Cowardin Named VJA President

The Virginia Jewelers Association elected Taylor Cowardin as its new president during its annual meeting at the Omni Hotel in Richmond. Taylor is a graduate gemologist and fifth generation jeweler at his family’s firm, Cowardin’s Jewelers in Richmond. He succeeds Mary Loose DeViney of Tuel Jewelers in Charlottesville.

VJA members from across the state raised more than $1,000 for Jewelers for Children during the annual meeting, held Sept. 28-30.

Members at the meeting had the opportunity to attend several seminars and a panel discussion with representatives from the Gemological Institute of America, American Gem Society, International Gemological Institute, and Gem Certification and Assurance Lab moderated by Terry Chandler, chief executive officer of the Diamond Council of America. An appraisal seminar presented by Jewelers Mutual and a motivational sales seminar rounded out the day.

VJA, established in 1904, is an affiliate of Jewelers of America and has more than 300 retail member stores throughout the state. The association advocates high ethical standards, promotes professional business and leadership skills, and enhances members’ profitability by offering education, certification, marketing, and cost-saving programs.