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By  , Thursday, April 19, 2007


 Pictured are Mari Okada, Jim Shigley and Ramon Nevarez.  Photograph by Robert Weldon.

From GIA, Carlsbad, Calif. - The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) recognized five individuals as exemplary employees during its annual Staff of the Year Awards on Dec. 14, 2006 at the Carlsbad campus.

Each year, this Award is bestowed upon staff members who have distinguished themselves by demonstrating significant contribution to GIA, excellence in service, and a professional approach to advancing GIA’s mission.

The 2006 Staff of the Year winners were, in alphabetical order: Lori Geller, On-Campus Operations supervisor (Los Angeles); Ramon Nevarez, Mailroom supervisor (Carlsbad); Mari Okada, Grading Development coordinator (Carlsbad); Sonia Pastoret, Client Service representative (New York); and Dr. Jim Shigley, director of Research (Carlsbad).


“Of the 98 nominees this year, these five stand out for their dedication, exemplary performance, and commitment to GIA,” said GIA President Donna Baker. “They are at the heart of what makes GIA’s service to the public and industry great, and it is an honor to recognize them as the 2006 Staff of the Year.”

Started in 1985, the Staff of the Year Award recognizes individuals whose dedication and loyalty to GIA’s mission and a strong commitment to personal and professional integrity have helped the Institute to achieve its mission. To date, 106 staff members have received this award.


About GIA

An independent nonprofit organization, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is recognized as the world's foremost authority in gemology. Established in 1931, GIA has translated its expert knowledge into the most respected gemological education available. In 1953, the Institute created the International Diamond Grading System™ which, today, is recognized by virtually every professional jeweler in the world. Through research, education, gemological laboratory services, and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism. More information can be found on GIA’s website at Media queries contact: Laura Simanton, 760-603-4112.

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