Kathryn Kimmel, vice president of Marketing and Public Relations for the Gemological Institute of America, has been awarded the Institute’s Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement, the highest honor GIA bestows on an individual.
This award is granted on an infrequent basis and only to individuals who truly exemplify excellence. Kimmel is the 11th recipient of the Liddicoat Award, which was started in 1994.
GIA President Donna Baker presented the award to Kimmel during a Nov. 20 ceremony at the Institute’s world headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif. In attendance were GIA’s Board of Governors, executive team, staff, and Kimmel’s mother, Dorothy Geml.
“Kathryn has led the marketing and public relations efforts at GIA for 16 years, during which she has elevated the way in which the world sees GIA—and the way we see ourselves,” Baker said. “GIA has always had a proud and enduring legacy, and yet Kathryn has taken the Institute’s name, visibility, and global reach to a new height.”
Baker continued, “Her perspective, character, integrity, and leadership are exceptional, and she embodies all that is great about the Institute. Kathryn is at once a leader and a team player, and I am proud and honored to know her, work with her, and award her with GIA’s top honor.”
Upon receiving the award, Kimmel said, “This award is a tremendous honor and holds a deep personal meaning for me. Mr. Liddicoat was an exceptional individual who, through his dedication and kindness, inspired the best work in all of us. I can only hope to live up to the promise of excellence this award implies.”
Kimmel, who joined GIA in 1990 as director of Marketing, has served as vice president of Marketing and Public Relations since 1995. In this position, Kimmel spearheads the Institute’s worldwide marketing, advertising, and public relations efforts.
During her tenure at GIA, Kimmel founded the GIA Jewelry Career Fair, the gem and jewelry industry’s premier annual recruiting event. She pioneered the Institute’s use of the Internet as a communications tool by launching a corporate Web site in 1997 and subsequently developing a string of interactive tutorials on gem and jewelry subjects. Kimmel was also responsible for the formation of GIA’s Public Relations department. Most recently, she served as the co-chair of the Institute’s 2006 Fourth International Gemological Symposium.
A firm believer in service to the community and the industry, Kimmel has contributed much of her free time and energy to worthy organizations. She is a founding member of the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA), past president of the Los Angeles chapter, and currently serves as vice president on the national board. She also serves on the national board of the Jewelry Information Center and the board of the 24 Karat Club of Southern California.
Kimmel’s accomplishments include the WJA Award for Excellence in Promotion, induction into the WJA Hall of Fame, the American Gem Society’s Distinguished Service Award, and the YWCA’s Tribute to Women and Industry award.