Associations

PENNSYLVANIA JEWELERS PLAN SHOW, CONFERENCE

The Pennsylvania Jewelers Association will gather at “the sweetest place on earth” for its annual jewelry show and convention Aug. 2-5. The event at Hershey, Pa., will feature several educational opportunities, recreational events and the 20th annual Keystone Jewelry Show, with more than 50 exhibitors.

Keynote speaker Shane Decker, a diamond and jewelry sales trainer, will address “The Art of Selling 1-Carat Diamonds” at 9 a.m. Aug. 4. Also planned are round-table discussions on advertising, appraisals, security and design/manufacturing. Jewelers of America will conduct the Certified Store Managers Exam.

In past years, the PJA convention and show were held in different months, but the association recently combined the two events into one weekend.

The PJA also announced a seven-day cruise to Bermuda scheduled for Sept. 21-28. The trip will involve round-table discussions on marketing, advertising, security, computers and technology, appraisals, truth-in-pricing and employee relations. Norwegian Cruise Line’s Dreamward ship will leave from New York, N.Y., and stop at St. George’s and Hamilton.

Pennsylvania Jewelers Association, P.O. Box 5527, Harrisburg, PA 17110; (800) 523-1106.

CUFF LINK SOCIETY HOSTS CONVENTION

The annual convention of the National Cuff Link Society will be held Aug. 17-18 in the Ramada Hotel O’Hare, Chicago, Ill. Collectors of antique and contemporary cuff links, as well as related items of men’s and women’s jewelry, will display their collections and share suggestions and information about the care of cuff link collections, specialization and prices.

From 1 to 5:30 p.m. Aug. 17 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 18, the “Vendor Area” will feature dealers, suppliers of materials and books, representatives of cuff link manufacturing companies, French cuff shirtmakers and display case distributors. Other highlights will include an auction and an awards competition for the best collections.

National Cuff Link Society, P.O. Box 346, Prospect Heights, IL 60070; phone and fax (847) 816-0035.

IDCA HONORS LITTMAN JEWELERS

The Indian Diamond & Colorstone Association presented its 1996 Retailer of the Year award to Elangy Corp., parent of Littman Jewelers, Edison, N.J.

The award was presented during the JCK International Jewelry Show in Las Vegas to Joel Sneider, Elangy president, and Marie Shandor, vice president of merchandising. Elangy, founded in 1875, now has 131 stores in the Northeast and Florida.

IDCA President Kalish Rawat called Elangy one of the “giants on whose shoulders the industry stands” and “a pioneer in jewelry retailing.”

Sneider said that as Littman’s business has grown, “we rely more and more on our Indian manufacturers and suppliers.” Working with IDCA members, he said, Littman has “developed new product, realized new target price points which met with great customer acceptance and expanded important product lines.”

IDCA also cited Andin International Inc., New York, N.Y., as Manufacturer of the Year.

The association has 200 members and is based in New York, N.Y.

NYSJA RELOCATES TO EMPIRE STATE BUILDING

The New York State Jewelers Association has moved its offices from New Jersey to the Empire State Building in New York City to make it easier for members to visit and participate in the organization.

The new address is 350 Fifth Ave., Suite 2204, New York, NY 10118-9995; (212) 290-1555, fax (212) 290-2425.

JA MEMBERS VALUE PROMOTION AND DISCIPLINE

Jewelers of America’s most important mission is to promote professional jewelers as the preferred place to shop, according to a recent membership survey discussed in JA’s JReport.

The survey found that 65% of JA members believe the association’s promotion efforts are a top priority. Respondents gave the function a mean score of 3.56 on a 1 to 4 scale (4 meaning most essential).

Members also believe disciplining member companies (59%) and enforcing industry standards (56%) are major responsibilities of JA. Other high-ranking functions include developing industry standards, lobbying the federal government, educating consumers about pricing and quality, and educating store owners and managers.

Respondents are less interested in JA’s role in matters such as health insurance, workers compensation and product discounts. The lowest-ranking concerns: networking and social events (mentioned by 5%).

Jewelers of America Inc., 1185 Ave. of the Americas, 30 Fl., New York, NY 10036; (800) 223-0673 or (212) 768-8777, fax (212) 768-8087.

LEVINE ELECTED ISA PRESIDENT

Gail Brett Levine is the new president of the International Society of Appraisers. She was elected at the ISA’s annual conference in May.

Levine has chaired ISA’s Gems and Jewelry Division since 1993. During that time, membership has grown and programs have been expanded. Last year, for example, Levine instituted a policy that accepts GG, FGA and CGA degrees in lieu of completing a specialty studies class, thus accelerating members’ progress toward the Certified Appraiser of Personal Property designations. She also was instrumental in adding the new “Antique and Period Jewelry” resident course.

Levine has been an appraiser for 25 years and is publisher of Auction Market Resources for Gems and Jewelry. She is the first woman to serve as ISA president.

TAHITI PEARL NEWSLETTERS DEBUT

Two bimonthly newsletters from the G.I.E. Perles de Tahiti were launched earlier this year to cover news about the Tahitian pearl industry.

The two publications, Tahiti Pearl News in English and Perles de Tahiti in French, debuted in January. The Tahiti Pearl News is distributed to international pearl producers, wholesalers, jewelry manufacturers and retailers. It covers overseas promotions; offers information about Tahitian cultured pearl production and exportation; and lists buying opportunities. Perles de Tahiti is sent to pearl producers and wholesalers in French Polynesia and covers promotional activities, international markets, production and exportation, and regulations and taxes.

G.I.E. Perles de Tahiti is a non-profit economic group founded in 1993 by the French Polynesia Territorial Government and local pearl producers’ associations to promote Tahitian pearls in overseas markets. G.I.E. Perles de Tahiti, B.P. 20470, Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia; (689) 45-03-03, fax (689) 45-04-50.  

PEARL SALES INSTITUTE JOINS THE WEB

“Pure beginnings” is the theme uniting the pages of the Pearl Sales Institute’s new home page on the Internet’s World Wide Web. The site, which can be found at http://paradise.net/~cti/ pearl/pearl.html, includes the institute’s mission statement and a membership application.

The institute — dedicated to “research and development of better business” — will promote growth of the pearl’s market share in the jewelry industry and sponsor more direct market sales access for pearl farmers from the Pacific Rim.

Pearl Sales Institute, 35626 Ave. 141/2, Madera, CA 93638; phone and fax (209) 645-5358, e-mail alex@valleynet.com.

PROVIDENCE JEWELERS CLUB ANNOUNCES OFFICERS

Richard C. Cullen of the Walter Allen Co. in East Providence, R.I., was elected president of the Providence Jewelers Club.

The other new officers are Michael Ames of Stern Leach in Attleboro, Mass., vice president; F. Paul Mooney Jr. of George Fuller & Sons in Pawtucket, R.I., treasurer; and Robert P. Slack of Geib Refining Corp. in Warwick. R.I., secretary.

TEXAS JEWELERS ELECT PRESIDENT

Don Wilson is the new president of the Texas Jewelers Association. Wilson, of Don Wilson Jewelers in Austin, Tex., has worked in the jewelry industry for 38 years.

Other new officers are Wayne Salem of Salem Jewelers, Marble Falls, president-elect; Lucinda Rogers of Gold ‘n’ Carats, Irving, vice president; Vicki Head of Tetts Jewelers, Bay City, secretary/treasurer; and Troy Vinson of Troy Vinson Jewelers, Ft. Worth, immediate past president.

JA CREATES 3 PROGRAMS TO HELP MEMBERS

Jewelers of America has launched three pilot projects focusing on education, truth in pricing and organizational development of JA affiliates.

“Pilot programs are a way of helping jewelers refine and develop their ideas at a grass-roots level, and then testing new programs in one part of the country to find out if they really suit jewelers’ needs,” says Matthew Runci, executive director of JA. “If they are successful, they can later be rolled out across the country.”

The first program involves a local business education network being set up in conjunction with the California Jewelers Association. A business education resource center will offer consultants, videotapes, audiotapes and condensed articles on timely topics that jewelers may use to educate employees. The focus in the early phase of the program will be on developing merchandising skills, managing finances and understanding the dynamics of employees.

On truth in pricing, officials of JA and seven affiliates are meeting to explore new strategies to address the issue. These strategies include working with state legislatures, attorneys general and Better Business Bureaus, plus how to use telephone book and newspaper advertising effectively. The affiliate officials are Richard White of Alabama, Bruce Higgins of Arkansas, Kari Anderson of Illinois, Barbara Sardzinski of Massachusetts, Eric Phillips of Minnesota, Stuart Palestrant of Ohio and Jayne Booth of Tennessee.

The organizational development program is being created in conjunction with the Maryland/Delaware /Washington, D.C., JA affiliate. Priorities include creating new job descriptions for board members, organizing a forum where jewelers may discuss common concerns and developing a venue where jewelers can sell old merchandise

Jewelers of America, 1185 Ave. of the Americas, 30th Fl., New York, NY 10036; (212) 768-8777.

SOUTH CAROLINA JEWELERS INSTALL NEW OFFICERS

The South Carolina Jewelers Association elected new officers at its annual convention in Charleston, S.C. The new president is Mark Stokes of Bay Street Jewelers in Beaufort, S.C.

Other officers are H. Hugh Turner of Turner Jewelers, Newberry, chairman; Dan Chandler of Galloway & Moseley Jewelers, Sumter, president-elect; and Bill Lacher of Lacher Jewelers, Greenville, vice president.

Also at the convention, members attended seminars on computer technology, fracture-filled and synthetic diamonds, and treatedemeralds, rubies and sapphires. The association’s next convention will be held April 18-20, 1997, on Fripp Island, S.C.

GOLDEN CIRCLE CLUB TO MARK JUBILEE

The Golden Circle Club of New York will mark its 50th anniversary during a Golden Jubilee Gala Nov. 16 in the Waldorf-Astoria, New York, N.Y. Call (212) 398-8300 for information.

JA ANNOUNCES TWO NEW SERVICES

Members of Jewelers of America Inc. are now eligible to receive discounted rates on long-distance domestic and international telephone communications made through Sprint. The 5% discount applies to voice, fax and data transmission calls.

Members also may take advantage of Sprint’s flexible calling plan “Business Sense,” which provides small businesses with flat rates using Dial 1 service, toll-free service, FONCARD and Voice FONCARD.

Members also may buy JA’s comprehensive training series, The Professional Jeweler: Entry-Level Training for the New Hire, at a discounted rate of $75 ($125 for non-members). Volume discounts are available.

Jewelers of America, 1185 Ave. of the Americas, 30th Fl., New York, NY 10036; (212) 768-8777.

MJSA EXPANDS AFFILIATE NETWORK

The Manufacturing Jewelers and Silversmiths of America Inc. has expanded its international affiliate network to include trade associations in Italy and Australia.

The new affiliates are the Jewellers Association of Australia Ltd. — which represents more than half the country’s jewelry manufacturers, importers, exporters, gem dealers and other suppliers — and Confedorafi, which includes Italian jewelry manufacturers, wholesalers, stone dealers and retailers.

“These new partnerships extend the reach of MJSA members into new markets around the world,” says James F. Marquart, president and chief executive officer of MJSA. Under the agreements, MJSA and the affiliates will exchange access to certain member privileges. For example, MJSA members can pay a small fee and obtain technical assistance on doing business in these countries or receive discounts on advertising in industry publications. Jewelry businesses in Australia and Italy will be entitled to similar discounts and services from MJSA.

The network already included the British Jewellers’ Association and the Canadian Jewellers Association.

KENTUCKY JEWELERS NAME EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The Kentucky Jewelers Association named Phyllis A. Ferguson executive director.

Ferguson is founder/president of Southern Jeweler’s Referral Service, Marietta, Ga. She is a member of the Southwestern Jewelry Travelers Association and an exhibiting member of the Eastern Jewelry Travelers Association. Ferguson also is executive vice president, program chairman and past president of the Southern Women’s Jewelry Association and was named SWJA Woman of the Year in 1988.

Ferguson previously worked with Southern Jeweler, The Goldsmith and Executive Jeweler magazines. She also spent 15 years in retail jewelry management and is a member of several state associations and various gemological organizations.

Separately, KJA announced its 1996 convention will be held Sept. 28-29 in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Lexington. The theme is “Running for the Gold.” A jewelry design contest and golf tournament will be planned as part of the convention.

AGMSA INSTALLS OFFICERS

Tom Heffron of Raytech Industries, Middlefield, Conn., was installed recently as president of the American Gem and Mineral Suppliers Association.

Other officers are Nancy Hasse of Bourget Bros., Santa Monica, Cal., vice president; Wendell Wright of Hi-Tech Diamond Products, Simi Valley, Cal., treasurer; and Tom Hicks of THE Company, Lakewood, Colo., secretary.

During the installation dinner, the association presented its Thomas Warren Award to Leonard Bourget of Bourget Bros. Bourget served as president of the association from 1967 to 1969 and remains an active member.

MARIJA TO EXPAND TIP AD PROGRAM

The Massachusetts/Rhode Island Jewelers Association Inc. has decided to continue and expand a truth-in-pricing project it launched in December.

In cooperation with the Boston Globe, the association ran three ads explaining deceptive advertising and listing MARIJA members who fight it. The response was so good that participants wanted to continue the program, establishing a cooperative venture of ads that run four to six times throughout the year. This would allow MARIJA members to be part of a big ad campaign they couldn’t afford individually.

MARIJA now is working to identify where the ads should appear for the most impact. MARIJA, 321 Old Billerica Rd., Bedford, MA 01730; (617) 275-1620.