Kathryn Kimmel, vice president and chief marketing officer of the Gemological Institute of America, was honored with the “Excellence in Service Award” by the Jewelers 24 Karat Club of Southern California at its 63rd annual reception, held recently at The Beverly Hills Hotel.
Kimmel shared the honor with James West, executive and creative director of Leading Jewelers Guild, a member-owned organization that provides marketing, catalog production, advertising ,and other business needs for family-owned independent jewelers.
“I am deeply honored to receive this award among my colleagues, family, and friends in this incredible industry,” said Kimmel in her acceptance speech. “It is their help, encouragement and support that brought me to this place of honor, and I thank everyone here tonight.”
The 24 Karat Club’s “Excellence in Service Award” is reserved for those individuals the club believes have made a considerable contribution to the industry, elevating consumer respect and good business practices.
“On behalf of the Institute, we congratulate Kathryn on this remarkable recognition,” said Donna Baker, GIA president. “Kathryn is an invaluable member to the GIA family and to the jewelry industry. Her leadership, conviction, and standards of excellence continue to be an integral part of our organization’s growth and success.”
Kimmel, who has led GIA’s Marketing and Public Relations departments for 17 years, is widely acknowledged as one of the jewelry industry’s most significant leaders. She founded the industry’s largest and only recruiting event, the GIA Jewelry Career Fair; is a founding member of the Women’s Jewelry Association and on its national board as vice president; and is on the boards of the Jewelry Information Center and the 24 Karat Club of Southern California.
“Our honorees’ outstanding achievements exemplify the very essence of excellence within our organization,” said Julia Baroni, president of the 24 Karat Club. “Kathryn has made prodigious contributions with the utmost integrity and honor, which has helped take the jewelry industry to a higher level.”
The reception attracted a record attendance of more than 300 industry leaders.
In addition to the 24 Karat Club award, Kimmel has also been inducted into the WJA Hall of Fame and received the following recognition: the WJA Award for Excellence in Promotion; the American Gem Society’s Distinguished Service Award; the YWCA’s Tribute to Women and Industry award; and the Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement.