Jacmel VP Dies in Plane Crash

Timo Santala, 40, vice president of manufacturing for Jacmel Jewelry Inc. of Long Island City, N.Y., was among the passengers killed when American Airlines flight 598 crashed in Rockaway, N.Y., en route to Santo Domingo. Santala, who was in charge of Jacmel’s factory in the Dominican Republic, regularly traveled back and forth from New York to the factory.

A metallurgist by trade, Santala was well known in manufacturing and production circles in the industry. He was with Jacmel for five and a half years and prior to that held various positions with other prominent jewelry manufacturers, including Stuller and Leach & Garner. He also founded his own company, Touchstone Metal. He was a guest contributor to AJM magazine, a presenter at the Santa Fe Symposium, and was slated to be a presenter at the 2002 Kraftwerks convention.

“He was a [jewelry] industrial technician and one of the best. He was one of the first I invited [to Kraftwerks] and one of the first to accept. It will be a hard slot to fill,” said Marc Robinson, president of Goldbarz and a consultant for Kraftwerks.

Jack Rahmey, president of Jacmel, said, “He was a real professional in the industry. He loved the industry, he had a lot of friends in the industry, and he was an expert in the field of metallurgy and production. He was a really great guy.”

Santala is survived by his wife, Laura, and four children.