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On the Road: AGS Conclave 2021

Welcome to On the Road! We just returned from Dallas, site of this year’s American Gem Society (AGS) Conclave event.

 

After a cancellation in 2020, then a delay that moved the show to September in 2021, this was the first Conclave in over two years, and it was every bit the wonderful reunion it promised to be. Congratulations to Katherine Bodoh, CEO at AGS, and her team, as well as current AGS president Michael Richards of Underwood Jewelers in Jacksonville, Florida, on a smash success!

 

Despite the presence of masks and “vaccinated” buttons, it was an otherwise “normal” AGS, with great networking, terrific education, and big laughs from host Jeff Zell. The evenings included dinners with friends, the Young Titleholders Trivia Night, and the event cocktail parties.

 

Special congrats to two of my favorite people in the business: Alexis Padis of Padis Jewelers and David Bindra of B&B Fine Gems, who were presented witj the 2020 and 2021 Young Titleholder of the Year award, respectively. Alexis and Dave are truly the embodiment of the future of this industry, and with dynamic, engaged and enthusiastic folks like this, the future looks bright!

 

 

With Jewelers Mutual’s Krystle Craycraft (left), and retailer Cathy Calhoun of Calhoun Jewelers

 

With Ash Shah of De Beers Forevermark 

 

Olympic gold medalist Apollo Ohno delivered an inspiring keynote speech, saying, “We only have one shot in our lives to be our best and to show up fully…We can turn challenges into opportunities.”

 

Clockwise from me (far left, in the black shirt): Brandon Hill of Steve Quick Jeweler, industry veteran Manos Phoundoulakis, Peggy Blickhan and Steve Quick of Steve Quick Jeweler, Erica Silverglide of Gemology Geek, and Melissa Quick of Steve Quick Jeweler

 

 

Jewelers Mutual’s Jamie Luce taking the stage at Conclave!

 

 

With Dave Bindra of B&B Fine Gems, and Marc Nanasi of NEI Group

 

At the AGS Young Titleholder’s party

 

This story has additional reporting and photography by Benjamin Guttery (a.k.a. @thirdcoastgems)

 

Top photo: The AGS Young Titleholders (courtesy @agscommunity)

 

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