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Industry News From Jewelers For Children, WJA, JVC, MJSA, More June 15, 2016 (0 comments)


Jewelers for Children Honors Stuart Lee and Dennis Ulrich At Facets Of Hope Event

Las Vegas, NV—At its 18th Annual Facets of Hope event (left) on June 5, Jewelers For Children announced that $ 3.1 million had been raised to support their charity partners in the year ahead--and that $51.4 million has been donated on behalf of the industry since 1999 to help children in need.

“What an amazing milestone for the charity, and particularly for our industry,” said Dennis Ulrich, JFC board chair and one of the evening’s honorees. “Over the past 18 years, we have touched the lives of so many thousands of children and their families.”

The evening began with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner and the program, which recognized Stuart Lee, executive vice president of merchandising for Signet Jewelers, Ltd. and Ulrich, CEO of the Richline Group. Guests also heard from seven year-old Nicolas, a patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Annmarie Rainwater, representing the National CASA Association.

The evening also included a watch giveaway sponsored by Swiss Watch by JCK and LUXURY Watch and a special, limited raffle for a gold and diamond replica of the popular BB-8 from the recent Star Wars movie. Attendees also enjoyed dessert, coffee and after-dinner cocktails during an afterparty sponsored by Hallmark Jewelry.

Ulrich announced that the charity is pledging $700,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, $7,750,000 to Make-A-Wish America, $700,000 to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, $650,000 to the National CASA Association, $140,000 to Make-A-Wish India, and $ 35,000 to the Santa-America Fund. The organization is also setting aside $100,000 to reward in a local grant social media voting campaign to be held later this year.


WJA Names Nominees for 2016 Awards for Excellence

New York, NY—The Women's Jewelry Association has announced its nominees for the association's annual Awards for Excellence, set for July 25 at the Hammerstein Ballroom on West 34 Street. The awards are given to female professionals in the jewelry and/or watch industries who have demonstrated significant achievements throughout their careers, in the categories of design, manufacturer, dealer, supplier; retail; sales and merchandising; marketing and communications; editorial media; special services; and watches.

The 2016 WJA Awards for Excellence nominees are:

Category 1 - Design, Fine Jewelry and Watches: Malak Atut, owner/designer, ZAIKEN Jewelry; Wendy Brandes, owner/president, Wendy Brandes Jewelry; Jennifer Dawes, principal/designer, Jennifer Dawes Design; Claudia Kretchmer, president, Steven Kretchmer; Ilaria Lonzoni, design director, Hearts on Fire.

Category 2 - Manufacturer, Dealer, Supplier: Nina Cooper, chief creative officer and president, Nina Designs Ltd.; Donna DeLucia, chief commercial officer, North America, Intercontinental Jewellery Manufacturing, PCL (Thailand); Tiffany Kay of Tiffany Kay (nominated for her work as former vice president of merchandising, Scott Kay); Grace Terezian, vice president and creative director, Kirk Kara.

Category 3A - Retail, 15 or More Doors: Jacqueline Cassaway, divisional vice president, Helzberg Diamonds; Marta Nowakowski, VP divisional merchandise manager (DMM), Jewelry, Watches, and Home, Saks Fifth Avenue; Toby Ritchie, marketing director, Harry Ritchie's Jewelers; Jamie Singleton, senior vice president, Signet Jewelers.

Category 3B - Retail, 15 or Fewer Doors: Soraya Cayen, CEO, Cayen Collection; Jennifer Gandia & Christina Gandia Gambale; co-owners, Greenwich St. Jewelers; Alexis Padis, director of operations, Padis Jewelry; Trish Roberson, owner, Roberson's Fine Jewelry.

Category 3C - Retail, Non Traditional: Ivka Adam, founder & CEO, Iconery; Kate Fordham, operations manager, Ritani; Beth Gerstein, co-CEO/founder, Brilliant Earth; Kris Kulesza, senior vice president merchandising, Jewelry Television.

Category 4 - Sales and Merchandising: Ramona Genao-Archibald, executive vice president, sales and merchandising, Richline Group; Rachel Jackson, jewelry director, The Knot; Maren Rosen, vice president, merchandising, Stuller, Inc.; Nikki Siegel, executive vice president, Armenta.

Category 5 - Marketing and Communications: Ashley Brown, executive director, marketing and public relations, Stuller, Inc.; Jen Cullen Williams, managing director, Luxury Brand Group; Hayley Henning, vice president, sales, marketing, and development, True North Gems; Donna Jolly, director, marketing, American Gem Society.

Category 6 - Editorial Media: Shane Clark, senior fashion & accessories editor, Brides; Hannah Connorton, retailer account manager, Luxury & Luxury Prive, Reed Exhibitions (nominated for her work as former senior editor, National Jeweler); Barbara Palumbo, founder/editor-in-chief, Adornmentality; Syl Tang, contributor, Financial Times Watches & Jewellery, CEO, HipGuide.

Category 7 - Special Services: Dona Mary Dirlam, director of RTL Library and Information Center, Gemological Institute of America (GIA); Debbie Hiss, Owner, Debbie Hiss Consulting; Kristie Nicolosi, president & CEO, The Kingswood Company; Kate Peterson, president/CEO, Performance Concepts, Inc.

Category 8 - Watches: Stacie Orloff, former president, Bell & Ross, the Americas; Michelle Peranteau, former director of marketing and communication, Baume et Mercier; Ellen Seckler, vice president- marketing, Citizen Watch Company of America.

"On behalf of our entire organization, I'd like to congratulate the extraordinary, 2016 WJA Awards for Excellence nominees. Each nominee exemplifies the great power, incredible work ethic, intellect and talent of women throughout the jewelry and watch industries," says Brandee Dallow, president of the Women's Jewelry Association. "These women are the leaders, mentors and influencers that will propel our business into the future. It will truly be an honor to celebrate them on July 25th."

Along with announcing the WJA Awards for Excellence winners, the gala also celebrates three WJA Hall of Fame honorees. Announced earlier this year, the 2016 honorees are: Sissy Jones, owner of Sissy's Log Cabin, who will receive the WJA Lifetime Achievement Award; Peter Engel, president of Fred Meyer Jewelers, who will receive the Ben Kaiser Lifetime Achievement Award; and Ben Bridge Jewelers, which will receive the WJA Corporate Award.

The WJA Awards for Excellence gala raises money for scholarships and grants to deserving women entering or working in the jewelry industry. A silent auction and raffle will again be mounted in 2016 to raise funds. WJA scholarships and grants are managed by the WJA Foundation, a 501(c)3 corporation. Last year, the WJA Awards for Excellence Gala raised $60,000 for these cash awards. Tickets for the gala are now on sale here.


JVC Promotes Sara Yood to Senior Counsel

New York, NY—The Jewelers Vigilance Committee has promoted Sara Yood, Esq. to senior counsel, a role where she will focus on legal research, drafting legal compliance tools, continuing JVC’s participation in the Federal Trade Commission review of the jewelry industry guides, trademark and advertising monitoring, and general legal support.

Cecilia Gardner, president, CEO, and general counsel, said, “Sara has proved herself to be a champion of legal compliance in the jewelry industry. She also strongly pursues her interest in intellectual property issues as they impact our members and the industry as a whole. JVC looks forward to her bringing the same energy to her expanded role as Senior Counsel.”

Yood joined JVC in 2012 as assistant general counsel. She has implemented JVC’s Advertising Monitoring program, researched and monitored trademark applications and registrations on behalf of the jewelry industry, and has written various JVC publications, including the Guide to Advertising in the 21st Century and I’ve Got an Idea!: JVC’s Guide to Intellectual Property Law.” Yood has also developed an expertise in the import/export laws pertaining to protected animal products and plant materials used in jewelry.

Prior to JVC, Yood was a Fellow at the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham University School of Law and held several positions in the private sector. She is admitted to the New York State Bar.


MJSA Announces Winners 2016 Vision Awards Design Competition

Attleboro, MA—MJSA honored 10 outstanding designs in its 2016 MJSA Vision Awards competition. The awards recognized both professional and student achievements in seven categories, including the first Responsible Practices Distinction for combining stellar design with ethical sourcing and sustainable manufacturing.

The 2016 winners are: 

First Place, Professional Excellence, 4+ Years in Business: Klaus Kutter of A Jour Jewelry Inc. in Bristol, RI, for a 19k white gold and tourmaline ring. Using CAD/CAM and a laser, Kutter assembled the ring from 19 separate pieces to create a "floating" effect. Second place, Ian Douglas of Inspired Jewellery in Wellington, New Zealand, for his "Legend of Maui" pendant commemorating the Maori demigod who, according to folklore, raised the NZ island from the ocean's depths. 

First Place, Professional Excellence, 1-3 Years in Business: Baiyang Qiu of BQ Jewelry in Milpitas, CA, for her "Emerging" brooch. Hand fabricated from wire, it depicts the emergence of a butterfly from the chrysalis. This is the second year in a row that Qiu won first place in this category. Second place, Gina Ferranti of GiGi Ferranti Jewelry in Brooklyn, NY, for her "Shangri-La" ring with a 15.38 ct. asymmetrical peachy-pink Morganite.

CAD/CAM Distinction: Gregoré Morin of Gregoré Joailliers in Santa Barbara, CA, for his "Pink Buddha" earrings. Using the 3D-Coat digital sculpting program, he was able to perfect a Buddha face and, through Matrix/Rhino and a Rhino-based CAM program called Madcam, transfer the Buddha's eyes onto pink opal. 

Laser Distinction: Baiyang Qiu of BQ Jewelry for a "Bubble" brooch/pendant. Inspired by a childhood memory of playing with bubbles, the intricate wire-mesh piece is made of 29-gauge platinum and contains more than 300 laser-welded joints. 

Custom Design Distinction: Cynthia Renée of Cynthia Renée Inc. in Chapel Hill, NC, for a "Medallion" bracelet/pendant in which an assemblage of gemstones (centered by a rare 20.52 ct. yellow danburite) can be worn as a pendant or inserted into a Lucite bracelet.

Responsible Practices Distinction: Sandy Leong of Sandy Leong Fine Jewelry in New York City for her black diamond tennis bracelet. The bracelet features 18k recycled yellow gold, 23.46 ctw. of ethically sourced fancy diamonds, and a pavé trim of conflict-free white diamonds. 

First Place, Future of the Industry Award (for students): Seung Jeon Paik of Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, GA, for "Union" and "The Wish," two pieces that adapt the traditional granulation technique to create the appearance of metal particles "floating." Paik also won first place this year in the Silver/Argentium Silver category of the Saul Bell Design Award competition. Second place, Jizhi Li of Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA, for a leg adornment that incorporates cloisonné enameling.

Winners will be profiled in the August issue of MJSA Journal and displayed at the 2017 MJSA Expo in New York City.


Decker, Ackerman Team Up For Sales and Marketing Boot Camp Event

Monument, CO—Jewelry consultant and sales trainer Shane Decker and marketing coach Jim Ackerman are teaming up for a two-day sales and marketing “boot camp” for independent jewelers, in advance of the fourth-quarter selling season. The event is slated for September 10-11 in Denver, CO.

Decker says, “Application of specific selling techniques can make a dramatic impact on sales results. The challenge is, it’s not just about knowledge of the techniques, it’s about building skills and systems for their use. And that is almost impossible to do in the one and two-hour presentations I’m limited to in most of my speaking engagements. Having two intensive days to help attendees actually work on these things could improve the everyday results they get.”

Co-presenter Ackerman adds that salespeople can’t apply their skills without getting customer bodies through the door. “That’s where marketing know-how, skills, habits and systems come in. But it’s tough to convey more than a few what-to-dos in seminars, books and audio training. This two-day format will allow both of us to help jewelers install profit-proven sales and marketing methods in their businesses.”

Attendance is limited to 157 stores, at $2,500 per chair, with early-bird discounts available. Enrollees will receive substantial pre- and post-event assignments and follow-up.

Additionally, there will be a three-hour evening session specifically for storeowners, addressing a variety of sales, marketing, management, merchandising, inventory, pricing, and promotional issues.

Detailed information about the event and pre and post requirements and the “triple fail-safe guarantee” of results can be found at


CIBJO President: Industry Must Communicate Its Role In Supporting Developing Economies

Paris, France—While jewelry is a luxury product rather than an essential, the jewelry and gemstone industries are essential to the economic and social development of many regions and communities around the world, said CIBJO president Gaetano Cavalieri, speaking Monday at the 15th Rendez-Vous Gemmologiques de Paris in the French capital. 

The gathering, which was hosted by the Association Française de Gemmologie, selected this year to review gemstone mines and mining districts around the world, considering the ethics of sustainable development of mining territories and their populations. 

"The jewelry business and the revenue it generates are critical to the economic fortunes of many countries around the world, and especially those where diamonds, gemstones and precious metals are mined," Dr. Cavalieri stated. "In those places it is able to create sustainable economic opportunities, which in turn promote and support positive social development."

To many people, jewelry is symbolic of conspicuous consumption. He called upon the industry to do a better job of communicating that jewelry purchases contribute to the economic wellbeing and social advancement of people living in underdeveloped areas. That, he says, would elevate the significance of buying and receiving jewelry from purely personal value to having societal value as well.

Cavalieri also took direct aim at synthetic diamond growers, in particular Diamond Foundry, which features a message on its website from the actor Leonardo DiCaprio, saying that consumers who buy manmade diamonds are “reducing the human and environmental toll of the diamond industry by sustainably culturing diamonds without the destructive use of mining.”

“In and of itself, that statement by Mr DiCaprio about the human toll of diamond mining is problematic," said Cavalieri. "After all, if the only way we can protect people in Africa and elsewhere from the consequences of mining is by cutting them out of the diamond production business entirely, it is indeed a sad state of affairs," and emphasizing the benefit to indigenous communities where diamonds are responsibly mined.


World Diamond Mark Foundation Announces World Diamond Museum 

Dubai, UAE—The World Diamond Mark Foundation (WDM) has built the foundation of the World Diamond Museum, a unique online resource to display collections of extraordinary diamonds and diamond jewelry from famous stones to formerly unknown pieces.

The museum, called Facets of Mankind, stresses the intrinsic connection between diamonds and human civilization. Its establishment was first announced during the recent biennial 37th World Diamond Congress in Dubai last month.

WDM chairman Alex Popov said that by building the museum, the WDM will reintroduce the art of storytelling about diamonds to the consumer. "Facets of Mankind is to be a living documentary of the journey of diamonds and its relationship with the human race. In the narrative of the introductory movie, it is said that 'in the diamond, we see ourselves, the best we can be.' This is also what motivated the WDM and its creative team to set out on this journey."

Click here to watch.


JOVELLA International Jewelry Exhibition Set For July 4 – 5 In Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv, Israel—The 13th edition of JOVELLA, Israel’s international jewelry and diamond exhibition will be held July 4 – 5 at its original location at the David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv.

JOVELLA offers buyers an opportunity to explore Israel’s diamond and jewelry industries, and meet some of the most innovative designers and manufacturers in the country. The exhibition will include over 100 exhibitors from Israel and abroad, showing loose diamonds, gemstones, gold jewelry, silver jewelry, and fashion jewelry. The show will feature a special section of young Israeli jewelry designers, many of them graduates of Israel’s leading design schools.

This year the exhibition will feature two professional conferences, one on July 4 with lectures by experts in design, technology and marketing, and the second on July 5 with diamond and gem experts, designers and retail specialists.

Click here for more information.


New WFDB Executive Committee Takes Office

Antwerp, Belgium—The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) announced changes to its Executive Committee following unanimous votes at the recent 37th World Diamond Congress in Dubai. President Ernie Blom was re-elected to a third consecutive term, while Israel Diamond Exchange president Yoram Dvash was elected vice president.

Rony Unterman continues as secretary-general, while the new treasurer-general is Bharat Diamond Bourse vice president Mehul Shah. Board members are Rami Baron, Julien Drybooms, Anoop Mehta, Lin Qiang, Alex Popov, Reuven Kaufman, Nikhil Jhaveri and Peter Meeus.

In addition, Michel Schonfeld is deputy secretary-general, and deputy treasurer- general Julien Drybooms was also made honorary life vice-president, and Louise Prior continues as executive director.

The WFDB presented its Diamantaire of the Year award to Willy Rotti, while special awards in recognition of their long-standing service to the WFDB and the wider diamond industry were made to Dieter Hahn and to former London Diamond Bourse president Harry Levy.

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