Michael Hill, founder and chairman of global jewelry chain Michael Hill International, has just accepted a knighthood and now receives the title Sir Michael Hill.

Sir Hill, who is considered a household name in his native New Zealand, has also rubbed elbows with top American celebrities like Kim Kardashian, who teamed up with the designer for the 2010 competition The Ultimate Engagement Ring: Search for the World's Best Couple.

Michael Hill Jewelry first arrived in North America in 2002, opening a store in Vancouver. There are now 31 Michael Hill jewelry stores across four Canadian provinces including British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Alberta. In 2008 Michael Hill entered the United States, and there are currently 9 stores open in the Greater Chicago area. Hill's current goal is to open more than 1000 stores globally by 2022.

Sir Hill 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. He also 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 in a statement.

Source: PRNewswire