Industry & People


>>On Oct. 3, Michael R. Francis, a former Target executive, was named president of J.C. Penney Company.

>>On Sept. 6, Zale Corp. named Brad Furry senior vice president and chief information officer. Furry will oversee all information technology strategy and operations throughout the company.

>>Hauppauge, N.Y.–based 21-store chain Harris Originals promoted Beverly Harris to chairman of the board. Former Zale North America president John Zimmermann will replace her as president and CEO.

>>On Sept. 7, Jewelers for Children announced that Peter M. Engel, president of Fred Meyer Jewelers, was elected its chairman, replacing Edward Bridge.

>>On Sept. 26, Belle Étoile announced several additions to its sales team: Kathryn Karakus was appointed vice president of brand development, Mary Yeaman was named Southwest director of sales, and Chelle McFerran is its new West Coast director of sales.

>>Swarovski North America has appointed Wayne Page its vice president of operations. Page joined Swarovski Canada in November 2003 as consumer goods business manager.


>>Ralph Shapiro, longtime president and co-founder of the Diamond Club West Coast, died at his home Sept. 6. No other information was available.

>>Robert B. Westover died in his sleep on Sept. 8 at age 88. Westover was named executive director of the California Retail Jewelers Association in 1965, elected executive vice president of the group in 1973, and ultimately retired in 1989.


>>On Sept. 9, Hearts On Fire announced a “strategic marketing partnership” with Hearst Magazines. The publishing company will produce a print and social media campaign for the diamond brand. Conceived by Hearst’s in-house creative agency, the campaign, which launched in October, will run through January 2013 across seven Hearst titles.


Dave Bonaparte, Raymond Hak, and Beth Casson

>>Dave Bonaparte, senior vice president of JCK Events, joined jeweler Raymond Hak and Beth Casson of Reed Exhibitions at Professional Jeweller‘s Hot 100 Party at One Mayfair in London, during the International Jewellery London show, held Sept. 2–5.

>>Mark Kelly, an American astronaut and husband of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, will speak at the 2012 American Gem Society Conclave at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami, April 25–28.


>>The 144-year-old Fresno, Calif.–based Warner Co. Jewelers filed for Chapter 11 on Sept. 20. Calls from JCK were not returned, but CEO Dan Wolfe told The Fresno Bee the company intends to remain open.


>>William (Bill) Merkley, longtime proprietor of Merkley Kendrick Jewelers, in Louisville, Ky., announced Sept. 9 he has retired from the business after 50 years. His son, Brian S. Merkley, is taking over operations.


>>In September 2012, Tiffany & Co. will open its third store in New York City, in the city’s SoHo district. The 7,000-square-foot space will combine two locations—97 Greene Street and 106 Wooster Street. The opening corresponds with the 175th anniversary of Tiffany’s founding on Lower Broadway.


>>IDEX Online is introducing a new weekly diamond price report, which covers rounds and fancy cuts ranging in size from 0.18 ct. to 5.99 ct., and is based on the price changes on IDEX’s trading platform.

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