Kathryn Kimmel, GIA’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, will retire Aug. 30 after 29 years with the grading lab.
Carlsbad, Calif.—The Gemological Institute of America announced Tuesday that Kathryn Kimmel, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, will retire this Friday, Aug. 30.

She has been with GIA for 29 years during which time she “built a remarkable and enduring legacy,” GIA said.

Kimmel played a critical part in shaping GIA’s domestic and international marketing, public relations and communications efforts, and also helped manage the launch of its digital presence with consumer and trade-facing websites.

Her “most visible achievement,” GIA said, was developing its ongoing consumer outreach campaign so shoppers would better understand the 4Cs and the importance of its independent gem identification and grading reports in trusting their purchases.

She also helped bridge the gap between the industry’s need for new talent and those looking for new opportunities by founding the GIA Jewelry Career Fair in 1991, which has since expanded to multiple locations, including India, Las Vegas, London and New York.

Also in 1991, Kimmel became co-chair of GIA’s International Gemological Symposium and a driving force behind the six it has held since, including the most recent in October.

“Kathryn opened doors and created opportunities in the gem and jewelry industry for so many women and men,” GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques said. “Her pioneering spirit and tenacity established the annual GIA Jewelry Career Fairs for GIA students and for tens of thousands of industry professionals looking for knowledge, development and advancement within the gem and jewelry industry.

“Millions of consumers across the world have confidence in their gem and jewelry purchases because she had the insight and drive to reach them with independent, credible and research-based knowledge about diamonds, colored stones and pearls.”

A third-generation member of the jewelry industry, Kimmel has experience in a broad range of areas, from working in retail as the managing director of Anthony Geml Jewelers in California to manufacturing as the customer service manager and, later, vice president of marketing and sales for Nova Stylings.

She is a founding member of the Women’s Jewelry Association and served on its national board for 20 years, and also is past president of the Los Angeles Chapter.

Kimmel also served on the boards of the Jewelry Industry Council and the 24 Karat Club of Southern California.

She has received several honors and awards for her work in the industry, including the YWCA’s Tribute to Women and Industry award, the American Gem Society Distinguished Service and Triple Zero awards, the GIA Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement, the 24 Karat Club Excellence in Service Award and the WJA Award for Excellence in Promotion.

She is also a member of the WJA Hall of Fame.

“My heart will forever be with the students—seeing them study at GIA, coming to GIA’s Jewelry Career Fair and becoming industry leaders has been one of the most rewarding parts of my job,” Kimmel said.

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