S.C. 24K Club to Honor Herb Bridge

Herbert M. “Herb” Bridge of Ben Bridge Jewelers, Seattle, will receive the Jewelers 24K Club of Southern California’s Excellence In Service Award. The award has been bestowed upon a deserving individual or individuals annually since 1998.

The event will be held on Sept. 13, in Beverly Hills, at the Beverly Hills Hilton in the Crystal Ballroom. The club’s board of directors made the announcement Wednesday.

“On this 10th anniversary of the Excellent In Service Award, choosing honoree Herb Bridge was an easy choice,” said Club president Julia Baroni, Baroness Jewelers chief executive officer. “His lifetime of achievements is a true inspiration to us all.”

“Herb exemplifies the qualities we look for in an honoree,” said incoming president Donna M. Phelan. “He is a true leader and a visionary—in the jewelry industry, the Navy and civic service. Herb built a family jewelry store into a business even Warren Buffet admired. Promoting the highest ethical standards, he encouraged his associates to become educated in gemology, and was a driving force in building the American Gem Society.”

Bridge is best known in the industry for his leadership of Ben Bridge jewelers, although his jewelry experience is just one face of his interests and activities. His additional achievements include being a successful businessman, a naval officer in two wars as well as a Seattle civic leader and philanthropist known as, “Mr. Downtown.”

Bridge had a 41-year career in the Navy and Naval Reserve, eventually becoming a rear admiral. He and his brother Robert took over Ben Bridge Jewelers from their father, building it to a chain of more than 70 stores. Today, the company is a subsidiary of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., with Herb and Bob Bridge acting as co-chairmen. Today, Herb and his wife Shirley live in downtown Seattle.

A full biography on Herb Bridge can be found here: www.historylink.org/essays/output.cfm?file_id=7307.

The evening will also include the club’s annual dinner dance and a silent auction, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Jewelers for Children and GIA Career Fair.

For tickets, sponsorship, information, or to participate in the silent auction or Dinner/Dance, contact the club’s executive director, Jack Woolf, at (714) 970-0564; or 24ktclub@sbcglobal.net.