In Depth With Debbie: GSI’s Debbie Azar Interviews Pete Engel
Pete Engel is the President of Fred Meyer Jewelers. He has been with the company since 1981, transitioning from Sales Associate to Regional Supervisor to Vice President of Operations before becoming President in 2005.
Since 1999, Fred Meyer Jewelers has been a division of The Kroger Co., and Pete takes great pride in creating memorable in-store experiences for customers who are shopping for jewelry.
Pete is passionate about giving back, and is heavily involved in the jewelry industry, serving on the board of directors for Jewelers for Children (JFC), Diamond Council of America (DCA) and the Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF). He is also actively involved with Jewelers of America (JA).
I’ve known Pete for a long time, but we really started to become friends when he asked if I would be interested in joining the board of Jewelers for Children several years ago.
I enjoy golfing with Pete and his team every year in Portland at the FMJ annual golf event that raises money for CASA. Unfortunately, this year’s golf outing in was cancelled due to COVID19, but in 2019, the event raised $215,000 in support of CASA’s mission to help children who have been abused or neglected to find safe, permanent homes. The audience was comprised of over 150 guests and golfers, including leaders from Portland’s corporate and philanthropic communities, CASA’s Board of Directors, and fine jewelry vendors from all over the United States
Pete has received many prestigious industry awards, including The American Gem Society Triple Zero™ Award, and he has also been honored by Jewelers for Children and Diamonds Do Good, among others.
Pete also analyzes consumer purchasing trends, noting that best selling items include bracelets, mixed-colored metals in a single jewelry piece, and watches. He also says that men’s jewelry is the fastest-growing category. The most popular brands that Fred Meyer Jewelers sells are the Forever Ideal Diamond Collection, the Say I Do Diamond Bridal Collection, Rock Solid Diamonds, and Serena Williams Jewelry.
Not only is Pete a great leader of the Fred Meyer Jewelry team, but he’s also well-respected in the diamond and jewelry industry for devoting endless enthusiasm, passion, and time to various charities as well as to his company.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I had the opportunity to sit down with Pete for a video interview filmed at the GSI Laboratory in New York to talk more in depth about our industry.
WATCH the video interview with Pete to learn more about what Fred Meyer Jewelers has to offer, as well as the consumer purchasing trends he’s been noticing this season.
About The Author
Debbie Azar is the Co-Founder and President of Gemological Science International (GSI), one of the largest gemological organizations in the world, and a distinguished leader in the global diamond and jewelry industry. As an executive with extensive knowledge of the jewelry and gem lab industries, her entrepreneurial skills and vision have helped GSI achieve rapid and continuous growth worldwide, establishing 13 leading-edge gemological facilities on four continents. She currently serves on the boards of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, Responsible Jewellery Council, and Jewelers for Children, and is a member of the 24 Carat Club of New York. She has been featured in Forbes, Daily Mail, Good Morning America, Bloomberg, Bloomberg Businessweek, Fox Business, Fox5, CBS2, BOLDTV, Varney&Co, The Street, and NASDAQ, among others.