The year got off to an amazing start in early January with the series of events, lunches, and meetings that revolve around the annual 24 Karat Club’s black-tie gala. Attendance at the events was at levels not seen for years, the mood was bright, and the energy electric. And for all of us at JCK, it was a particularly special year.
First, JCK Events and the JCK Publishing Group were jointly honored at the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s annual GOOD Awards. Group vice president Yancy Weinrich and I were thrilled to accept the honor. The recognition was due in part to the contributions the JCK Industry Fund gave to the DEF.
Coincidentally, I had just met with Yancy and the JCK Industry Fund advisory board on the afternoon of the DEF cocktail event to discuss the fund’s 2014 contribution. Once again, JCK gave a significant amount of money ($300,000 this year!) to worthy causes that benefit the entire jewelry industry. In addition to the Diamond Empowerment Fund, we gave to the American Gemological Society, the MJSA, Jewelers of America, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, the Women’s Jewelry Association, the Diamond Development Initiative International, and the Jewelers’ Vigilance Committee. It is truly an honor to work for an organization that gives back in such a significant way.
At the GOOD Awards with JCK’s Yancy Weinrich (second from r.), Standard Charter Bank’s Anna Martin, and DEF board president Phyllis Bergman
On Friday, the industry’s movers and shakers reconvened at the Jewelers’ Vigilance Committee’s luncheon, hosted by president, CEO, and general counsel Cecilia Gardner. This year’s honoree (former State Department official Brad Brooks-Rubin) reminded us all of the fascinating behind-the-scenes work that goes on in Washington to benefit our industry.
The highlight of the week, however, was when editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky won the Jewelry Information Center’s 2014 GEM Award for Media Excellence! For the first time, winners were announced live at the event, bringing some real Oscars-style glamour and excitement to the evening. The entire room erupted with applause (our table was the loudest) when Vic’s name was read. Her speech was eloquent and emotional as she accepted the truly deserved award.
Saturday began with the annual Jewelers’ Security Alliance lunch (congrats as always to president John J. Kennedy for his outstanding work in keeping us all safe). Later that evening was the main event: the 112th annual banquet of the 24 Karat Club of the City of New York. The JCK suite—hosted by Yancy and myself—was packed to the rafters for both the pre- and post-dinner social fests. It’s always flattering to have so many industry friends come by to share a drink and a laugh. For me, it was a particularly happy edition of this annual event, as it was my first as a member of the 24 Karat Club!
Next up is the VicenzaOro show in Italy, followed by a week in Arizona, which will include the Centurion show in Scottsdale, the AGTA GemFair in Tucson, and—most exciting—the debut of the JCK Tucson show at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa. If you plan to be in town, please make a point of coming to the JCK show; the sold-out fair will include a wide range of brands, styles, and price points. Plus, the setting is fantastic.
See you there!