Success is forcing the annual League of Honor gala of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to move to larger quarters. Starting in 2005, GIA will hold the prestigious industry event at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, announced Bill Boyajian, GIA president, at the 2004 League of honor dinner held Oct. 12 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.
The annual event has been held at the Plaza since it began in 1995, and attendance has grown consistently. However, the Plaza’s Grand Ballroom can only accommodate about 600 people—the number at this year’s crowded gala—limiting growth of the event and the number of industry guests who can attend. The ballroom at the Waldorf, said Boyajian, can hold up to 1,000 people.
Boyajain also announced that GIA’s International Gemological Symposium in 2006 will be held Aug.27-29.
The annual League dinner, which draws hundreds of industry leaders, honors those companies, organizations, or individuals who have contributed $100,000 or more to GIA’s nonprofit mission to serve the public trust through education, research, laboratory services, and instrument development.
Proceeds from this year’s gala benefit the Richard T. Liddicoat Endowment Fund for Education and Research.
More than 80 individuals around the world have been inducted into the League of Honor since it was founded in 1995. This year, there were eight inductees: Michael Beaudry, Michael Beaudry Inc.; Hugh Bell, Rio Grande; Terry L. Burman, Sterling Jewelers Inc.; Robert E. Green, Lux, Bond & Green; John A. Green, Lux, Bond & Green; Marc A. Green, Lux, Bond & Green; Zvi Gutentag, Galaxy Diamond; Douglas Hucker, American Gem Trade Association; Cliff Miller, M.J. Christensen Diamond Centers; and Susan Rothman, Hearts On Fire.
The dinner co-chairs were Mary L. Forté, president and chief executive officer of Zale Corp., and Graham Nicholls, vice president, BHP Billiton Diamonds Inc.