CJA elects Velayo as its President

Richard Velayo, of Gleim the Jeweler, Palo Alto, has been elected president of the California Jewelers Association for 2007. He succeeds Robert Marks, of Rogers Jewelry Co., Modesto, as the head of the 1,200-member organization which serves retail jewelers, suppliers, and designers throughout the state.

Other officers elected include Lexi Kern Hirst of Churchill Jewelers, Santa Barbara, president-elect; Teresa Saldivar of Teresa’s Jewelers, Santa Ana, first vice president; and Allen Kessler of Kessler Jewelers, Burbank, as treasurer. 

New as an elected representative of CJA is Stuart Benjamin, of Stuart Benjamin and Co. Jewelry Designs, San Diego, as second vice president. Benjamin is a third generation jeweler who entered the jewelry industry when he was 15 and was trained by his grandfather. He opened his own business in 1997, along with partner Barbara Wasserstrom.

Velayo joined Gleim The Jeweler in 1989 and became manager of the Palo Alto store in 1995. He holds a graduate gemologist title from GIA and is an AGS Certified Gemologist Appraiser, and was instrumental in developing an e-mail security alert system for Northern California that quickly forwards information regarding crimes and suspicious activity to jewelers, vendors, and several law enforcement agencies around Northern California.