The GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement is given to an institution or individual for a career’s worth of contributions to the fine jewelry and watch industry and for setting a standard of excellence that serves as an inspiration to industry colleagues. The winner will have made a substantial enhancement to the image of the industry or a particular segment.
John Kennedy, Jewelers' Security Alliance

John J. Kennedy is the President of the Jewelers' Security Alliance, a non-profit trade association with 20,000 member locations that was founded in 1883. The JSA, which works closely with the FBI and police departments throughout the U.S., is dedicated to helping its members from the diamond, jewelry and watch industry avoid burglary, robbery and theft.

Mr. Kennedy is an attorney who joined the JSA full-time in January 1992. Prior to joining the JSA, Mr. Kennedy served as Assistant Commissioner and Deputy General Counsel of the New York City Department of Investigation, and as Assistant Counsel of the New York State Commission of Investigation. He also previously served as Chairperson of a college Department of Criminal Justice and Vice President for a non profit organization. He holds a B.A. degree from Fordham University and a J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law.

He is the co-author of JSA’s Manual of Jewelry Security, the only published book in the world on this subject. Mr. Kennedy has been interviewed numerous times on network and cable news shows regarding jewelry crimes, and has been quoted in most leading newspapers in the U.S.

Mr. Kennedy has also served as Secretary of the 24 Karat Club of New York since 2002, which is a fraternal organization for leaders of the diamond, jewelry and watch industry.

He was named "Person of the Year" by JCK Magazine in 2001; and was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Gem Society in 2008, which has also named an annual law enforcement award in his honor. In 2021, he received the Stanley Schechter Award from the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.