Industry & People


>>?Tim Murphy, former publisher of Modern Jeweler, has been appointed vice president of Trac Tech, a designer of RFID inventory tracking system tags. Murphy will drive sales and strategy for Trac Tech.

>>?Charles & Colvard has named Robert Curry vice president of merchandise, production, and distribution. Curry was most recently a general manager for Shopko.

>>?Jennie Farmer has joined De Beers Diamond Jewellers as communications director. Farmer was global head of brand marketing at Forevermark from September 2008 to April 2010, where she was responsible for launching the Forevermark diamond in Asia.

>>?Chinese jewelry manufacturer Fuqi International named Kim K.T. Pan its president and CEO. Pan has served as director of Fuqi since October 2010. He will work closely with former CEO Yu Kwai Chong, who continues to serve as chairman of the board.

>>?The Israel Diamond Exchange elected Yair Sahar, owner of Sahar-Atid Diamonds, to be its new president. He replaces Avi Paz, who completed six years in this position and was made an honorary president of IDE.

>>?David Wahl was elected president of the board of directors of the Antwerpsche Diamantkring, one of the city’s four diamond bourses. Freddy Inzlicht was elected vice president.

Brenda Bates

>>?On June 22, the World Gold Council announced the appointment of Brenda Bates as its director of communications. Bates will be responsible for the strategic development of WGC’s communications across all markets.

>>?David Binder became chief financial officer of Blue Nile in August. Binder will be responsible for all aspects of Blue Nile’s finance functions, including accounting and financial reporting, financial planning and analysis, tax, treasury, and investor relations.

>>?Tiffany & Co. announced shifts in responsibilities among its executive officers on June 23. Patrick McGuiness was appointed senior vice president and chief financial officer; he joined the company in 1990 and held various management positions before he was promoted to senior vice president of finance in 2007. James Fernandez was appointed to the newly created chief operating officer role; Fernandez has served as the CFO since 1999.

>>?Sterling Jewelers named Michael Smith vice president, e-commerce. He will have overall leadership responsibility for Sterling’s strategic definition, development, and execution of the companywide e-commerce channel.

>>?Gemvara, the Boston-based online retailer of “customer-designed” ­jewelry, recruited Corinne Grousbeck as an adviser to CEO Matt Lauzon. Grousbeck is a former marketing exec at Saatchi & Saatchi, as well as a nonprofit consultant for such groups as the Perkins School for the Blind and the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum.

>>?Mike Boylson, former executive vice president and chief marketing officer of J.C. Penney, retired from the company. Bill Gentner, senior VP of marketing planning and ­promotions, is the interim chief marketing officer.

Andrew Block

>>?Jacob & Co. announced Andrew Block as its new COO on June 23. Block logged more than 20 years as executive vice president at Tourneau.

>>?Ronald J. Friedman was reelected president of the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association. Ronald Vanderlinden was elected vice president/CFO. Also elected as vice presidents: Fred Knobloch, Sheldon Kwiat, Jay Greenberg, and Matthew Schamroth. Hertz Hasenfeld was elected secretary; Saul Goldberg, treasurer. Officers serve two-year terms.

>>?Eli Avidar, managing director of the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies, has joined the President’s Council of CIBJO. Avidar has been IDI’s managing director since 2007.

Michael Barlerin

>>?Aston Luxury Group, the new identity for the U.S. division of Gitanjali, has appointed Michael Barlerin, a veteran of the World Gold Council and Zale, to executive vice president of marketing. Barlerin will continue as executive director of Leading ­Jewelers of the World, an Aston affiliate.


>>?Cecil Wayne Hocklander, owner of Hocklander Jewelry in Springfield, Mo., died July 14 at age 91. He operated Hocklander Jewelry with his wife, Mary.


>>?On June 15, Chamilia’s founders received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 Upper Midwest Award in the emerging category. Recognized as outstanding entrepreneurs were founder, executive vice president, and chief design officer Killian Rieder; founder and chairman of the board Jeff Julkowski; and executive vice president and chief business development officer Michael Flaherty.

>>?Taehun Lee has won the design competition sponsored by John Hardy. The competition invited alumni of the New York Academy of Arts’ master of fine arts program to create a back grill design.  In addition to having her design featured on the jewelry itself, Lee is receiving a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work under the tutelage of the brand’s head designer and creative director, Guy Bedarida.


>>?Louis Vuitton has acquired La Fabrique du Temps, the Geneva-based watchmaking workshop specializing in the conception and fabrication of complicated movements such as tourbillons and minute repeaters. The company has worked with Louis Vuitton since its founding in 2007; it will continue to serve external clients, a company statement said.

>>?Richline Group has forged a new partnership with New York City–based jewelry designer Aya Azrielant. The partnership involves a licensing deal for exclusive combinations of Azrielant’s jewelry design, marketing, and manufacturing business.

>>?Sowind Group, the Swiss watchmaker whose brands include Girard-Perregaux and JEANRICHARD, has been acquired by French luxury conglomerate PPR. Under the arrangement, PPR will become the majority shareholder of the company with a 50.1 percent stake. PPR already owned a 23 percent share based on an agreement signed with Sowind in 2008.

>>?Ostbye announced July 24 it had acquired the Shimmering Diamonds collection, which had previously been offered by Stuckey Diamonds.


Royal Asscher’s new flagship in Japan

>>?Royal Asscher unveiled its first flagship store in Japan on July 15, in cooperation with its Japanese partner Nagahori Corp. The store is located in the center of Tokyo and is the company’s first flagship store in Asia. The company also plans to open a flagship in China.