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GIA recognises two chapter members
The GIA Alumni Association continues to see rapid growth
By: Diamond World News Service
Apr 7 2010 12:53PM
Reference: 4833  


The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has announced two outstanding chapter members as award recipients: Rick Velayo, G.G., of Palo Alto, California, honoured as the 2010 International Alumni Achievement recipient; and Amish Turakhia, G.G., of Mumbai, recognised with the 2010 International Alumni Leadership Award. The ceremony was held at the annual GIA Alumni dinner, auction, and dance party in Tucson, Arizona.

The GIA Alumni Achievement Awards honour members who imbibe and further integrity, ethical business practices and professionalism. The Alumni Leadership Awards recognise chapter officers who promote an active, growing chapter through innovative programmes, activities, continuing education and more.

Velayo, was nominated for his “enthusiasm and commitment to the betterment of our industry,” said Starla Turner, chapter president. Velayo a member of the California-Golden Gate Chapter, holds over 20 years of active involvement with the Bay Area jewellery community. He created the Northern California Security Alert System in 1994 with a network of 120 jewellers, which has helped law enforcement officials apprehend several criminals.

Turakhia is a founding member of the GIA Alumni Mumbai Chapter (GIA AMC), which boasts over 700 members since its establishment one year ago. “(Our chapter) has come a long way, getting bigger and stronger with time. Its constant focus is to provide invaluable networking opportunities, organise multi-faceted educational seminars and field trips, and offer professional assistance to its Alumni members in all possible ways,” Turakhia said. “Although I am proud to receive this coveted award, I accept it as a representative of Team GIA AMC and hundreds of our active members who have contributed to the chapter’s growth.”

“The Institute is proud to recognise these two distinguished chapter members for all of their efforts and accomplishments,” said Linda Ellis, vice president and chief Advancement officer. “Their commitment and leadership contributes to the Alumni Association’s mission to reach, serve and engage GIA alumni; encourage lifelong relationships; provide opportunities for continuing education; and foster networking throughout the gem and jewellery industry.”

Ellis added, “We’ve recently seen a significant increase in newly formed alumni chapters across the globe.” According to Ellis, there are 62 chapters worldwide. The GIA Alumni Advisory Council helped determine winners of this year’s International Achievement and Leadership Awards amongst the 23 Alumni Award winners.

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