In Memoriam: Robyn Hawk, Jewelry Writer And Blogger
Fullerton, CA—Robyn Hawk (left), a writer and social media expert in the jewelry and gem industry suffered a fatal stroke on July 16. She was 63.
Working under the moniker “A Fly on the Wall,” the Fullerton, CA, resident was a social content curator, serial blogger and website copy writer. Her blogs included the Daily Jewel, Celebrity Jewel, Editorial Jewel and Historic Gems & Jewels. Other social media clients included retailers (Lustig Jewelers, Vernon Hills, IL and Trendsetters of Delaware, Wilmington, DE) and brands (Love Story Diamonds.)
Her sister, Dawn, and mother, Maureen, described Hawk as having fallen “hard in love with the gemstone and jewelry world.” Always looking to learn, Hawk earned GIA gemology certificates in diamonds and colored stones, and was a beloved figure among those in the mining, lapidary, and design sectors. On her Facebook page following her death, friends frequently described her as “huge heart,” “salt of the earth,” as well as charismatic, inclusive, kind, knowledgeable, generous, and much more.
Hawk also earned the respect of her peers in the industry press. “You couldn’t put anything over on her. She was a cheery presence combined with no-nonsense journalism and a low tolerance for agenda-ridden ‘news’,” said Russell Shor, GIA’s senior industry analyst and a longtime diamond journalist. “I’ll miss her holding court in the Las Vegas press room.”
“A few years ago we sat in the press lounge in Las Vegas. It was the first time I had a chance to talk with her in some depth after years of following each other online. We had a long and funny chat and she left a great impression,” concurred Edahn Golan, another longtime diamond industry analyst.
And Michael O’Connor, celebrity stylist and luxury branding expert, remembered Hawk thus: “The jewelry industry has lost a touch of sparkle and the joy in the world has been diminished with your passing. You were always such an incredible spark of life and a welcome sight at all the shows. I will miss you.”
On a personal note, like Golan and Shor expressed, I didn’t know Robyn as well as I know many other colleagues, but her presence in the Las Vegas press room will be missed. We had several pleasant conversations over the years, and I too found her to be an extremely knowledgeable observer of the industry and, more importantly, a kind and honest soul.
Hawk is survived by her mother, sister, and longtime partner Bobby East.
GIA’s Global Leadership Program at Harvard Business School Focuses On Innovation
Carlsbad, CA—GIA’s sixth annual Global Leadership Program at Harvard Business School (HBS), held June 24 to 27, boasted the largest class to date for the program, which brings together senior gem and jewelry executives for a custom four-day curriculum led by world class professors and based on the renowned HBS case study method. This year’s class explored exciting case studies focused on innovation and discussed how to apply the lessons from those cases to the challenges facing the global gem and jewelry industry.
“This unique program creates an opportunity for thought leaders to candidly discuss new ideas and approaches to their day-to-day work and long- term goals,” said Susan Jacques, GIA president and CEO. “This program, now in its sixth year, is a direct extension of our renowned education heritage.”
GIA, in conjunction with HBS, initiated the program in 2014. The goal of the four-day, invitation-only residential program is to bring together global leaders from different sectors of the gem and jewelry industry to examine issues faced by international businesses, and apply the lessons learned in other industries to their own businesses. The program also provides an unparalleled networking opportunity for senior executives and leaders, who represented the broad scope and diversity of the industry. Upon successful completion of the program, participants were awarded a certificate from the Harvard Business School.
Participants of the 2019 GIA Global Leadership Program (in alphabetical, not photo, order): Nikolay Afanasiev, Kristall Production Corporation; Natalie Barzilay, LakeDiamond; Sanat Bhindi, Bhindi Jewelers; Dave Bindra, B & B Fine Gems; Macy Man Sze Chong, Tonghorn Trading Limited; Manish Dhamani, Dhamani Jewels; Hasu Dholakia, HK Designs Inc.; Akshay Dholakia, Shree Ramkrishna Exports Private Limited; Lijun Geng, Huabi (HB) Diamond (China) Company Ltd.; Melanie Goldfiner, Rahaminov Diamonds; Jonathan Goldman, Frederick Goldman, Inc.; Alix Gonsoulin, Stuller, Inc.; Leslie Gordon, Orr's Jewelers; Hisako Hankinson, PGI Japan; Susan Jacques, GIA; Jesse Johnson, Store 5a; Stephen Kahler, Swarovski North America Ltd.; Parth Kakadia, Sheetal Manufacturing Co Pvt Ltd.; Afshan Pankaj Kala, Jewelex India Pvt. Ltd. (Affiliate: Jewelex NY Ltd.); Leanne Kemp, Everledger; Karen Li, Universal Jewellery Co. Ltd.; Bobby Liu, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery; Calvin Ma, Lee Heng Diamond Group; Glenn Markman, Fire Polish Diamonds; Antoine Massé, Mouawad MENA DMCC; Tim Matthews, Jewelry Television; Frank Heinz Mayer, Heinz Mayer OHG; Kevin Mays, John Mays Jewelers; Punit Mehta, D. Navinchandra; Tom Moses, GIA; Niveet Nagpal, Omi Gems, Inc.; Alexis Padis, Padis Jewelry; Armaan Parikh, Diarough Manufacturing India LLP; Duncan Pay, GIA; Mike Pelto, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company; Penina Rapaport, The Rapaport Group; Samantha Ravich, Transformative Cyber Innovation Lab; David Rotenberg, David Craig Jewelers; Stuart Samuels, Premier Gem Corporation; Lee Senderov, Richline Digital; Andrew Siegel, Hamilton Co. Jewelers; Anurak Sinchawla, Sant Enterprises; Greg Stephenson, Petra Diamonds; Vipul Sutariya, DDPL (Dharmanandan Diamonds Pvt. Ltd.); Elliot Tannenbaum, Leo Schachter Diamond Group; Minarni Tanu, PT Central Mega Kencana; Ichiro Uchihara, Uchihara Group; Jennifer Wilson, GIA; Terence Wu, Foo Hang Jewellery Ltd.
Arezzo Gold/Italy Fair Set For Late October
Arezzo, Italy—GOLD/ITALY, produced by the Italian Exhibition Group, will be held October 26-28th at Arezzo Fiere Congressi and will include the fair’s highly-lauded international business workshop as well as a trade show.
Exhibitors from all the Italian gold districts—Arezzo, Vicenza, Valenza, Torre del Greco, and Milan—will present finished and semi-finished jewelry, silverware, precious stones and components. The fair also will feature three special areas for cash and carry, packaging, and technology, as well as a digital app for easy navigation and appointment setting.
CIBJO President Advocates For Small Business At UN Business Meeting
New York, NY—Gaetano Cavalieri, president of CIBJO, addressed the United Nations’ 2019 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development last week, pointing out that small and medium-size businesses play an outsized role in building sustainable economies but often find themselves operating at a disadvantage compared to large companies.
The Forum is the UN’s main platform for monitoring follow-up on the actions of states and other actors towards the Sustainable Development Goals. CIBJO was present in its capacity as the international jewelry sector’s representative in the UN’s Economic and Social Council.
CIBJO president Gaetano Cavalieri address the United Nations' Forum on Sustainable Development.
“One of the challenges we have faced in the jewelry and gemstone business is that the due-diligence and financial requirements necessary to demonstrate compliance with responsible business practices place [small and medium businesses] at a significant disadvantage,” Cavalieri said. He stressed that remaining inclusive means not disadvantaging small or medium-size enterprises.
Opening the session, UN Secretary General António Guterres said the world’s people are demanding transformative change that is fair and sustainable. “The evidence is clear. Development is not sustainable if it is not fair and inclusive, and rising inequality hinders long-term growth.”