Centurion 2007 Attracts More Retailers and Fundraising

Centurion 2007, held Jan. 28-31 in Tucson, Ariz., was successful in attracting respected high-end retailers from throughout the industry and yielded a brisk pace of buying, according to a statement from Centurion officials.

“Our participants were enjoying themselves, doing business and planning for a successful 2007,” said Centurion President Howard Hauben.

Education sessions included six retailer roundtables prior to each morning’s full session. Other educational highlights included In Style’s Executive Editor Martha McCully asking attendees to categorize both themselves and their customers into various shopping categories; Diamond Promotion Service sponsored Richie Kohler, of Shadow Divers and Deep Sea Detectives Fame speaking to a rapt and attentive audience; Steve LeFever of Business Resource Services offering a fiscal checkup to jewelers; as well as two smart panels staffed with top retailers sharing their expertise.

In Style and In Style Weddings surprised attendees with a concert featuring Grammy-nominated entertainer Amerie; comedians Chelsea Handler and Harland Williams headlined at Centurion’s Bawdy Late Night Cabaret; and the Show’s Gala Night presented Kathy Griffin, as the evening’s entertainment as well as the special guest emcee for the Jewelers for Children live Auction. The Saturday Centurion Golf & Tennis Tournaments each hosted their largest number of players in the history of the show at 76 and 18, respectively.

The JFC auction had Larry Read of Lee Read Jewelers, Meridian, Idaho, challenging those in the audience to match his $5,000 donation. After many matches with Kathy Griffin tirred up the audience, the total from donations and the silent and live auctions reached $213,000, beating last year’s total of $90,000.

The show increased full pass retailer participation by about 5 percent over 2006 and hosted some 260 stores.