’t pick me.”
Doug Hucker, CEO of the American Gem Trade Association, received the Triple Zero Award. “Everything I’ve done in this industry I can trace back to the American Gem Society,” he said. “I can’t believe I get to work with colored gemstones and promote colored gemstones. I’d probably do it for free.”
Joel Schechter, CEO of Honora, now part of the Richline Group, also received the Triple Zero Award. He congratulated the industry on its resilience, remarking that though Main Street was changing, the jewelry store remained. “You guys are never going away,” he said. “You have a trust that can’t be compared.” He thanked his wife, Eileen, and his three sons, Michael, Daniel, and Brandon. Michael and Brandon are both in the industry (“I’m now known as Michael’s father,” Schechter joked), and Daniel is a filmmaker.
The 13th annual event was held at the Plaza Hotel.