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Industry News: Winkler To Open AGS Conclave; WJA Offers Negotiation Course; More November 13, 2019 (0 comments)


“Da Fonz” Returns To Jewelry Industry To Open 2020 AGS Conclave 

Las Vegas, NV—Henry Winkler, Emmy-winning actor, director, producer, and New York Times best-selling author, will be the opening keynote speaker for the 2020 American Gem Society Annual Conclave, set for April 27-29 in Denver, CO. Winkler, who spoke at Centurion Scottsdale in 2015 (shown at left), is renowned as an entertaining and inspiring speaker, detailing his own struggle to overcome dyslexia and go on to become a mega-TV star. He rose to fame playing Arthur (Fonzie) Fonzarelli in the 1970s sitcom Happy Days, and won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 2018 for his role in the HBO series Barry.

Joining Winkler will be two other powerful educational and motivational speakers: innovation expert Josh Linkner will be the keynote on April 28, and pilot Amelia Rose Earhart will be the closing keynote on April 29.

Linkner, a five-time successful tech entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and CEO will deliver a clear call-to-action to the AGS membership: innovate and disrupt your organization to stay ahead of the competition, and embrace change for a brighter future. 

As an inspiring pilot, Amelia Rose Earhart became one of the youngest women to fly a single-engine plane around the world. In her keynote, Amelia will teach the AGS community how to create a flight plan for success, define their “True North,” and achieve their goals.

Funnyman Joel Zeff returns as the emcee. Zeff, an acclaimed motivator, public speaker, humorist, and actor, is well-known to the AGS members as a past keynote and featured speaker at Conclave.  

“In addition to our exciting lineup of keynote speakers, Conclave will feature a robust schedule of breakout sessions on topics vital to our industry, such as sustainability, security, and of course, sessions that help our members drive business, such as sales, marketing, gemology, and financial management,” said Alexis Padis, CGA, and chair of the Conclave Subcommittee. “With numerous networking opportunities, Conclave is a great place for the AGS community to mingle and meet other like-minded professionals who share their mission of consumer protection, ongoing education, and high standards of business ethics.”

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group is again the Presenting Sponsor for Conclave, providing funding for much of the educational programming AGS offers. 

Registration for Conclave opened on November 5. To learn more, visit


WJA Debuts Negotiable, Program To Help Teach Negotiation Skills

New York, NY—The Women's Jewelry Association (WJA) has debuted Negotiable, a new benefit for its members in connection with WJA’s Gender Equality Project. Negotiable is a learning program that offers a collection of resources—videos, assessments, worksheets, and more—to help members build their ability to negotiate a promotion, a better vendor contract, or higher sales.

Data shows that women make a majority of purchase decisions in the jewelry industry and that women’s increased involvement and leadership in every sector of the jewelry trade will lead to better consumer engagement and business outcomes. But earlier this year, WJA’s Gender Equality Project survey found that 30% of employee respondents (over 90% female) said they had been deprived of equal opportunities for advancement and 38% were affected by pay disparity.  

Using funds from a 2019 JCK Industry Fund grant, WJA contracted with Negotiable, an organization that works to train members in the skills needed to work through problems, ask for what they need, and gain relevant professional development experience. 

Negotiable’s videos teach basic bargaining skills, with assessments that help users leverage their strengths. Worksheets prepare them for a real-world negotiation, and include role plays they can practice with others. Users can also return to the learning platform to review and refresh the skills they learned for subsequent negotiations.

“We know that surveys of women in the U.S. show that, on average, women receive less training, mentoring, and advice on negotiating than men. WJA believes in the power of education to boost confidence in our members and to fuel positive career transformation,” says WJA executive director Jennifer Markas. “Negotiable’s good practices help women increase the likelihood they’ll be more successful in every facet of their careers, from promotions and equal pay, to better sales and vendor contracts.” 

“We’d like to once again thank the JCK Industry Fund for this very useful grant,” says WJA president Jenny Luker. “A key WJA goal is to help women in the jewelry and watch industries advance and develop professionally and this new benefit is central to our mission.”

WJA is providing access to Negotiable free to members on a first-come, first-served basis, in lieu of the normal $89.99 cost of a subscription. Click here to view the introductory video about the service and learn how to access the course. For more information, contact membership coordinator Rachel Jurisz, rachel@womensjewelryassociation.comor click here.


New Governors Add Expertise to GIA Board

Carlsbad, CA—GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has added two new members to the Institute’s Board of Governors: Dr. Jeffrey E. Post, research geologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and Tammy Storino, a finance and operations executive with experience in global consumer brands. Together with 15 other GIA Governors, they will help steer the Institute’s mission and strategic initiatives. Thomas T. Yang, managing director and partner at PrimeGenesis, completed his term with nine years of service on the Board of Governors.

“It is an honor and a privilege to have these two dynamic leaders join the GIA Board of Governors. Their expertise will be an invaluable asset to GIA’s consumer protection mission, helping to ensure that the Institute remains a leader in research and innovation while delivering excellence in education and laboratory services,” said Susan Jacques, GIA president and CEO.

Dr. Post is the curator-in-charge for the National Gem and Mineral Collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. In addition, during his more than 35 years at the Smithsonian, he served as chairman of the department of mineral sciences and lead curator for the renovation of the geology, gems and minerals exhibit. Before joining the Smithsonian, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the department of geological sciences at Harvard University. Dr. Post’s many accolades include the Carnegie Mineralogical Award, Jewelers of America Lifetime Achievement Award and Mineralogical Society of America Public Service Medal.

Storino has extensive experience as a global operations and finance leader focused on growth and business results in global consumer brands. Her career spans more than 25 years with companies such as Walt Disney in California and Hong Kong, St. John Knits International Inc., and Too Faced Cosmetics. Storino is a Certified Public Accountant and received her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Northern Illinois University. 

The GIA Board of Governors, from left, seated: Barbara Lee Dutrow, Barbara A. Sawrey, Thomas H. Insley, Board Chair Dione D. Kenyon, Susan Jacques, Tom Moses and Lisa A. Locklear. From left, standing: Lawrence Ma, Elliot Tannenbaum, Tammy Storino, John W. Valley, Jeffrey E. Post, Stephen F. Kahler, Kiko Harvey and Robert Andrew Johnson.   

The week before the Board meeting, nearly 60 experts gathered for GIA’s 13th annual research meeting, where researchers reviewed the latest discoveries in diamonds, colored stones, pearls, laboratory-grown diamonds, and instruments. Topics included advances in diamond, colored stone, and pearl identification; the scientific matching that supports GIA’s new Diamond Origin Report service; detection of advanced treatments, and other aspects of GIA’s extensive research program.


FTC Requires Clear Disclosure Of Brand Relationships On Social Media

Washington, DC—Social media influencers must disclose when they’re being paid by a brand to talk it up, “like” it, or otherwise use their influencer status to help boost it, says the Federal Trade Commission. Last week, it released new guidelines for social media influencers that clearly spell out their responsibilities as paid fans of a brand.

Disclosures 101 For Social Media Influencers offers plain-language guidance for when and how to disclose an influencer’s relationship with a brand. For instance, if the influencer stands to gain in any way from the brand relationship, whether through employment, direct payment, gifting of merchandise, and more, they must clearly disclose it online. They’re also required to be truthful and not talk up a product they didn’t like. The rules apply to influences posting anywhere in the world if it’s reasonable to assume a significant audience will see it in the United States.

Read the full document here


CIBJO’s Ninth Report Addresses Environment and Coral

Milan, Italy—In advance of the 2019 CIBJO Congress next week in Manama, Bahrain, the ninth and the last of this year’s CIBJO commission Special Reports has been released. The report addresses environmental topic, industry efforts to address global warming, and the worldwide effort to protect biodiversity and the various coral species. 

No precious coral species are considered endangered by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, although four varieties are listed in Appendix III, which requires the relevant authorities in each country to determine that specimens were acquired legally. The four are Aka or Oxblood coral (Corallium japonicum), which lives in Japanese waters; Momo or Angel’s Skin coral (Pleurocorallium elatius), which can be found off the coasts of Japan and Taiwan; Pure White or Shiro coral (Pleurocorallium konojoi), which lives in Vietnamese waters; and Midway coral (Corallium secundum), which lives mainly off the coast of Hawaii.

In the report, CIBJO Coral Commission head Vincenzo Liverino addresses a CIBJO initiative involving identification of precious coral species using new DNA sequencing technology, being done in cooperation with the Federico II University in Naples, Italy. DNA fingerprinting will allow the trade to comply with current environmental legislation and international regulations, and also to meet conservationist concerns in the consumer markets.

The special report also discusses carbon-14 dating of precious coral and a range of educational tools that have been developed for use in the industry. Liverino urges members to sign on to CIBJO’s Jewellery Industry Greenhouse Gas Measurement Initiative, as part of the worldwide effort to address the devastating effects of global warming.

“It is essential that industry recognize that carbon neutrality requires more than simply awareness, but actions as well. Carbon auditing is a first step and the CIBJO initiative in an important support mechanism.” To download a full copy of the CIBJO Coral Commission’s special report, click here.  

‘Heart,’ carved from Mediterranean Coral (Carallium rubrum) by Jan Fabre. From the Liverino Collection, Torre del Greco, Italy. It was the first time that coral was used as a primary medium in a contemporary piece by the renowned artist. © Jan Fabre 2019

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