JVC Announces New President And CEO
New York, NY—Tiffany Stevens, an attorney and longtime executive in the nonprofit arena, has been named the new president and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, effective March 6. She succeeds CEO Cecilia Gardner, who is retiring after 18 years in the position.
A graduate of New York University School of Law, Stevens began her career as a lawyer at Paul Hastings, then moved to an in-house role at Bear Sterns. Stevens most recently served as chief operating officer at the Sohn Conference Foundation, which funds pediatric cancer research and medical fellowships, and previously held leadership roles at nonprofits and foundations focused on the environment, education, and the arts. She is currently an active board member of several not-for-profit organizations.
"It's an honor to step into this role at JVC, an organization with a rich history and vital role in the industry, said Stevens. “I look forward to bringing my skills and abilities to build on the wonderful foundation of the organization and support the very bright future of its mission and membership."
Cecilia Gardner added, “Tiffany will be a terrific new leader for JVC. She is committed to the mission of the JVC, and will work hard to learn the industry and the issues which JVC addresses. Her strong not-for-profit background will ensure that JVC continues to thrive and meet the challenges the jewelry industry faces.”
Steven Kaiser, chairman of the board of JVC said, “The search process was extensive. We had many well-qualified candidates interested in the position, and the search committee and board selected the strongest one. Ms. Stevens’ combined experience as a lawyer and a not-for-profit executive ensures her success as the leader of one of the most important leadership positions in our industry.”
WJA To Honor Michael Pollak, Cecilia Gardner, Day’s Jewelers
Poughkeepsie, NY—Cecilia Gardner, Michael Pollak, and Day’s Jewelers will be honored by The Women's Jewelry Association as its Hall of Fame inductees at the association's annual Awards for Excellence gala on Monday, July 24, 2017. The gala also returns to Pier 60 on the Chelsea Piers in New York City.
Cecilia Gardner, president, CEO, and general counsel of Jewelers Vigilance Committee, will receive the WJA Lifetime Achievement Award; Michael Pollak, CEO of Hyde Park Jewelers, will receive the Ben Kaiser Award, presented to a male in the industry who has excelled at supporting and furthering the careers of women; and Day's Jewelers will receive the Corporate Award, also for its support and furtherance of women’s careers in the industry.
Lifetime Achievement honoree Cecilia Gardner had led the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) for nearly two decades, helping put JVC at the forefront of some of the most complex issues related to compliance and ethics in the jewelry industry. Gardner also served as general counsel to the World Diamond Council from 2000-2015, an industry group that worked with governments and non-governmental organizations to craft the Kimberley Process and System of Warranties. She also became general counsel for the United States Kimberley Process Authority (USKPA), to implement the provisions of the Kimberley Process.
During her tenure, Gardner also led JVC efforts concerning the underkarating of precious metals, the disclosure of diamond and gemstone treatments, the standards used by appraisers, the enactment of anti-money laundering programs; and a comprehensive review of the FTC Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries. She also has served on the boards of many industry associations before announcing her retirement last year.
With more than 40 years in retail management, developing seven luxury jewelry and watch stores, Ben Kaiser Award recipient Michael Pollak has focused most of his resources on a combination of business strategy and vision, philanthropy, and the omnichannel future of a disrupted retail marketplace. Pollak also founded Diamonds in the Rough, raising nearly $2.5 million to support the efforts of youth-based non-profits and local charities. He was named a National Jeweler Retailer Hall of Fame award winner in 2008, and an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999. He serves on the boards of Diamond Empowerment Fund, and has been a board member for Jewelers of America, Natural Color Diamond Association, and is a former president of Luxury Jewelers Resource Group.
Corporate Award honoree Day's Jewelers is a family-owned jewelry chain with seven jewelry stores throughout Maine and New Hampshire. The company has been in business for over 100 years, and since 1988, has been owned by Jim, Kathy, and Jeff Corey, with David Harris serving as president. Known for its core set of values, Day's Jewelers is a standout in the jewelry industry for its integrity, transparency, and responsible business practices and is a certified member of Responsible Jewellery Council. The company has received several honors including: the 2016 "Retailer of the Year" by the Retail Association of Maine, America's Best Jewelers recognition by National Jeweler, and the 2009 WJA Awards for Excellence Retailer of the Year.
Left to right: Jim Corey, David Harris, Kathy Corey and Jeff Corey of Day's Jewelers
WJA also will present its annual Awards for Excellence in retail, design, manufacturing, sales, marketing and communications and editorial categories.
"It is my utmost pleasure to be a part of honoring such a distinguished group of individuals during the 2017 Awards for Excellence," says Brandee Dallow, WJA president. At its gala, WJA brings together industry leaders for a social evening that raises money for scholarships and grants for deserving women entering or working in our industry. A silent auction will raise additional funds for these important causes; tickets and sponsorships will go on sale later this year.
Separately, WJA announces Jen Cullen Williams, managing director at Luxury Brand Group and Rebecca Foerster, EVP of strategic planning and marketing of Leo Schachter Diamonds, have joined its board. She will co-lead the organization’s sponsorship committee, and Williams will support various board initiatives, including education.
JA Offers Certification Exams Next Month
New York, NY—Jewelers of America (JA) is offering its Sales and Management Professional Certification exams on March 13, 2017 at the Jacob Javits Center, during the JA New York Show.
“Jewelers of America’s mission is to improve consumer confidence in the jewelry industry. When our jewelers have certified professionals on staff, it is an additional differentiator and consumer confidence booster that can help to build long-lasting relationships,” says JA President & CEO David J. Bonaparte. “We strongly encourage all jewelers to take a little time during the show to improve their business and get themselves or their staff members certified.” Certifications are open to all jewelry professionals with no studying required as the exams validate existing skills and knowledge.
The program establishes national standards with two-hour exams that evaluate the proficiency of jewelry professionals at two levels. Four exams will be offered onsite at the Javits Center: JA Certified Sales Professional (CSP) – First Level, JA Certified Senior Sales Professional (CSSP) – Second Level, JA Certified Management Professional (CMP) – First Level, and JA Certified Senior Management Professional (CSMP) – Second Level. All will be offered twice, from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Those not able to attend the on-site certification exams can take the exams at any time and at a location convenient to them by registering for a proctored exam.
The Jewelers of America Professional Certification program also offers certification for bench professionals in four levels of expertise. For more information, click here or call Dahlia Fyffe, JA membership representative, (800) 223-0673, extension 8007.
World Diamond Council Names New Executive Director
New York, NY—The World Diamond Council (WDC) has named Marie-Chantal Kaninda as executive director, effective March 1. She replaces Patricia Syvrud, who is stepping down as of February 28.
Kaninda brings more than 20 years of industry marketing and stakeholder engagement experience, having worked for Anglo Gold Ashanti, De Beers, and Rio Tinto, mostly in Africa. A resident of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kaninda is fluent in French and English, and since 2012 is the chair of the Anti-Corruption Initiative for the Private Sector for the DRC. She also sits on the board of directors of the Diamond Development Initiative and Procredit Equity Bank.
“We are thrilled to have someone with Ms. Kaninda’s background and experience take on the role of Executive Director of the WDC,” said Andrey Polyakov, WDC president. “Her perspective will be invaluable to the industry work within the Kimberley Process reform initiative which will take place this year and next.”
Kaninda will provide overall leadership to the WDC, liaising and developing relationships with key stakeholders, and coordinating the representation of the WDC within the Kimberley Process, in addition to general organizational management.