Johnny Tate is a Senior Vice President and the General Manager of Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry, an upscale retail jewelry chain founded and headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The company is family owned and operated, having grown from a single store in 1978 to a leader in the jewelry industry with eight store locations in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Mr. Tate represents the company in the Baton Rouge flagship market and the New Orleans market and also serves on the Lee Michaels’ Executive Committee for strategic planning.
Lee Michaels’ success is grounded on specific core values that promote an entrepreneurial environment and superior value and service to its customers. Over the company’s nearly 35 years of business, its iconic Red Box has become synonymous with luxury and the celebration of life’s most important moments.
Prior to his role at Lee Michaels, Mr. Tate served as Training Manager for McDonald’s Baton Rouge and achieved AAA field awards for excellence. Mr. Tate was consequently selected to attend the McDonald’s University in Chicago, Illinois where his manager-peers chose to honor him with the “Golden Hat” award, a culminating recognition of the University session.
Following his tenure at McDonald’s, Mr. Tate joined Lee Michaels in 1985, embarking on a 27 year journey from sales associate to store manager to his present position as a Senior Vice President and the General Manager. During this time, Mr. Tate’s leadership in achieving top sales and service excellence resulted in his receiving the Lee Michaels 25th Anniversary Extraordinary Experience award in 2003. He continues to serve as a guest sales trainer at the semi-annual Lee Michaels University.
In 1997 Mr. Tate was presented the prestigious “Jeweler of the Year” award by Jewelers of Louisiana and won the National Jewelry Design competition sponsored by Jewelers of America. Mr. Tate earned the professional title of Registered Jeweler from the American Gem Society in 1987 and maintains that title by annual certification. He was most recently selected by the OMEGA Watch Corporation to serve as a Grand Ambassador in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland in 2012.
In addition to his professional activities, Mr. Tate represents the Lee Michaels’ core value of good corporate citizenship by serving in various community endeavors such as the Board of Krewe de Louisiane, The Louisiana Governor’s Mansion Foundation, Jewelers of Louisiana (Chairman), Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra (Chairman), and Sales and Marketing Executives International. In 2003 Mr. Tate was recognized as SMEI’s “Marketer of the Year.” He is also a member of Kappa Kappa Psi Fraternity, University of Louisiana at Monroe.
Mr. Tate strongly believes in the economic and cultural impact of the performing arts. In 2003 he co-founded the “Great Performers in Concert” series underwritten by the Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation for the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. During his ten-year service commitment, he chaired this most significant fund-raising event that presents world-class classical, jazz, and pop artists to the Baton Rouge community.
Mr. Tate is passionate in promoting the intrinsic qualities of his family’s home state of Louisiana.
He currently lives in Baton Rouge with his wife, Diane, and daughter Sarah Elizabeth. His wife, Diane, is also an avid community activist and volunteer, and their daughter is currently enrolled at Southeastern Louisiana University.