Bill Farmer Receives 2015 Shipley Award

Bill Farmer, co-owner of Lexington, Ky.–based Farmer’s Jewelry, received the American Gem Society’s Robert M. Shipley Award, its highest honor, at recent AGS Conclave in New Orleans on April 24.

Farmer served as president of the AGS from 2002 to 2004 and is currently board chair of Jewelers of America. 

“I love our industry. I also fear for it,” Farmer said in an emotional speech. “Some of our ways are going to change.”

“As the world stands today, we are in unique position,” he continued. “The kids may sell the car, may sell the house, may sell all the furniture, all the silver. They are going to keep the jewelry. They are going to want more like it. That is where we come in every day.  We are the trusted advisor.” 

He finished by joking: “I sure hope the back of [the award] is covered with drink tickets, because I’m going to use every one of them.” 

In addition, Denise Chislett, CG, of Underwood’s Jewelers, won the first annual Young Titleholders award at the Titleholders luncheon on April 23. The award is presented to a young titleholder who has contributed greatly to the committee and the society as a whole.

The society awarded the Sallie Morton Guild Award to Doug Hucker, CG, CEO of AGTA. The award recognizes individuals who have gone over and above in their service to the AGS Guilds each year.    

Courtesy the American Gem Society

Doug Hucker and AGS Guild chair Laura Stanley

The Arizona Guild also received the Guild of the Year award.

AGS president Louis Smith also presented the first-ever John J. Kennedy award, named after the president of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance.

The award, given to a law enforcement professional who has gone above and beyond to protect members of the jewelry industry, was given to FBI Special Agent Daniel McCaffrey. 

“Special Agent McCaffrey has been tireless in his efforts to protect our industry,” Smith said, adding that “it’s fitting that we named the award after Mr. Kennedy. He is the utmost authority on security in our industry and highly regarded among his peers.”

Courtesy the American Gem Society

Louis Smith and Daniel McCaffrey

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JCK News Director