IJO Finalizes Plans For Carnival ’97

Deep in the lush hills of West

Virginia, the spectacular centuries-old Greenbrier resort has welcomed U.S. presidents, world leaders, dignitaries and countless celebrities through the years. In keeping with such company, the Greenbrier will exclusively host members of the Independent Jewelers Organization during their Spring Seminar and Buying Show Feb. 22-27.

Indulgence is the purpose of the week as members enjoy elegant accommodations, four-course meals, a free golf tournament on Greenbrier’s 18-hole championship course, a spa, mineral bath and salon and more. On Sunday evening, members will masquerade as dreamy dancers at a Carnival Ball, with the entertainment of Vince Vance and the Valiants. Visitors can explore a former secret government bunker beneath the Greenbrier, designed to house members of Congress in the event of a nuclear war. And the celebrated vacation home of five U.S. presidents, dubbed The President’s Cottage – now a museum with heirlooms, documents, photographs and paintings – will be open for members to visit.

Members will get down to business with a series of seminars and workshops, including a presentation on diamond cutting by keynote speaker Gabi Tolkowsky. The Gemological Institute of America will feature workshops on platinum, “bench tricks” and setting fancies. Technology will be a focus with classes on using the Internet and increasing profits with a computer. Other topics will include promotions, catalogs, newsletters, customers and staff. The buying room will be open Monday through Wednesday.

After the seminar, members are invited to enjoy a real carnival – a Carnival Lines cruise to the Bahamas, departing from Port Canaveral, Fla.

Independent Jewelers Organization, Two Railroad Place, Westport, CT 06880; (800) 624-9252, fax (203) 454-4371.


The Midwest Chapter of the Women’s Jewelry Association cosponsored the annual “Step Out to Stop Abuse” 10K walk-a-thon in September along the Chicago, Ill., lakefront. Proceeds of more than $22,000 will benefit the Chicago Abused Women’s Coalition and Green House Shelter, organizations that help women and children who are victims of violence and abuse.

The walk-a-thon and party featured a diamond drawing, musical entertainment, barbecue, face painting and raffle with a grand prize of two round-trip tickets to London from American Airlines.

The WJA benefit committee – chaired by Katie Smith, Amy Moy and Marcy Stowe – organized the event. Committee members included Jan Paul, Mike Smith, Diane Levy,

Carolyn Yelton, Shari Johnson, Pat Reddington and Helen Slotar Hovis, who serves as chapter president.


For the shoppers stumped for Christmas gift ideas, pictures of platinum jewelry leaped from the pages of major consumer magazines this past holiday season.

The hints were part of a national advertising campaign by the Platinum Guild International USA. Embracing the theme “Platinum … A Reflection of You,” the four-color ads ran in December issues of Vanity Fair, Town & Country, Harper’s Bazaar, Architectural Digest, W and Vogue.

To capture the male shopper’s attention, a two-page spread also ran in GQ, pronouncing “Only the Best Go Platinum!” Another two-page ad in Elle spoke to younger consumers of bridal age. A series of bridal ads will continue to run in Bride’s and Modern Bride throughout 1997.

PGI-USA also announced it will offer a year-round national ad campaign for retailers in 1997. “We are very excited about the scope of this campaign,” says Laurie Hudson, president of PGI-USA. “With platinum jewelry more attainable than ever, our customer base is growing and, consequently, our advertising along with it.”


The Wisconsin Jewelers Association will sponsor the Wisconsin Jewelry Expo March 8-9 in the Holiday Inn Madison West in Madison.

The association also will sponsor a design competition to recognize the creativity, marketability, practicality and craftsmanship of designs by Wisconsin jewelers. Any member of the association, Jewelers of America or the Wisconsin Goldsmiths Association is eligible. The “Best of Show” piece will be entered in the JA Spring Jewelry Competition.

Wisconsin Jewelers Association, 30 W. Mifflin St., Suite 310, Madison, WI 53703; (608) 257-3541, fax (608) 257-8755.


The Manufacturing Jewelers and Silversmiths of America offers a gold color reference kit as a convenient tool to determine consistent color for karat gold products. The kit comes with 14 samples of gold in varying karatages and colors (yellow, red, white and green). The kits sell for $250. MJSA, One State St., Sixth Floor, Providence, RI 02908-5035; (800) 444-MJSA or (401) 274-3840, fax (401) 274-0265.


The Texas Jewelers Association Convention will be held April 19-21 in the Inn of the Hills in Kerrville.

Convention programs will include discussions on antique and estate jewelry, bench jewelry issues, advertising and appraisals. The annual design contest, the Discovery Room for associate members, a golf tournament and the Saturday evening dinner/dance will return as convention highlights.

Texas Jewelers Association, 504 W. 12th St., Austin, TX 78701; (800) 299-4872 or (512) 472-7342; fax (512) 474-5011.


The Arizona Jewelers Association elected new board members and officers at its recent convention.

The new officers are Brian Hodson of Hodson’s of Scottsdale, Scottsdale, president; Steven Kaplan of Molina Fine Jewelers, Phoenix, vice president; and Rod Kuehnast of Maricopa Designs, Tucson, secretary/treasurer. Roxanne Pazul, Phoenix, is executive director; Dave Trout of Coffin & Trout Custom Jewelers, Mesa, is immediate past president.

Serving as members of the association’s board are Marti Hubbard of Ferris Goldarts, Tucson; Tim Schmitt of Schmitt Jewelers, Phoenix; Tracy Aros of Artabella Jewelry Appraisals, Tucson; Bill Sprague of Goldstein Diamonds, Scottsdale; Roma Zanders of TIMIO, Tempe; Penny Armstrong of Marshall’s Artistry in Gold, Tucson; Christopher Eles of Crown Fine Jewelry, Scottsdale; Howard Grobstein of Hodson’s, Scottsdale; Randy Hays of CALO, Tucson; Douglas Kaufman of DGK Colors, Scottsdale; and Geoff Weber of Weber Gold, Tucson.


Benno Deters of Benno’s Fine Jewelry in Twin Falls, Idaho, was named Jeweler of the Year by the Intermountain Jewelers Association. Benno, who has operated the store since 1960, received the award at the association’s annual convention in Sun Valley, Idaho.

The award is presented annually to a jeweler who has exhibited professionalism and commitment to the community and industry. IJA serves jewelers from Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Nevada and Oregon.


The Independent Jewelers Organization appointed four retail jeweler members to its newly created Associate Board of Directors. They are Erik Runyan of Runyan’s Jewelers in Vancouver, Wash.; Jeff Krekeler of Krekeler Jewelers in Farmington, Mo.; Patti Williams of Babioles & Co., Emporia, Va.; and Myra McCabe of Bob’s Jewel Shop in Laurinburg, N.C.

The purpose of the associate board is to provide new ideas to IJO and its membership and to improve communication between the the membership and the organization.


The American Craft Council appointed Michael W. Monroe, former curator-in-charge of the Smithsonian Institution’s Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, as its new executive director.

Monroe also served as president of the Peter Joseph Gallery in New York, N.Y., after leaving Renwick in 1995. He brings years of experience in the craft field and an extensive record in administration to the new position.

The ACC also honored 16 artists with its 1996 awards for excellence. Four of the winners were jewelers. The Gold Medal for consummate craftsmanship was awarded posthumously to Ronald Hayes Pearson, a metalsmith who died in August 1996. Pearson, of Deer Isle, Maine, created jewelry, flatware and hollowware along with sculpture and forged ironwork.

Inducted into the ACC College of Fellows were Betty Cooke of Baltimore, Md., and Mary Lee Hu of Seattle, Wash. Cooke is known for the simple architectural lines of her jewelry, and was a 20-year instructor at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Hu uses traditional weaving techniques with gold and silver wire to create her jewelry; she is a professor at the University of Washington.

Jeweler Laurie Hall received the Award of Distinction for her teaching of kindergarten through 12th grades in Seattle public schools for about 25 years.

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