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Industry News: GIA Career Fair Draws 500+, Arrests Made In Road Attacks; JA Elects Board August 01, 2017 (0 comments)


GIA New York Jewelry Career Fair Draws 500+

New York—Dire warnings about the future of the industry were pushed aside as more than 500 students, job seekers, and industry veterans attended GIA’s 26th annual Jewelry Career Fair, held July 24 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. Sponsored by Jewelers of America, the free, one-day event was an opportunity for attendees to connect with companies through an opening keynote presentation, one-on-one career coaching sessions, and networking with nearly 50 recruiters. (Left: Sonia Chaves, GIA manager of talent acquisition, meets with an applicant during the 2017 GIA Jewelry Career Fair in New York. Photo: GIA)

GIA president and CEO Susan M. Jacques moderated the panel “Job Success in Today’s Market,” featuring industry leaders offering specific advice to aspiring gem and jewelry professionals on the importance of relationships, education, and persistence.

“Clients, especially at the luxury level, are looking for authority; they’re looking for trust and they’re looking for a relationship,” said Hank Siegel, president and CEO of Princeton, NJ-based Hamilton Jewelers. “I love being able to celebrate with our clients; to take care of them and to serve multiple generations who come to our stores to celebrate special events.”

Regina Ciarleglio, director of retail development for Worthy Inc., spoke on the importance of education in the industry. “[Education] should be part of your ongoing world today, tomorrow and forever,” said Carleglio. “Learn about the business you serve [and] what your customers are asking about, because then you can talk to them a little better and understand where they are coming from.”

Elliot Tannenbaum, senior principal of Leo Schachter Diamond Group and a member of the GIA Board of Governors, spoke on the importance of persistence and the lessons he learned through his decades of experience.

“There is a common denominator to success in all of the parts of the diamond industry. The industry is all based around people, passion, and persistence.”

GIA Governor Elliot Tannenbaum spoke at the opening panel “Job Success in Today’s Market.” Photo © GIA

Marion Fasel, founder and editorial director of, and Mary Feliciano, recent GIA graduate now working in technical product development for Signet Jewelers Ltd., rounded out the panel. Following the opening session, job seekers had the opportunity to meet with recruiters and have one-on-one career coaching with specialists in appraising, design, gemstones, manufacturing, marketing, retail and more.


Jewelers of America Announces New Chairman, Board

New York, NY – Jewelers of America (JA) has elected John Henne, president of Pittsburgh, PA-based Henne Jewelers, as its board chairman. He succeeds Ryan Berg, market president of Metairie, LA-based Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry. Henne was elected during JA’s board meeting on July 24.

“John Henne is a natural leader,” says JA president and CEO David J. Bonaparte. “His contributions to the Board have been invaluable. Under John’s leadership, I know that jewelers of America is poised to grow, better serve our members in this ever-changing retail environment, and enhance our consumer outreach to benefit the jewelry industry as a whole.”

Henne leads an executive committee including: Holly Wesche, Wesche Jewelers,  chair-elect; Cathy Tivol, Tivol, Inc. and Marc Bridge, Ben Bridge Jeweler, vice chairs; Robert F. Moeller II, R.F. Moeller Jeweler, treasurer; Coleman Clark, B.C. Clark Jewelers, secretary. Mercedes Abramo of Cartier and Karen Goracke of Borsheims Fine Jewelry were re-elected for a three-year term.

The following directors were elected to the JA board as well: Peter Engel, president of Fred Meyer Jewelers, Portland, OR; Elise Greenberg, CEO of Greenberg’s Jewelers, Sioux City, IA;

Chuck Kuba, president and owner of Iowa Diamond, Des Moines, IA; Steve Padis, owner of Padis Jewelry, which has multiple locations in the San Francisco Bay Area; and Steve Velasquez, CEO of Bailey, Banks, & Biddle, Austin, TX.

For the complete list of JA’s 2017-2018 board of directors, click here.


JSA Report: Losses Down But Deaths Up In 2017; Arrests Made In Jewelry Salesperson Attacks And Killing

New York, NY--The Jewelers Security Alliance's Preliminary Crime Report for the first six months of 2017 shows  encouraging news in terms of dollar losses year-on-year. Sadly, however, the number of deaths due to crime is up over last year. John Kennedy, president of JSA, highlights these key points in the report:

  1. Total dollar losses were down about 10% compared to the same period last year.
  2. Dollar losses from robberies were about half of the same period last year. Both the number of robberies and the dollar losses from robberies were the lowest in at least the last six years.
  3. Dollar losses from burglaries, however, were up 56% due to a small number of very high dollar burglary losses. 
  4. Off-premises losses (traveling salespersons and others) numbered only 15, continuing a steady decline from 37 in 2012.
  5. Three jewelers, a customer and a good samaritan were killed this year, compared to only one jeweler but three robbers killed in the first six months of 2016. 

Separately, five members of a South American gang have been arrested in Dallas, TX, in conjunction with a string of attacks on traveling salespeople earlier this year, one of which resulted in the death of a jewelry salesman. According to a report in National Jeweler, the five are members of an organized and extremely dangerous gang that has preyed on the jewelry industry for years. They were wanted in conjunction with a series of attacks in the Dallas metro area between April and June, including the death of 42-year-old Muhammed Shaikh, a jewelry salesman they followed to a gas station. When Shaikh saw the thieves smash the window of his rental car, he ran to try and grab his line. The thieves took off with him halfway in the car and later beat him to death.

These thefts were part of a spike in off-premises jewelry crime, prompting the Jewelers Security Alliance to issue a warning to the industry.

Read more here.

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