Edmundo Calhau Filho, international director of the Brazilian Gems and Jewellery Trade Association (IBGM), died Aug. 17 in Brasília, Brazil, following a battle with cancer. He was 56.
Calhau’s was a familiar face in the industry, especially at Brazil’s semiannual Feninjer jewelry shows. His efforts to promote Brazilian jewelry design and the Brazilian jewelry industry helped propel it beyond South America to a place of prominence on the world jewelry stage. Under Calhau’s tenure—and through his invitations to editors to visit Feninjer—the jewelry trade began to see Brazil as a place to go for fashionably designed finished jewelry, not just the gemstones Brazil is known for.
Calhau came to the jewelry industry well versed in import/export issues, logistics, and business development. Prior to IBGM, he served for seven years as materials director and logistics director for the Brazilian arm of global optical giant Bausch & Lomb, seven years in the Brazilian Ministry of Industry and Commerce in various capacities relating to industrial and technological development, and in a variety of other positions relating to business development and engineering. His move to IBGM in 1995 was actually a return—he’d worked there earlier in his career establishing a gemstone certification program and developing human resources training.
Calhau was respected and admired as a fine gentleman with a great sense of humor, great kindness, devotion to his family, and keen business instincts.
“Edmundo was more than just a client in Brazil. … He was our gracious host, our dear friend, and a tireless supporter of the Brazilian jewelry industry,” said Mark Smelzer, publisher of JCK magazine. Jennifer Heebner, one of JCK‘s senior editors who made multiple trips to the Feninjer fair, said, “While Edmundo’s professional efforts acquainted JCK with Brazil and its talented designers, his personal ones reminded us how to treat everyone as a friend.“