Industry & People: July–August 2012



COMINGS AND GOINGS

>>?Tiffany & Co. promoted Andrew W. Hart to senior vice president of diamonds and gemstones. Hart has been with the company since 1999 and has served as vice president of diamonds and gemstones since 2002. The company also announced that Robert S. Singer has been elected to its board of directors. Singer has held a variety of senior-level corporate positions, including chief financial officer of Gucci Group NV. He will chair the board’s audit committee and replaces J. Thomas Presby, who reached the mandatory retirement age.

>>?Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry named Geoffrey N. Hess its new ­president. Hess was a founding member of Giu­liani Partners, the consulting firm headed by former New York City mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. Previously, he served as the youngest senior advisor to the mayor during the Giuliani administration, and an associate at Tishman Speyer Properties, where he managed the negotiation of major commercial leasing transactions. Hess succeeds Andrea Hansen, who is leaving to spend more time with her family.

>>?Industry veteran Ollie Keene has been named CEO of Brodkey’s, a nine-store chain based in Omaha, Neb. Keene was most recently a merchandise and supply chain executive at Michael Hill Jewelers and senior vice president at Helzberg Diamonds.

>>?Beaudry International, the new company for designer Michael Beaudry, has hired third-generation jeweler Jean-Louis Bilbault to head its sales division.

>>?Pandora has appointed David Allen president of Pandora Australia. Allen, who currently serves as Pandora’s vice president, previously worked for such specialty retailers as the Pretty Girl Fashion Group, Woolworth Group, and the Colorado Group.

>>?Blue Nile has named Engle Saez chief marketing officer. In addition, Sue Bell, the senior vice president who oversees merchandising, planning, and diamond supply functions, has retired. The company also appointed Julie Yoakum chief merchandising officer.

>>?Jessica Sachariason, public relations manager for the Gemological Institute of America, has left the Institute and relocated to San Francisco.

REMEMBERED

>>?Belle Wein of Fairfield, Conn., died May 27 at age 97. Until her retirement, Wein held positions at Spector’s Jewelers in Bridgeport and Trumbull, Conn., and at Lenox ­Jewelers in Fairfield.

>>?Alvin Lee Magnon, owner of Alvin Magnon Jewelers in Tampa, Fla., died at the age of 84. Magnon began working in the jewelry business alongside his father in 1948. In 2006, his daughter took over the family business.

>>?Renowned Israeli jeweler Henri Padani died May 2 at age 92.

>>?Jacques Roisen, the former head of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, died March 26 at age 91. In 2006, the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association honored him at its 75th anniversary dinner. He is survived by Alice, his wife of 67 years; children Shelley and Rita; and four grandchildren.

OPENING

>>?Pandora Italy opened its first owned and operated concept store in Venice on June 5. Another three ­Italian concept stores will open in July in Rome, Milan, and Bergamo.

>>?Swarovski will open its eighth Manhattan location at 365 Madison Ave., between 45th and 46th streets.

COMPANIES

>>?Aston Luxury Group, manufacturer and distributor of fine jewelry and accessible luxury brands, has acquired distribution for six Italian brands, including Stefan Hafner, Nouvelle Bague, Valente Milano, Porrati, lo Si, and Giantti.

LABS

>>?The American Gem Society has acquired the remaining 49 percent interest in American Gem Society Laboratories, making it a fully owned subsidiary of AGS. AGS has held a 51 percent majority stake in AGS Labs since the company’s formation in 1996. AGS Labs will continue to have its own board of directors.

HONORED

>>?The American Gem Society celebrates its 2012 Circle of Distinction Honorees on July 31 at New York City’s Plaza Hotel. The Bridge family of Ben Bridge Jeweler will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. JCK senior editor Rob Bates and Mark Moeller, owner of R.F. Moeller ­Jeweler, will each receive the Triple Zero Award.

>>?Leon Megé, a fine jewelry designer specializing in engagement rings, has won the American Jewelry Design Council’s award for outstanding new talent in fine jewelry. Megé, whose company is based in New York City’s diamond district, will receive a complimentary booth at the July JA Show in New York City.

The Menashe Jewelers family

>>?The Kiwanis chapter of West Seattle is honoring local jeweler Jack Menashe, owner of Menashe & Sons Jewelers, and his family with its Everyday Hero Award.

INTERNET

>>?Custom jewelry online retailer Gemvara announced the closing of a $25 million oversubscribed round of Series D funding. Northwest Venture Partners led the transaction, which involved participation from existing investors, including Highland Capital Partners, Canaan Partners, and Balderton Capital.

>>?Amazon and QVC have the most satisfied customers on the Web, according to the E-Retail Satisfaction Index from analytics firm Foresee. Amazon earned 89 points out of a possible 100. QVC came in second with 85 points.

>>?IDEX Online has introduced IDEX OnSite, a new service that supplies jewelers with a fully operational e-commerce site complete with a database of more than 450,000 diamonds.

FINANCIAL

>>?Qatar Holdings, an investment fund owned by the state of Qatar, now owns 5.195 percent of Tiffany & Co., making it the largest shareholder of the famed retailer.