Larger-than-Life Personality Hides a Quiet Philanthropist
What soothes the artistic soul of Gem Shopping Network Founder and Chairman Frank Circelli? Time spent with his treasures – gemstones and his work “family.”
This graduate gemologist”s retreat is a small room adjacent to his office where he indulges in a favorite past time; reveling in the wonder of nature”s bounty. Peek inside to glimpse a rainbow of gemstones spilled across a work surface. Loupes, pliers, gloves and a microscope are within reach. Prized, jewel-encrusted creations lay nestled in satin-lined boxes. Precious metal mounts await the Chairman”s selection of the ideal color, cut, clarity and carat stone.
Here Circelli becomes reacquainted with rare and precious gemstones, some tucked away in his private collection for a decade – “I”m a hoarder,” he unabashedly admits. Many, he has masterfully extracted from rough, cut and polished to stunning brilliance. All vie for the signature Circelli exclamation, “Oh, oh, oh…isn”t that delish!”
If viewers are lucky, pieces from the Chairman”s collection come to life under the bright lights in the network”s Duluth studios – broadcast live to more than 40 million U.S. households via Charter, Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network, Time Warner or streamed live at gemshopping.com – as has been done, around the clock for over 16 years. This well-oiled operation is the Chairman”s legacy.
Each televised program entertains while educating. On-air hosts use their knowledge to guide customers in learning the history and unique qualities of the featured jewelry. In-house master gemstone cutters and artisans craft world-class, custom masterpieces, as customer service, quality control and logistics teams ensure each transaction results in an exceptional experience.
Although the sights of Circelli”s muse are magical, even more enthralling is watching him blaze a trail through the building. Radiating energy, he literally lights up a room when he enters. Circelli”s genuine sincerity and enthusiastic greeting for each employee is telling. Their responses paint a clear picture. This man is well loved.
The Chairman embraces his humble roots and has built upon numerous trials, errors and challenges along the way. More importantly, he values “his people,” having surrounded himself with persons from every walk of life. “Employees of this company – I just adore them,” he shares.
Circelli can relate to each task they perform. After all, this entrepreneur carved a niche in a highly competitive industry by taking high-stake risks, sticking to ethical practices and succeeding through sheer perseverance. Circelli empowers his team to fulfill the company”s brand promise of education, integrity and honesty. Leading by example, his actions demonstrate that “if you work hard and you”re honest, you can make it and be successful.”
Perhaps this charismatic figure”s most endearing quality, however, is his innate ability, willingness and passion for educating others about his craft; to share with the public truths about gemstones and gemology. In fact, over 50 new graduate gemologists have entered this very elite field as a result of their interactions with Gem Shopping Network.
Through it all, he purposefully recognizes his blessings – never more so than during his recent battle with cancer. Circelli”s Gem Shopping family, lead by his CEO PJ Lynch and management team, carried the company through with flying colors.
Incidentally, Circelli philanthropic ways, another facet of his incredible legacy, have largely flown under the radar. Supporting more than 15 charitable causes, he recently broke his silence by agreeing to make public two significant donations, in hopes of inspiring others to follow.
A long time advocate for Gwinnett non-profit Rainbow Village, Circelli stepped in with a very generous contribution when another organization”s capital campaign pledge fell through. As well, Gwinnett Medical Center will soon launch a capital campaign for and break ground on The Circelli Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, thanks to the very generous lead gift from this Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC) Foundation board member.
“Frank understands the importance of being able to stay in the community when families are facing serious health issues,” says Jason Chandler, GMC Foundation president. “He was also very grateful when GMC nurses and doctors were there to save the day upon his daughter”s birth.”
Suffice it to say, Frank Circelli continues to make a lasting mark that has the potential to be as enduring as the gemstones and values he loves.