About Us

Who We Are and What We Believe

Our mission is to define excellence and identify for consumers the highest quality local companies. Founders Jim Stein and Greg Louie have over four decades of combined experience rating and certifying local companies on behalf of consumers. Only companies that pass our rigorous survey of real customers earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award, signifying they have risen to the top of their field. Our entire team is dedicated to ensuring you have confidence in the companies you choose. We are committed to performing all ratings and ongoing certification work with the highest integrity and accuracy. We believe:

  1. You the consumer have the right to know which companies are truly performing at the highest level of quality.
  2. The highest quality companies should be rewarded for their ongoing performance through public recognition.
  3. Companies should be held accountable for their performance, one customer at a time

We only allow a limited amount of companies to earn Diamond Certified. In fact, only a handful of companies are able to qualify in most industries, and these we re-rate on an ongoing basis to assure you that they stay the best. And of course we always back you up with our Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee.

Our Team

Our Team

Chris Bjorklund is also known as the Savvy Consumer.Chris Bjorklund
Consumer Advocate

Widely known as the Savvy Consumer, Chris has worked as a consumer advocate for more than 35 years. Her unique perspective on consumer issues and trends comes from her work in both the private and public sectors, as well as in the media and non-profit world. Prior to joining American Ratings Corporation, Chris was the consumer reporter for KGO-Radio where she produced consumer segments for the morning and afternoon newscasts. She also managed the consumer complaint unit for KGO-Radio and TV. Before KGO, Chris was an Investigator for the Consumer Fraud Unit of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, a consumer news producer for KPIX-TV and the Director of Consumer Education for the Rocky Mountain Better Business Bureau in Denver. She was on the national Board of Directors of Consumer’s Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, for 24 years. Chris graduated from Santa Clara University and earned a Masters of Science in Consumer Economics at the University of Maryland.

Jim Stein, Founder and CEO of Diamond CertifiedJim Stein
Founder and Chief Executive Officer

During the 1980s, Jim founded and grew the Asian Yellow Pages and the Hispanic Yellow Pages into the largest second language Yellow Page company in the country, with 24 directory titles in three states. In 1986 and 1987 the Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs and the Young Entrepreneurs Organization recognized him as one of the nation’s top 100 young entrepreneurs. He also founded El Mensajero, the top Spanish language weekly newspaper in the United States in 1988 and 1989 as judged by the National Hispanic Publishers Association. In 1990 he founded ValueStar, the first company to rate local service and professional firms on their level of customer satisfaction. In 2001, Jim founded American Ratings Corporation and launched the Diamond Certified program, which certifies local companies that are rated Highest in Quality on an ongoing basis. Through interacting with more than 6,000 local companies and analyzing over 1,000,000 consumer survey responses, Jim has developed easy to understand strategies for consumers to avoid disappointing service and enjoy a consistently positive customer experience. In addition, Jim has created proven techniques to help companies better satisfy customers, reduce customer attrition, increase customer referral rates, and use their top-rated reputation for satisfying customers as the core for growing their reputation.

Greg Louie, Founder and Vice President of Service for Diamond CertifiedGreg Louie
Founder and VP of Service

Greg is a graduate of California State University of Hayward with business degrees in Industrial Relations and Personnel Administration. Greg started his career in the High Tech field, where he managed sales teams for Micronics Computers, Inc., Orchid Technologies, and eMotion, Inc. Greg grew the revenue for each company and was recognized as a top manager. After leaving the High Tech industry, Greg founded Cypress Golf, Inc. He springboarded Cypress Golf from a custom golf club manufacturer into The Golf Guys Radio Show, which he created and ran. His show has become the most listened to Golf radio show in the country, with over 2 million listeners weekly. As a business owner, Greg recognized the need for companies to be able to differentiate themselves from the competition. He discovered ValueStar, a business that rated companies' customer satisfaction level and gave them a mechanism to quantify their performance to their current and potential consumers. He soon joined ValueStar, running their sales and service departments. In 2001, Greg co-founded American Ratings Corporation and launched the Diamond Certified program, which certifies local companies that are rated Highest in Quality on an ongoing basis. Greg has worked with over 7,500 companies and has extensive experience in customer satisfaction.

Joy Lanzaro, Director of Mediation and Compliance for Diamond CertifiedJoy Lanzaro
Director - Mediation & Compliance

Joy has a deep commitment to mediation. She pursued formal mediation training at the Northern California Mediation Center, and then went on to mediate in Small Claims Court, Civil Harassment Court, and non-court related disputes with SEEDS Community Resolution Center, a non-profit organization in Berkeley, CA. Joy has a degree from California State University Northridge in Environmental and Occupational Health Science. She first contemplated a career in conflict resolution while assisting with the Public Participation component of an Army environmental cleanup project where she was employed for six years. As a mediator, Joy applies her experience and skill to helping people move beyond conflict and settlement onto common ground, where trust and good will can be restored. She is proud to be a part of a visionary organization that applies these values to the purchase of goods and services.

Contact Us

Contact Us

American Ratings Corporation
504 Redwood Blvd., Suite 310
Novato, CA 94947

Email [email protected]
Twitter @DiamondCert
Facebook facebook.com/diamondcertified
Phone (877) 312-1307
Fax (800) 643-9963



The Diamond Certified Blog
Local Company Owner Blog

Refer a Company

Refer a Company to Earn Diamond Certified

Thank you for helping us identify local companies that are good at satisfying customers. To qualify for Diamond Certified, companies must score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction (a 90+ on a 100 scale) and pass all our credential-based ratings. Please select a button below to fill out a short form and we will contact the referred company to get permission to begin the rating process. Companies that are referred must qualify to earn Diamond Certified. Thank you for your help!

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