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MARTIN TO RECEIVE ORT AWARD

Anna Martin of ABN AMRO Bank, New York, will receive the American ORT Jewelry Industry Chapter’s Community Achievement Award at a tribute dinner in her honor on Sept. 21, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. Martin is being honored for her support of ORT as well as for her many professional contributions to the jewelry industry.

Martin is senior vice president and head of the diamond, jewelry, and precious metals group at ABN AMRO. When she joined the bank 32 years ago, the New York branch had only five diamond clients. Over the years, she significantly increased the bank’s diamond lending and diversified its portfolio to include jewelry manufacturers and retailers. She also established gold leasing capabilities.

Martin is a governor and League of Honor sovereign of the Gemological Institute of America and a member of the board of directors of GIA, the Jewelers Board of Trade, and the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA). She also serves on the honorary board of directors for the Jewelers Charity Fund and was inducted into the Diamond Hall of Fame by the Diamond Industry Steering Committee. She’s the recipient of the Premier Patron award from the Indian Diamond and Colored Stone Association and has received an award for excellence in special services from the WJA.

JAY RETIRES AFTER 40 YEARS

Chuck Jay of Jay’s Creative Jewelry School, Aloha, Ore., retired on March 30 after 40 years as a designer, manufacturer, and teacher.

Jay began his career in the 1960s in Fairbanks, Alaska, where he learned the casting process from a crown and bridge expert. He developed a technique for designing with sheet and wire waxes to produce one-piece, one-of-a-kind jewelry that eliminated soldering.

After operating designer stores in Arizona, Ohio, and Oregon, Jay opened Jay’s Creative Jewelry School in 1991. He and his wife, Ann, trained 72 students.

APPOINTMENTS

Montblanc has appointed Linda Passarro to the position of vice president of sales. Passarro, formerly of Hamilton Watch, began her career in the jewelry trade 12 years ago in the brand management department of De Beers. She established the “Rites of Passage” brands and launched the diamond solitaire campaign.

Passarro entered the watch industry in 1996, and served for two years as vice president of marketing at Baume & Mercier, where she was responsible for all U.S. integrated marketing activities, including advertising, public relations, promotions, research, training, and visual merchandising. She joined the Swatch Group U.S. in 1998 as Hamilton’s president, responsible for sales and distribution growth as well as marketing activities targeted at consumer awareness.

She has been an active member of the Women’s Jewelry Association for nine years and a board member for the last seven years.

GemKey.com, a business-to-business marketplace for the gem and jewelry industry, has named David G. Pillow, G.G., as vice president of product acquisition and quality assurance.

Pillow, the former director of quality assurance and product information for Home Shopping Network, has 24 years of experience in the industry and serves on the board of directors for the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.

Pillow was introduced to the gem and jewelry industry at a young age and quickly became a journeyman bench jeweler. He gained much of his experience during the fifteen years he owned and operated Pillow’s Wholesale.

Susan Miller is the new director of sales at Vivian Alexander, where she will head the company’s U.S. and international sales efforts.

Miller is the former manager of Louisiana’s statewide Advocacy Center.

Tryna Kochanek has been promoted to senior vice president of store operations at Sterling Jewelers Inc. With the company since 1986, Kochanek’s previous position was vice president of regional operations.

Bill Fry has joined Eisinger Enterprises, a jewelry equipment and supply company, as operations manager for its Newark office. Previously, Fry was eastern regional manager for Swest Inc.

Clark Alexander has been named director of business development at American Display Products, a manufacturer of point-of-purchase watch, optical, and jewelry displays. Alexander’s previous positions were in sales and management with First California Box and Interpak Pacific.

Jim Oshry has joined Hamilton Jewelers as director of corporate sales. The corporate gift department services the needs of large and small companies on a national or international level, offering corporate gift selections.

Todd Sinforoso has been promoted from executive vice president, a position he has held since 1996, to company president at Weindling International, a diamond jewelry supplier. Previously, Sinforoso managed the diamond department at London Start Limited. Also promoted were Ravi Krishnan to vice president and chief financial officer and Sara Taublib to vice president of merchandising.

Victoria Neilson has been hired as vice president of marketing at Citizen Watch Company of America. Neilson will direct all marketing programs, including advertising and public relations, and work with retail partners in executing brand strategy at point of sale. Neilson has more than 17 years of marketing experience, including stints as vice president of international development for Coty Inc. and vice president and general manager of new business development for Gryphon Development.

Michelle Dale has taken the position of account executive at Shoppers Charge Accounts Co., a private-label credit card company. Dale has more than seven years’ experience as an account executive in the financial services and human resources fields.

Shelly Gruber has been appointed vice president of sales-corporate division at I.B. Goodman Co., a fine jewelry manufacturer. Gruber has more than 30 years’ experience in both manufacturing and retailing and was most recently with Harry Winston Inc.

Sherry D. Fields has been appointed vice president and general manager at Wittnauer Licensed Brands, a new company by Wittnauer International. Fields’s background includes marketing positions with Sara Lee Corp., Quaker Oats, Hardees Food Systems, and 1-800-Flowers. Also appointed were Wayne Wolf, vice president, sales, east; and Mike Mason, vice president, sales, west.

Ross-Simons, a leading retailer of fine jewelry, tableware, home furnishings, and decorative accessories, has announced three promotions: Erin Ross Carroll has been promoted from senior copywriter to copy manager. Carroll previously served as advertising and marketing copywriter for Hills Department Stores and as retail and promotions writer for Brooks Pharmacy. Susan Robinson has been promoted from copy director to associate creative director. Robinson previously served as a copywriter for the Victoria’s Secret catalogue and as copy director at Woodward & Lothrop. Robin Morris McAlpine has been promoted from art director to associate creative director. McAlpine previously served as vice president of creative services for the Zayre Corp. and was a designer for G. Fox.

OBITUARIES

Daniel D. Drury, 88, a jewelry buyer and salesman at Goldblatt’s department store in Chicago, died June 10. He spent most of his life working in the jewelry business, including more than two decades at Goldblatt’s.

Billy Morgan Tatum, 66, a retired salesman for Zales Jewelry, died of heart failure on June 15.

Bernard L. Briman, 84, chairman of Briman’s Leading Jewelers Inc. in Topeka, Kan., died May 8. He was involved in the jewelry industry for 60 years as a retail owner.