During the booming postwar economy of 1946, jeweler Charles Klein made one of the biggest decisions of his life. He left his job in the jewelry business and started his own business making die-struck recognition pins. His colleagues said this unproven idea would never work.
Charles sold corporate and student recognition pins from his shop in Chicago, created the iconography still used today, and began the company’s incredibly successful and popular mail order catalog.
Charles’ decision not only changed his life, but that of the next two generations. Now, with the third generation of Kleins at the helm, Award Emblem has become one of the largest and most renowned award recognition companies in the country.
It was Charles’ son Bob who left the Air Force to take over the family business. Bob modernized methods, procedures, and efficiencies and lived by the mantra: If you disappoint your customers once, you’ll never get them back. He ensured he would never disappoint by knowing each and every customer and by documenting every detail of every sale. Not surprisingly, this began Award Emblem’s reputation of providing personal, dedicated, and tireless customer service.
Now in his 80’s, Bob still goes to the office every day, but has turned operations over to his sons. It’s Justin who works on the personalization and manufacturing side and older brother Jason who heads the company as President and CEO. Jason oversees the operation of the world’s largest selection of titled die struck pins and medals, and has expanded the product line to include recognition items for municipalities and corporations. He’s also brought in another phase of modernization with new computer software systems, updated the catalog, and created their online presence.
After more than 70 years of business over three generations, Award Emblem has experienced a multitude of changes. Though it’s what hasn’t changed that makes Award Emblem the successful company it is today. Still, there is a dedication to high-quality, handcrafted pins and medals. Still, providing exceptional customer service is a cornerstone of the business. Still, there is pride in being an American manufacturer. And still, there is the understanding that student recognition awards motivate, inspire, express gratitude, and build community for both the giver and the receiver.
Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society for High School Journalists was organized April 10, 1926, at the University of Iowa by renowned pollster George H. Gallup and a group of high school advisers for the purpose of encouraging and recognizing individual student achievement in journalism and scholastic publication.
Since its founding, school charters have been granted to more than 11,300 high schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 29 foreign countries. Media advisers in chartered schools are eligible to recommend outstanding high school journalism students for membership in Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society.
Award Emblem has proudly served as the official award supplier to the Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society for more than 50 years.
Recognizing Achievement. Encouraging Excellence.
Since 1946, we’ve been one of the nation’s leading school award manufacturers, so you know you can count on us to provide you with outstanding products and service.
See our full line of student achievement plaques, plus pins, medals, medallions, trophies and apparel on our school awards website. You’re sure to find something special for all your achievers!