The American Gem Society is working to keep people in the industry informed and updated on how its members are fairing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. AGS is posting information on its Web site at www.ags.org/katrina and is asking its members and others who are concerned to view the site for updates.
In addition, the organization will be posting listings for job openings and employment opportunities for those who have been affected as it receives them. If anyone has information to post, contact Mindy Layton at 702.255.6500 extension 1014 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information on AGS members affected in Gulf Coast region as of Thursday include:
Ira Savoie Jr., CGA whose business, Savoie Fine Jewelry Appraisers, and home was completely destroyed by the hurricane. He has evacuated to Texas. Savoie is currently operating in the Baton Rouge area and is in search of appraisal work. His e-mail address is available through AGS upon request.
Tommy Aucoin Sr. of Aucoin-Hart Jewelers, Metairie, La., was reached by phone on Wednesday and he reported the store was flooded a little but not severely. All of his store staff are fine but spread out in safe havens all over the region. Tommy Aucoin Jr’s home was not flooded but was ransacked by looters.
Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry has reported that stores in Metairie and New Orleans are damaged.
Susan and Tom Light of Light Jewelers and Gemologists in Hattiesburg, Miss., have been living in their store since Katrina hit. Their family home is damaged and they are residing in their store protecting it from looters moving into the area.
In Coral Gables, Fla., Carroll’s of Coral Gables, Inc. was closed for two days during the hurricane and is all safe and operational currently.
Mickleboro’s in Montgomery, Ala., reported its store doing fine. In Mobile, Ala., Claude Moore Jeweler, Inc., Zundel’s Inc., and Julius Goldstein & Son, Inc. reported power outages of several days. All stores are up and currently operational.
Population in Baton Rouge, La., and the surrounding areas has doubled in the past week. Barker’s Antique Jewelry Inc. and Hannon Jewelers experienced power outages; stores are currently operational.
Robert Mims & Son Jewelers, Inc. in Natchez. Miss., and Way-Fil Jewelers in Tupelo, Miss., report that their stores are operational.
Additionally, Wells Fargo initially contacted a few AGS members in Florida and Alabama and has concerns for the following member who they were unable to get in touch with: Bechtel Jewelers, Inc. of West Palm Beach, Fla.