Arizona Dreamin’



I’m just back from the annual winter buying week in Arizona, and this year’s edition did not disappoint.

First up was the all-new Centurion Show, held for the first time at the spectacular Phoenician Hotel in Scottsdale. The setting was terrific, with a much larger ballroom to accommodate the growing number of exhibitors, and a huge outdoor terrace to enjoy the beautiful weather. (On the second day, we chose the shade because it was too warm…such lovely problems to have!)

The energy and noise levels were high, and in my walks around the show floor, it was clear that people were writing business. It’s great to feel our industry kick back into higher gear.

JCK Events’ Lars Parker-Myers, editor in chief Victoria Gomelsky, and jewelry veteran Debbie Yonick joined me for a very formal photo at Centurion’s Sunday night gala dinner.

As you can see from the photo on the right, a bit of fun was also had, with great dinners, entertainment, and a very serious (kidding) photo booth. Congratulations to Howard Hauben and his team for launching a successful new iteration of Centurion!

From Phoenix, editor in chief Victoria Gomelsky, contributor Randi Molofsky, and I took the classic desert road trip to Tucson to check out the AGTA GemFair and the myriad other surrounding gemstone pavilions and events. As I’ve written before, I love the “rock hound” feel of this week, everything from the spectacular gems at AGTA to the giant geodes sold on street corners, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

We once again partnered with the Cultured Pearl Association of America to sponsor its annual bash at the historic Cushing Street Bar & Restaurant. The space features a large outdoor patio where everyone gathers to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres under the stars, heat lamps, and huge old orange trees—this is Tucson at its finest.

Our sales team gathered for our annual one-day offsite, which is always a great opportunity to reflect on our success over the past year and the many initiatives we have in the year ahead. We’re thrilled with the reception the magazine and our newly redesigned website have gotten, and we look forward to bringing more original online video series to the market (check out the latest episode of JCK Rock Star at jckonline.com/jckrockstar), as well as our fantastic online sourcing tool, ­JCKmarketplace.com, and some exciting new show initiatives.

Speaking of a great reception to the magazine, we’re very proud to announce three nominations for the Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Awards, the most prestigious in all of trade publishing. We were nominated for Best Single Issue of a Magazine for JCK’s May issue, Best Commentary for Rob Bates’ Cutting Remarks blog, and Best Integrated Package for JCK Rock Star! We’re beyond excited.

By the time you read this issue, I’ll have just returned from the February Hong Kong show and will be getting ready to depart for Switzerland for the Baselworld luxury watch and jewelry fair. See you there!

P.S. Your opinion is valuable—we want to reward you for it. Tell us why you read JCK and be entered to win a $300 merchandise credit at this year’s JCK Las Vegas, along with a $200 American Express gift card to spend on fun while you’re there. Simply take our quick survey about the magazine at jckonline.com/magazine/survey.