Associations

JA WORKSHOPS DRAW STATE LEADERS

Jewelers of America’s annual association workshops drew more than 150 presidents, executive directors and other leaders from 42 state jewelry associations, as well as members of the JA board of directors and staff. The series of group meetings and workshops was held Jan. 15-17 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Topics included how to enhance existing member benefits programs and increase the visibility of professional jewelers among consumers. JA emphasized its role in assisting the associations with financial support as well as marketing, education and certification programs.

JA President Stanley Pollack of G.M. Pollack & Sons, Scarborough, Me., presented the JA Gold Ring awards for 1997. The Gold Ring program recognizes affiliate associations that meet goals for membership growth at three levels. The affiliates receive cash bonuses that can be used to support further membership development and service programs. This year, 21 associations were recognized.

ACC MENTORS HELP EMERGING ARTISTS

The American Craft Council introduced its Craftsman Mentoring Project at the 1997 ACC Craft Show Columbus. Twenty mentor teams worked together in the planning stages and at the show last year.

The program encourages experienced wholesale craft artists to become mentors and work with an artist who has not previously exhibited at a fair. Mentors assist the first-timer with applications, slide presentations, display design and booth construction. They also provide advice on wholesaling procedures, from choosing and pricing work to follow- through on orders. “The feedback we have received from the participants has been extremely positive; we consider it to be an unqualified success,” says JoAnn Brown, director of the ACC Craft Shows.

Jeweler and metal worker Susan Blim acted as a mentor for woodworker Andrew Chulyk. “I think it’s a very well thought-out and generous program,” Blim comments. “The Council covers all the bases in terms of the information they provided, the checklists, the time frame. It all worked very smoothly. I would recommend the program to any exhibitor who knows an artist who is ready to get started with wholesale shows.”

The ACC plans to sponsor ten mentor teams at its newly created ACC Contemporary Craft Market Chicago, to be held July 24-28 at McCormick Place. To be eligible for the program, a mentor must have exhibited at a minimum of five wholesale ACC Craft Markets and be juried into the Chicago show. Mentors may sponsor any artist who has not previously exhibited at a show. Sponsored artists must submit five slides of their work along with a statement explaining why they are interested in the program. Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of judges to ensure that the new artist’s work meets the standards of the show.

Upon acceptance into the program, mentors and new artists receive free booth space. Depending on financial need, a first-time exhibitor also may receive support from ACC in the form of booth materials, show services and reimbursement of travel and lodging expenses.

American Craft Council, 21 S. Eltings Corner Rd., Highland, NY 12528; (800) 836-3470, fax (914) 883-6130.

JA’S BOOK EXPLAINS REVISED FTC GUIDES

Don’t know your vermeil from your electroplate? Then consult The JA Guide to the FTC Guidelines, offered by Jewelers of America.

In May 1996, the Federal Trade Commission released updated versions of its guides for the jewelry, precious metals and pewter industries. These marked the first major revision since 1959 and reflected changes in technology, international standards and consumer trends. They covered such new topics as vermeil and pewter products; items made of precious metals but not traditionally considered jewelry (such as pens, pencils, eyeglasses, silverware and watchbands); amended definitions of gold plate and gold electroplate; representation of diamond weights and specifics on cultured and imitation pearls.

Although not law, the FTC guidelines are accepted as standard practice by ethical jewelers throughout the industry. They encourage use of standardized terms and procedures in all forms of jewelry advertising, labeling and marketing. They were completed in conjunction with the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, industry members and trade associations, including JA.

The JA Guide includes the FTC guidelines for the stamping, marking, promotion and disclosure of precious metals, pearls, diamonds, carat weights, cuts and more. There are several easy-to-read charts and cross-references as well as a glossary of FTC definitions for jewelry terminology. Although it offers a convenient summary, The JA Guide is not intended to replace the guidelines themselves.

The JA Guide to the FTC Guidelines can be purchased for $69.95. JA members can get a complementary copy by contacting their association.

JA, 1185 Avenue of the Americas, 30th Floor, New York, NY 10036; (212) 768-8777, fax (212) 768-8087. Web site (http://www.jewelers.org); e-mail: (jewelersam@aol.com).

NC WATCHMAKERS PLAN MEETING

The North Carolina Watchmakers’ Association will hold its annual business meeting and convention in the Holiday Inn, Salisbury, N.C., May 29-31. The sessions will include technical demonstrations and talks on watches, clocks and jewelry. Two banquets are scheduled. Contact Alice Carpenter, (919) 823-2944.

CALIFORNIA IDCA MARKS DIWALI

The Southern California Indian Diamond and Colorstone Association celebrated Diwali, a holiday in conjunction with the Indian New Year, last November. This folk festival filled with dancing, music and food revolves around the family. Fittingly, entire families participated in the cultural dance performances, from parents to the very young.

During the ceremonies, IDCA President Rahul Parikh announced the group is growing. He noted that the 300 IDCA members shipped in over $300 million in goods from India last year. He added that combined meetings with the Diamond Club West Coast helped improve communications between the two organizations.

IT’S ALL IN THE WRITING

The Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) elected new officers for the 1998 term. James P. Moon, J.R. Moon Pencil Co., Lewisburg, Tenn., is now president; Carl Pfizenmaier, Hoover Precision Products, Cumming, Ga., vice president; and Thomas Kelleher, BIC Corp., Milford, Conn., secretary. Billy R. Fox, National Pen Corp., Shelbyville, Tenn., is treasurer for a third term.

Robert B. Waller, Jr., CAE, executive director of WIMA, recently received the Excellence in Association Management Award. The award is presented to an individual who “contributes outstanding service to the association management field and consistently shows the highest professional values.” The award is the highest given by the New Jersey Society of Association Executives.

WJA ELECTS NEW MIDWEST OFFICERS

The Women’s Jewelry Association, Midwest Chapter, installed new officers: Gillian Schultz, Metronet Safe & Sound, president; Jennifer Gatsch, Prudential Jewelers, president elect and vice president of programs; Helen Hovis, Ernest Slotar Inc., past president and board advisor; Kathy Saitelbach, Stevens Jewelers, vice president of membership; Denise Hartman, Trabert & Hoeffer, vice president of communications; Karla Lewis-Leonhardt, Best Friends, vice president of annual fundraiser; Beverly Engineer, Prudential Jewelers, treasurer; Carmen Cotto, Ernest Slotar Inc., secretary; Eliza Morss, Paul Klecka Inc., newsletter editor; Elaine Batson, Charles Engelhardt, program coordinator; Jeanet Notardonato, advisor. Based in Chicago, the chapter has more than 120 members.

Two members were recognized for excellence at the chapter’s annual general meeting. Helen Slotar Hovis, immediate past president, received an award in recognition of her service as president for the past two years and her term on the board of directors for the previous seven years. Gillian Schultz received the chapter’s award for “Woman Making a Difference.”

Helen Slotar Hovis (left) and Gillian Schultz receive awards from the Midwest Chapter of WJA.

JIDA PICKS THEME FOR CONVENTION

The Jewelry Industry Distributors Association announced the theme of its upcoming convention, to be held April 29 – May 2 in New Orleans. “Jazz Up Your Business in ’98” is the theme. Call (813) 914-8756 for more information.

OKLAHOMA RETREAT

An educational retreat at the Shangri La Resort in Afton, Okla., is planned for May 15-17. The Oklahoma Jewelers Association is coordinating the retreat, which is expected to attract more than 200 Midwest jewelry store owners and managers from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Texas. The goal of the retreat is to give jewelers an opportunity to discuss common problems and strategies in a laid-back atmosphere. Call (800) 487-7822.

DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS JEWELERS

The theme of the 1998 annual convention of the Texas Jewelers Association is “What you don’t know can hurt you – and your business!” It will be held April 18-20 at the Austin North Hilton & Towers. Programs include GIA session on pearls and on new synthetics and treatments, plus presentations by Christine Anzell and Jack Levenson on building jewelry clientele and making your people “counter-productive.” Call (800) 299-4872.

AGS LAB EXPANDS ADS

The American Gem Society Laboratories launched a new trade ad campaign this spring. The lab offers a Diamond Quality Document (DQD) and promises five-day turnaround service. The new campaign focuses on the importance of cut as well as the lab’s customer service, products and turnaround time. For information on AGS Labs, call (702) 233-6120.

FASHION JEWELERS NAME PRESIDENT

Michael A. Salvadore, Sr., Salvadore Machinery Corp., Providence, R.I., was named president of the World Brotherhood of Fashion Jewelry Manufacturers, headquartered in Mahon, Palma Di Majorca, Spain. Other officers include Serge E. Woloch, vice president, Paris; Tetsuzo Nakagawa, second vice president, Tokyo; Matthias Roters, secretary, Mahon; Olavi A. Rautio, board member, Helsinki; Peter Seibt, board member, Kaufbeuren, Germany; Francisco Gari, technical secretary, Madrid.

A NEW COLLECTIBLE

The National Cuff Link Society offers a free booklet to the general public called “The Fun of Cuff Link Collecting.” The eight-page booklet explains the steps for starting a cuff link collection and discusses the fun and excitement of collecting what it terms the fastest-growing collectible in the world. The National Cuff Link Society, P.O. Box 5700, Vernon Hills, IL 60061.