International Jewellery Entrepreneur Michael Hill Honoured with Knighthood

Plans to expand jewellery business in North American region

VANCOUVER, TORONTO, EDMONTON and WINNIPEG, June 3, 2011 /CNW/ - International businessman and philanthropist Michael Hill, founder and chairman of global jewellery chain Michael Hill International, has just accepted a knighthood and now receives the title Sir Michael Hill, in recognition for his services to business and the arts.

The Michael Hill jewellery business entered the North American market in 2002 opening up the first store in Vancouver, Canada. There are now 31 Michael Hill jewellery stores across four Canadian provinces including British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Alberta. In 2008 Michael Hill entered the USA and there are currently 9 stores open in the Greater Chicago area. Sir Michael Hill has a strong business vision for the North American market in particular, with plans to expand the business in the region. Currently operating 239 stores, with 145 in Australia, 54 in New Zealand as well as Canada and the USA, his current goal is to open more than 1000 stores globally by 2022.

In his home of New Zealand Sir Michael Hill is a household name and his achievements are legendary. Spurred into starting his own business in the 1970's following the loss of his family home to a fire, Sir Michael Hill's aim was to make fine jewellery more accessible to people. Originally from a family of jewellery makers, he opened his very first store in Whangerei, New Zealand in 1979. Over 30 years later Michael Hill stores are recognised as a key destination for quality, affordable diamond and engagement rings in Australia and New Zealand, the brand offers a similar entry point to fine jewellery in the North American market.

He recently accepted the honour of becoming a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition his contribution to business and the arts. In the last 10 years Sir Michael Hill has hosted an international violin competition for emerging violinists, following his passion for the performing arts and his love of the violin. A keen golfer, he has opened his private golf course in Queenstown to host the New Zealand Golf Open three times and he is a major donor to Cure Kids charity, helping to fund medical research for incurable diseases.

Sir Michael Hill will continue to promote his philanthropic and business pursuits, and hopes his knighthood will serve to further promote his activities to the wider international community

"The experience has been very humbling. If any benefit comes out of this to the charities I support and promote, then it has already been a very worthwhile achievement," Sir Michael Hill said.

For more information please contact: Kim Holliday or Ashley Gatte on +61 450 318 791 or kim@stellar.net.au

Notes to editors:

  • Michael Hill International employs over 2,000 people worldwide and operates out of headquarters based in Brisbane, Australia

  • The majority of design and manufacturing of Michael Hill jewellery is undertaken in Brisbane, Australia, with pieces created in-house by Michael Hill craftsmen.

  • Michael Hill International is currently listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange

  • In 2008 Sir Michael Hill was awarded Ernst &Young entrepreneur of the year in New Zealand. In 2009 Sir Michael Hill's autobiography 'Toughen Up' was released and in 2011 he launched his book 'Think Bigger' a business strategy and personal inspiration guide to help people achieve their goals

SOURCE Michael Hill

For further information:

CONTACT:   Kim Holliday or Ashley Gatte
    on +61 450 318 791 or kim@stellar.net.au

 

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