Industry / Retail

Industry Leader and Recruiter Rick Borchert Dies


Rick Borchert, a jewelry industry leader, mentor, and recruiter whose 45 years in the trade included top-level posts at Zale and Tiffany, died on April 18. He was 73.

Borchert started in the management training program at Tiffany & Co. in 1971. He spent eight years with the company, eventually becoming a divisional vice president.

From there, he became store manager for another celebrated jeweler, Black, Starr & Frost. He eventually moved to Bailey Banks & Biddle, when that chain was owned by Zale Corp. Borchert worked for Zale until 1996, at one point serving as its d

He subsequently worked as executive vice president of Charles Schwartz & Sons Jewelers, director of stores for Bailey’s Fine Jewelry from 2002 to 2004, and general manager of Ross-Simons from 2005 to 2007. In 2007, he founded Hobson & Company, a jewelry retail consulting and executive search firm.

He also appeared as a host on JewelryTV and the Gem Shopping Network.

On social media, friends and family members remembered Borchert as an upbeat person who enjoyed working in the jewelry industry and whose motto was “I love what I do and I do what I love.”

That positive spirit could be seen in Borchert’s posts on LinkedIn, which included a daily dose of motivational thoughts. “You can’t always have a good day,” one read. “But you can always face a bad day with a good attitude.”

Said another: “It costs $0 to treat someone with respect.”

After he passed away, one final thought was posted on his profile, attributed to Dr. Seuss: “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

Borchert is survived by his wife, Rosemary, daughter Kim, son Eric, and grandsons Kamden and Mason.  A memorial service was held on Sunday.

(Photo courtesy of Rosemary Borchert)

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By: Rob Bates

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