Christina Martinez, 20, education services assistant at Gemological Institute of America, New York, was killed Friday, May 17, when the car she was driving collided with a tractor-trailer. Ms. Martinez was returning to New York City after picking up a friend who was attending college in Albany. Ms. Martinez’s friend, who was not identified, also died in the crash.
Ms Martinez began working at GIA in August 21, 2000. She earned her Accredited Jewelry Professional Diploma and successfully completed the Graduate Diamonds course in residence through evening classes. Tom Yonelunas, CEO of GIA’s Gem Trade Laboratory, said Ms. Martinez was incredibly proud to be a part of GIA, and she loved everything about the jewelry industry.
“Christina was just 20 years old, but she had already established herself as an important and popular member of GIA and its New York operation,” he said. “Christina demonstrated great commitment to GIA and infectious enthusiasm in her work. Christina also was a dedicated and active member of the GIA Alumni Association, and she was well known to the Gem Instruments and the Gem Trade Laboratory staff.”
Yonelunas continued, “I know that I speak for everyone in GIA’s international family in expressing profound sympathy to Christina’s family during their time of mourning. And I ask that you keep Christina in your thoughts and prayers as we remember her. We shall miss Christina’s wonderful personality, her love for GIA and the jewelry industry, and her dedicated professionalism.” Details for funeral arrangements will be announced by GIA.