Skip to main content Navigation

Articles and News

Industry News: Fund To Help Flooded LA Jewelers; JVC Staff Update; GIA Career Fair In CA; More August 31, 2016 (0 comments)


Fund Set Up To Help Flooded Louisiana Jewelers

Baton Rouge, LA—Few can forget the haunting images of the devastation Hurricane Katrina wrought in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi. But the surprise rainfall last month actually brought triple the amount of rain that Hurricane Katrina did. (The majority of damage to New Orleans from Katrina was caused by a breach in the levee holding back the waters of Lake Ponchartrain.) But the unnamed August storm dumped between two and three feet of water on southern Louisiana, killing 13 and destroying tens of thousands of homes and businesses—including jewelry stores and jewelers’ employees.

A fund to help jewelry-industry victims has been set up by the state jewelers’ association, National Jeweler reports. Headed by Louisiana Jewelers’ Association president Chad Berg of Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry, the fund operates through of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Berg’s brother Scott, meanwhile, who is national president of the American Gem Society, borrowed a boat from a friend to rescue one of the firm’s employees from her flooded home. Between Lee Michaels’ five stores—two in Baton Rouge, and one each in Metairie, Shreveport and its newest location in Lafayette—15 of the jeweler’s employees’ homes were flooded. Meanwhile, 90 of the approximately 1,500 employees of Lafayette-based Stuller lost homes, cars, or both in the flooding.

Click here to donate and click here to read the full report in National Jeweler. (Image at left photographed by Chad Berg, courtesy National Jeweler.)


JVC Hires Assistant Counsel; Gears Up Search For New CEO

New York, NY—The Jewelers Vigilance Committee has hired Miya Owens as assistant counsel, filling the position created when Sara Yood was promoted to senior counsel.

A graduate of Bejamin N. Cardozo Law School and CUNY Baruch College, Owens joins JVC after positions as a legal and compliance consultant at Morgan Stanley and as a litigaiton associate at the law firm of Jacobs & Burliegh.  She has extensive experience in anti-money laundering and regulatory compliance counseling as well as a mediator.

As assistant counsel, Owens will support the work of JVC legal department.  She will primarily be engaged in mediation work, to assist resolving the nearly 300 cases JVC undertakes each year. She will also perform legal research and answer member questions relating to their compliance obligations. JVC CEO Cecilia Gardner says, “Miya’s unique skill set matched our needs perfectly.  She is excited to learn about the jewelry industry, and we are happy to have her join our team!”

Separately, JVC has convened a search committee to identify and hire a president, CEO and general counsel to replace Gardner, who previously announced her decision to step down from the position in 2017.

Cecilia Gardner, JVC CEO, president, and general counsel, plans to retire in 2017.

JVC is seeking an attorney with a minimum of 10 years’ experience to lead and oversee the membership organization with programs focused on legal compliance.  The new CEO will create new programs and strategies for organizational success, and maintain ethics and integrity standards in jewelry trade through monitoring and educational tactics. Candidates must have experience as a practicing attorney (litigation preferred).  Not-for-profit management experience is a plus. Resumes should be directed to; no faxes or calls, please.

“We are grateful for Cecilia’s eighteen years of service to the JVC and her unwavering dedication to ethics and legal compliance in the jewelry industry.  Her decision to step down from this role creates an opportunity for a new leader for JVC, and we look forward to identifying the best candidate for the position,” said Steven Kaiser, chairman of the board of directors of JVC.


Save The Date: GIA Career Fair Is October 7

Carlsbad, CA—GIA’s Carlsbad campus will open its doors to the public on Friday, Oct. 7 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. as part of its annual Jewelry Career Fair & Open House. The event marks the one time of year when GIA’s world headquarters is open to the public without appointment; it is free for all guests and job seekers. 

Attendees will have the opportunity to: 

Visit or contact guest services at (760) 603-4116 or email Follow @GIANews #JewelryJobs for updates.


MJSA Seeks To Bring New Blood To Jewelry Industry

Portland, OR—MJSA's BEaJEWELER student outreach initiative, which aims to bring "new blood" into the jewelry industry, is partnering with the Portland Jewelry Academy and the Portland Jewelry Symposium in Oregon to offer two days of educational opportunities for those interested in pursuing careers in jewelry making and design. 

On Sunday, Oct. 2, BEaJEWELER will sponsor a special open house from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Portland Jewelry Academy, which offers 16-week courses in foundational bench skills. The open house will include Q&A sessions with professional jewelers as well as live demos of jewelry-making techniques, giving prospective students to see the responsibilities, skill requirements, and professional rewards of a career as a jeweler.

The Portland Jewelry Symposium, an annual conference exploring new technologies and artistic trends in jewelry making and design, is offering special discounts and scholarships for students to attend this year's event. The symposium will kick off on the evening of Oct. 2 with a keynote dinner featuring Bennett Freeman, a former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State who, through his business and governmental leadership roles, has been a leading voice for human rights and responsible investment. He will speak on "Responsible Sourcing: From Conflict and Controversy to Innovation and Cooperation."

The symposium continues Oct. 3 for a full day of sessions on lean manufacturing, bench techniques, design strategies, and more. Students receive a half-price registration rate ($95 prior to Sept. 9, $105 thereafter) and can apply for one of two student scholarships, the winners of which will receive free registrations. All student registrants and applicants must submit proof of their current enrollment in a jewelry-related program.

The MJSA BEaJEWELER student outreach began in 2015 as an initiative of the MJSA Education Foundation, MJSA's 501(c)3 subsidiary, and the New Approach School for Jewelers in Franklin, Tennessee. To learn more, visit or call (800) 444-MJSA.

Separately, the MJSA Education Foundation recently awarded a total of $10,000 in scholarships to four students who show exceptional talent and promise for successful jewelry careers. They are:

$5,000 was awarded to Emily Jerome of Constableville, NY, who will begin studying jewelry and metalsmithing at Maine College of Art this year. She plans to graduate in 2020 with a BFA.

Molly Robinson ($2,000 scholarship) of Fort Worth, TX, is working toward an associate’s degree in Jewelry Technology, as well as a graduate degree in Gemological Sciences and CAD/CAM Certification at the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas. Her previous experience includes selling jewelry in various galleries and at trade shows, as well as operating an online jewelry store. She plans to complete her programs in December 2017.

Sidnee Tyree ($2,000 scholarship) of Eau Claire, MI, is enrolled in the Kendall College of Art and Design at Ferris State University in Grand Rapids, MI, where she is entering her junior year in the Metals and Jewelry Design program. She anticipates graduating with a BFA in Metal and Jewelry Design in spring 2019.

Jasmine Chan ($1,000 scholarship) of Alhambra, CA, will begin her studies this year in the Graduate Jeweler program at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in Carlsbad, CA. She expects to complete her certification in May 2017.

Any student enrolled in a jewelry program, whether through a university or trade school, who intends to pursue a career in the jewelry industry and who can demonstrate financial need is eligible to apply for an MJSA Education Foundation scholarship. Applicants are assessed on the basis of course of study, academics, career plans, recommendations, and industry experience. Students must be U.S. citizens. 

To learn more about the MJSA Education Foundation and various educational and professional opportunities, click here:

Share This:

Email Facebook Twitter LinkedIn ShareThis

Leave a Comment:

Human Check

What is day follows Thursday?