Industry Lauds Jim Rosenheim At GEM Awards
New York, NY—Jewelers of America (JA) and more than 500 leaders of the jewelry industry gathered January 13 to honor Jim Rosenheim, chairman of Tiny Jewel Box in Washington DC. Rosenheim (left, with wife Marcia) was presented with the 2017 GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 15th annual GEM Awards at a glittering event at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York.
“Thank you, everyone, for all of your amazing good wishes, love, and comments,” said a grateful Rosenheim. “They all mean so very much to me and my family!”
GEM Award winners in the categories of Jewelry Design, Marketing & Communications, Media Excellence, and Watch Excellence also were revealed at the event.
Jewelry designer Stephen Webster hosted the star-studded gala, which featured celebrity guests including actor Cuba Gooding Jr., models Kim Alexis and Jess Hart, Desi Lydic of the Daily Show, former Bachelor contestant Olivia Caridi, Danny Seo of NBC’s Naturally Danny, and David Bryan of Bon Jovi’s band. Webster captivated the audience with his British humor and charismatic charm, joking that at an awards ceremony recognizing excellence, “for all of those out there wondering what I’m doing up here, we are most definitely on the same page with that one.”
Jim Rosenheim accepting his GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement
In addition to Rosenheim’s honor, Lucia Silvestri, jewelry creative director of BVLGARI, won the GEM Award for Jewelry Design. The other nominees in the category were Suzanne Kalan of Suzanne Kalan and Arun Bohra of Arunashi.
Kay Jewelers—a division of Sterling Inc. and home of the tagline ‘Every Kiss Begins With Kay,’ received the GEM Award for Marketing & Communications. The award was accepted by George Murray, chief merchandising and marketing officer. The other nominees were Hearts On Fire and Monica Rich Kosann.
Grace Fuller, jewelry editor of W magazine, received the GEM Award in the media category. The other nominees were Amanda Alagem and Stephen Watson.
PGI Launches Quick Mobile Training Modules
New York, NY—Platinum Guild International has launched a series of online video sales training modules, each less than four minutes long and viewable on a mobile device. The courses can be taken anywhere, anytime, at the associate’s convenience, and are packed with practical and useful knowledge that can be put to work immediately for more sales. The courses will translate platinum’s qualities in to specific benefits that resonate with customers and help them understand today’s consumer. The lessons they’ll gain from seasoned and successful professionals will help increase sales across the board.
For more information, log onto platinumlearning.com.
JVC Celebrates Centennial; Bids Gardner Farewell
New York, NY—The Jewelers Vigilance Committee celebrated its 100th anniversary at its annual luncheon January 12, and bid farewell to its outgoing CEO and general counsel, Cecilia Gardner, who is retiring this year.
The organization also presented its annual Stanley Schechter Award for service to Schechter’s son, Joel. Stanley Schechter, founder of Honora Industries, was a dynamic industry leader dedicated to ethics and integrity. He was a lifetime member of JVC and sat on its board for more than 30 years. JVC established the Stanley Schechter Award in 2002 to pay homage to his legacy. This year, the organization chose Joel Schechter, who followed in his father’s footsteps as an industry leader and advocate.
“I remember my father as a John Wayne white-hot do-gooder. He was very stubborn, but he said yes to every board request in the industry. He also taught me the pearl business, including grading and how to bargain. He taught how to get a good price without killing someone [on price],” reminisced the son.
Normally, the JVC luncheon features a speaker; this year prominent members of the industry got up to pay tribute to Gardner instead.
Gardner herself—who plans to remain active in a scaled-back role—thanked her family for understanding her dedication to the industry and emphasized the importance of the JVC staff, especially Joanne Sperano, without whom none of its accomplishments would be possible.
JSA Honors Five Of New York’s Finest; Birks’ Head Of Security
New York, NY—The Jewelers Security Alliance presented its annual James B. White Award To Law Enforcement to five detectives in the New York City Police Department. The five have successfully investigated many of the most important cases involving jewelry crimes in New York City, said JSA president John Kennedy. The five NYPD detectives honored were Armando Coutinho, Anthony Curtin, Anthony Diaz, Michael Dorto, and Rigel Zeledon.
The five also have given assistance to other law enforcement agencies around the United States and even the world. All have worked in a variety of units of importance to the jewelry industry, including the Major Case Squad, the Financial Crimes Organized Theft Squad, the FBI/NYPD Cyber Financial Task Force, and the Violent Crimes Task Force, and two were recently assigned to investigate the New Year’s Eve theft at Gregg Ruth’s offices.
Stuart Wicht, CEO of Rolex and current chair of the JSA board, said, “I can’t emphasize enough how important JSA is to Rolex and the industry.” Indeed, many jewelry crimes involve theft of Rolex watches.
JSA presented its 2017 Industry Service Award to Bill Lane, divisional vice president of loss prevention and internal audit at the Birks Group Inc. He manages the security operations for the retailer using the most sophisticated methods and best practices, said Kennedy. He is in frequent communication with JSA, providing invaluable advice and information about jewelry crimes and methods. He has been a frequent speaker at both JSA and National Retail Federation security conferences.
Kennedy also gave a brief tribute to three women leaders in the industry: Dione Kenyon, former CEO of the Jewelers Board of Trade, who retired last year; Cecilia Gardner, CEO of JVC, who is retiring this year; and Ruth Batson, CEO of AGS, who also is retiring this year. Kenyon is still involved in the industry as chair of the GIA Board of Governors; Gardner plans to remain active in JVC in a scaled-back role.
De Beers Group CEO Pledges To Continue Investment In Marketing
Gaborone, Botswana—Bruce Cleaver, De Beers Group CEO, told customers at its first sight of the year that it’s important for all parts of the diamond sector to work together following the unpredictable events of last year.
“We have made some good steps in this direction with greater collaboration across the value chain to stimulate demand, share industry insight and support pipeline efficiency. But we must continue on this paths and maximize the impact of our combined efforts to grow industry value.
“None of us can succeed sustainably in isolation. We must find ways to progress together.”
Cleaver noted the industry’s medium- to long-term fundamentals are positive, and there is opportunity for investing in financially robust and transparent diamond businesses. But the commercial environment is changing rapidly and it’s essential to find ways to compete more effectively.
Along with making a commitment for De Beers to continue its investment I both proprietary and category-based consumer marketing, Cleaver added that De Beers will launch a new and improved diamond verification instrument later in the year. Without mentioning synthetic diamonds by name, he said, “Our new Automated Melee Screening instrument, the AMS2, will be a significant leap forward in the technological response to product integrity challenges and we believe the AMS2 will play a major role in bolstering confidence across the value chain.”