Terry Burman, chairman and chief executive officer of Sterling Jewelers Inc., and CEO of the Signet Group Plc., the world’s largest retail jeweler, is the recipient of the Ellis Island National Medal of Honor. He was scheduled to receive the award on May 14 in a ceremony on Ellis Island, outside New York City.
The award is presented by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, an organization dedicated to upholding the principles of ethnic diversity, equality, tolerance, and harmony. Established in 1986 by NECO, the Ellis Island National Medal of Honor is awarded to Americans of diverse origins who “exemplify a life dedicated to the American ways of hard work, self-improvement, and community service.”
Since 1986, more than 1,000 American citizens have been honored, including former U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr., and Bill Clinton; Mohammad Ali; Gen. Colin Powell; Elie Weisel; Rosa Parks; and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
Burman has been chairman and CEO of Sterling Jewelers Inc. for almost a decade. Sterling operates 1,156 specialty retail jewelry stores in the United States, including the national Kay Jewelers and Jared Galleria of Jewelry chains. He is actively involved in St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and serves on its board of governors, is chairman of Jewelers For Children, the jewelry industry’s own charity, and is a trustee of ACCESS, the Akron, Ohio, homeless shelter.