Jewelers of America (JA) will celebrate Ed Bridge (pictured), chairman emeritus of Ben Bridge Jeweler, with its 2020 Gem Award for Lifetime Achievement at its 18th annual awards ceremony.
The Gem Awards will take place on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.
From 2018 to 2019, Bridge served as chairman and chief executive officer of Ben Bridge, the Seattle-based retail chain originally started by his grandfather in 1912. Prior to that, he served as its president and co–chief executive officer from 1990 to 2017
The chain currently has 90 stores in the western United States and Canada. In 2002, it was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company chaired by Warren Buffett.
After he stepped down, Bridge talked with JCK about his long industry career and decision to turn the company reins over to daughter Lisa.
Bridge has long been active in industry associations and has served as chairman of the board of both Jewelers of America and Jewelers for Children, as well as a board member for the Jewelers Vigilance Committee and Jewelry Information Center. In 2012, the American Gem Society awarded him and his family with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Ed has undoubtedly increased the professionalism for the jewelry industry,” said JA president and CEO David J. Bonaparte in a statement. “His commitment to his family business is unwavering, and his leadership on the boards of so many jewelry industry associations has been immensely appreciated by all those who benefit from his contributions.”
JA plans to announce nominees for its other Gem Awards in the near future, it said. More information on the awards ceremony can be seen here.
Past Gem Lifetime Achievement Award winners include former Rolex USA president and CEO Stewart Wicht, Tiny Jewel Box chairman Jim Rosenheim, and veteran watch journalist Joe Thompson, who recently appeared on the JCK podcast.
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