Boyajian named managing director of planned ‘World Jewelry Center’

Bill Boyajian, former president of the Gemological Institute of America, has been named managing director of the World Jewelry Center project that is being built in Las Vegas. His appointment is effective immediately.

The World Jewelry Center is being planned as a major global destination complex for consumer jewelry shopping and a leading business hub serving top manufacturers, dealers, trade associations, and wholesalers in the gem, jewelry and watch industries. Planned as the tallest office building in Las Vegas, the center is slated to open for occupancy within four years.

The World Jewelry Center is the brainchild of property developer Robert Zarnegin, president and CEO of Probity International.

“Bill Boyajian’s acceptance to take charge of this most exciting project is another vote of confidence for the city of Las Vegas as a major future destination for the gem and jewelry industry,” Zarnegin said. “We expect to bring together a major collection of global jewelry firms, many of whom have never before been seen in the United States. A number of worldwide companies have already expressed interest in being included in our project. With its favorable tax structure, and its position as America’s most popular destination, Las Vegas is the perfect place for this exciting new venture.”

Boyajian added: “I am delighted to join the World Jewelry Center project and especially to work with my good friend Robert Zarnegin. Upon announcement of my retirement from GIA, Robert approached me to lead what I believe is the most significant jewelry industry project on the globe. Frankly, I was planning to take some time off after 20 years as president of GIA, but it was precisely because of Robert and his outstanding character and integrity that I enthusiastically agreed to head this project. I’m excited about the opportunity, inspired by the vision, and confident in the project’s fundamentals.”

Annually 40 million people visit Las Vegas. That number is expected to grow to 60 million within a decade.

In addition to Boyajian, the World Jewelry Center has secured the services of MVI Marketing Ltd., a leading jewelry industry marketing firm, to provide strategic advisory services.

“The WJC will be a beacon pointing to the future of our industry,” said MVI’s CEO, Marty Hurwitz. “That future will be defined by the jewelry consumer. Our industry will have access to 60 million jewelry consumers, from all over the world, walking through the doors of this dynamic retail environment. Manufacturers, wholesalers and trade associations will benefit from the WJC as an industry-focused location in the high rise office tower adjacent to the retail promenade.”

WJC is planning to have a Foreign Trade Zone designation, making it easier for companies from all markets to locate in the World jewelry Center.