Associations

JA GOES ON-LINE WITH CONSUMER WEB SITE

Jewelers of America launched a site on the World Wide Web late last year, just in time to help consumers make informed fine jewelry purchases for Christmas. The URL (universal resource locator) is http://www.jewelers.org, says JA.

The site includes all of JA’s “What You Should Know” brochures, which give consumers buying tips about diamonds, gold, platinum, pearls, watches and colored gemstones, as well as the care and cleaning of fine jewelry. Eileen Farrell, JA’s director of marketing and communications, says tens of thousands of consumers have requested the brochures over the years; now they can access them whenever they want via a personal computer.

The Web site also allows consumers to select a JA member jeweler by store name, town or ZIP code. And it includes information about JA, its educational programs and Real Jewelry Month.

Consumers and reporters interested in accessing information about fine jewelry can read it on-line or download it to their own computer for later use. They also can download photography highlighting the latest jewelry styles. (Call JA for specific instructions about downloading photographs into a layout.) Photographs on the Web site are the same ones that appear in JA’s consumer press kits.

At press time, JA was considering whether to allow members to advertise or list toll-free telephone numbers on its site.

Jewelers of America, 1185 Ave. of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10036; (212) 768-8777.

CONSOLIDATED JEWELERS HOLD BENEFIT DINNER

The Consolidated Jewelers Association of Greater New York Inc. held its annual benefit dinner dance Oct. 29 aboard the Spirit of New York.

The event raised money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York. To date, the association has raised more than $40,000 for the foundation, which grants the wishes of critically ill children. The money is raised through the annual dinner dance and through the sale of used watch batteries.

The association also announced the creation of the Harry Wexler Memorial Fund within the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Wexler, of Tourneau stores, founded the association and served as its first president. The association also presented Betsey Irwin with a plaque upon her retirement from the Diamond Promotion Service.

MJSA REVIEWS STRENGTHS AT 92nd ANNUAL MEETING

Members who attended the 92nd annual meeting of the Manufacturing Jewelers and Silversmiths of America in October heard some good news. Cash reserves are at an all-time high and more money is available to invest in new programs.

MJSA ended fiscal 1995 on Sept. 30 with a fund balance of $1.35 million, up 28% from 1994. Revenues totaled $2.97 million (including $614,000 from member dues and $1.94 million from trade shows, social events and member services). Expenses totaled $2.67 million (including $1.49 million in general and administrative expenses and nearly $1.17 million for trade shows, social events and member services). MJSA had started the year with a fund balance of $1.05 million.

Just how the fund balance will be put to the best use is up to MJSA President James F. Marquart and the board of directors. Marquart told the more than 200 members in attendance that MJSA must stay out in front of changing economies and business climates. He also challenged members to keep active in MJSA.

Marquart joined MJSA this past fall after 18 years with the New York Hospitality Association. He succeeded Matthew Runci, who now is executive director of Jewelers of America.

MJSA Chairman Alan J. Klitzner of Klitzner Industries, Providence, R.I., thanked Runci for his contributions to the association during his 16-year tenure. Klitzner made special mention of the strong staff that Runci put into place and an extensive member survey last year that will be used to guide MJSA in the next few years.

This year, Klitzner said, MJSA will concentrate on upgrading its information systems and reaching out to various segments and geographic regions of its membership.

Members also elected officers at the meeting. Klitzner was named to a second term as chairman. Kenneth Weiss of Hallmark Healy Jewelry Group, Warwick, R.I., was named chairman-elect; Alan Kaufman of Tru-Kay Manufacturing Co., Lincoln, R.I., vice chairman; Peter Fuller of Fuller Box Co., Attleboro, Mass., secretary; and Curtis Ley of Tiffany & Co., New York, N.Y., treasurer.

JIC APPOINTS FIRST MARKETING DIRECTOR

The Jewelry Information Center appointed Roberta S. Lee to the new position of director of marketing and communications.

Lee, who is based at JIC headquarters in Manhattan, is responsible for new membership development and for support of the public relations program. She previously worked in the corporate communications department of the D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles advertising agency in New York City and was the personal assistant to Grace Mirabella of Mirabella magazine. She is a graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.

Jewelry Information Center, 19 W. 44 St., Ninth Fl., New York, N.Y. 10036; (212) 398-2319, fax (212) 398-2324.

IJO PLANS SPRING SEMINAR/BUYING SHOW

The Independent Jewelers Organization will hold “Jewelry, Jazz and Jambalaya” – its spring seminar/buying show – Feb. 24-29 in New Orleans, La. The event will feature a full seminar program, including “Competing in a Crowded Marketplace” by sales expert Dave Richardson, “How to Sell Designer Jewelry for Greater Profit” and “Non-Discount In-Store Promotions.” Patti Geolat will teach how to promote and sell estate jewelry, and IJO President Jack Gredinger will present “Your Store.”

The headquarters hotel is the Hyatt Regency. Social activities include a magic presentation, a dine-around at three renowned restaurants and free time to visit jazz cabarets. Free shuttle service will be available between the hotel and tourist sites.

After the show, IJO members are invited to take a cruise on the Mississippi Queen March 1-4. This post-show trip will include entertainment by the Jack Morgan & Russ Morgan Orchestra and the Four Lads and visits to the Oak Valley Plantation in Vacherie, La., and Rosedown Plantation in St. Francisville, La.

For discount travel rates, call Warren Travel at (800) 682-8749. For seminar/buying show information, contact IJO at Two Railroad Place, Westport, Conn. 06880; (800) 624-9252 or (203) 226-6941.

ICA CONSOLIDATES IN NEW YORK CITY

The International Colored Gemstone Association has consolidated its California and New York offices in larger quarters in New York City. The new offices are in a townhouse near the jewelry district on 48th St. between Fifth and Madison.

“ICA’s new expanded presence in New York will enable the association to better serve its members around the world, as well as to have a higher profile with the international media,” says ICA President Paolo Valentini of Italy. “This is an important step in preparing the association to expand its promotional activities.”

Executive Director Maureen Jones, who oversaw the California office, and Cheryl Kremkow, director of the ICA Gembureau in New York, will continue in their positions at the new location with an expanded support staff.

The new address is ICA, 3 E. 48 St., Fifth Fl., New York, N.Y. 10017; (212) 688-8452, fax (212) 688-9006, e-mail, gembureau@aol.com.

AGS ANNOUNCES CONCLAVE SPEAKER

Guy Kawasaki, former director of software product management at Apple Computer Inc., will deliver the keynote address at the 1996 American Gem Society Conclave. Kawasaki, whose parents are jewelers, will discuss jewelry sales, marketing and management.

The event will be held April 10-14 in the J.W. Marriott Hotel, Washington, D.C. (Note: The 1996 JCK Guide to Jewelry Trade Fairs Around the World, published in the November issue, incorrectly listed the conclave location as Las Vegas, Nev.)

The Gemological Institute of America and the Jewelers Education Foundation of AGS will present the conclave’s education program. Other highlights include:

  • A Lab Room in which participants will get hands-on experience with fracture-filled diamonds, sophisticated synthetics and synthetic diamonds.

  • Children’s Gemology Camp, conducted by Marcia Hucker, CGA.

  • Basic Training for Sales Associates, an intensive program to improve product knowledge and sales techniques. Cost is $75 per associate.

  • AGS Suppliers’ Buying Show and Computer Software Show.

  • Presentation of the Robert M. Shipley Award and the President’s Gala.

To receive a reduced room rate of $166 per night at the J.W. Marriott (single or double occupancy), call (202) 393-2000 and specify AGS membership. To register for the conclave itself, contact the

American Gem Society, 8881 W. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas, Nev. 89117; (702) 255-6500, fax (702) 255-7420.

24 KARAT CLUB ELECTS OFFICERS

New officers of the Southwestern 24 Karat Club of Dallas are Mike Sachnowitz, representing Cyma Watch/Glenn Corp., ex officio; Will Friedman, Honora Ltd., president; Mike Hartman, Frank Mastoloni & Sons, secretary; William Saunders, Seiko Corp. of America, vice president; and Al Rosen, Kwiat Inc., treasurer. Joining the officers on the board of directors are Pat Henneberry of the Diamond Promotion Service, Mike Mojica of Lieber & Solow Diamonds, Maurice Donchin of Nicolet Watch Co., William Miller of William Miller & Associates, James Johnson of Rolex Watch USA, Mark Lawin of Monte Trevi, Mel Reisman of Kurt Wayne, Jack Beck of I.B. Goodman Co. and the Dallas Fine Jewelry Show by MIDAS, Meyer Kaplan of Cordova, Richard Maslan of Richard Maslan & Associates, Bob Rose of Roseco Inc. and Janisue Maynard, executive director emeritus. The club will hold its 1996 by-invitation-only dinner dance Sept. 7 in the Anatole Hotel in Dallas.