By Michelle Graff
Anna Samsonova and Gina Hawkins, CG, (right) accepted the Guild of the Year Award for Seattle from last year’s winner, Kara Huddleston, CGA and president of the Cincinnati Guild (far left), and Marc Altman.
Nashville, Tenn.—Seattle, Sexton and Shaheen were among the winners at the American Gem Society’s Titleholders Luncheon Tuesday.

David Sexton, the vice president of loss prevention at Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group, took home the John J. Kennedy Award for his years of service to the jewelry industry. The award is named for the current president of the Jewelers Security Alliance and goes to an individual who contributes to the safety of the industry, which Sexton has through Jewelers Mutual, its partnership with JSA and his work with UL.

20180425 Kennedy awardJoining David Sexton (far left) on stage to accept his award was JSA President John J. Kennedy (center). Pictured at far right is jeweler Marc Altman, chair of the AGS’s International Guilds Council.
Jennifer Shaheen won the Sallie Morton Award, which recognizes an individual for their service to the AGS Guilds over the past year.

Shaheen, the founder of Technology Therapy Group, traveled extensively last year to lend her marketing and technology expertise to guilds nationwide.

The award is named for Sallie Morton, the first female president of AGS who was instrumental in promoting and developing the guilds. Morton died this past October at the age of 91.

20180425 Morton awardJennifer Shaheen accepting her award at the Titleholders Luncheon from Marc Altman
Guild of the Year, meanwhile, went to Seattle, which presenter Marc Altman said has done a “terrific” job over the past year serving its members and organizing meetings that were engaging.

Anna Samsonova and Gina Hawkins, CG, accepted the award on behalf of the Queen City’s chapter.

Also presented at Tuesday’s lunch was the award for Young Titleholder of the Year, which went to Sarah Nanasi Russell (CG), a woman whom Denise Richards, CGA and outgoing chair of the Young Titleholders Steering Committee, described as driven and dedicated.

20180425 Young TitleholderYoung Titleholder of the Year winner Sarah Nanasi Russell (right) with Denise Richards, who just completed her term as head of the Young Titleholders Steering Committee
The Titleholders Luncheon is a Conclave staple organized to recognize those who have newly earned or reached a milestone in their AGS designation. Examples of the organization’s designations include certified gemologist (CG), certified gemologist appraiser (CGA) and registered jeweler (RJ).

Among those recognized this year was a California jeweler who has held the title of certified gemologist for 40 years—Georgie Gleim of Gleim the Jeweler in Palo Alto.   

AGS Conclave 2018 wraps up Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee, with the presentation of the Robert M. Shipley Award at lunch and the annual President’s Party.

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