Industry & People



COMINGS AND GOINGS

>>?Stuller chief operating officer Jay Jackson was named president and CEO, the Lafayette, La.–based jewelry manufacturer announced March 28. Company founder Matthew Stuller returns to the position of chairman. Stuller also made the following executive changes: Harold Dupuy, formerly chief merchandising officer, has been named to the newly created position of vice president of strategic analysis. Danny Clark is now chief merchandising officer, succeeding Dupuy; Clark was formerly chief supply chain officer. Coby Blanchard, formerly the executive director of production operations, succeeds Clark as chief supply chain officer. Grady Quebedeaux assumes another new role: executive director of information technology.

>>?Joshua J. Fine Jewelry announced March 10 the appointment of Peter Cotton as western regional sales manager. Cotton will be working with guild retailers throughout the western United States, Alaska, and Hawaii.

>>?Laurence Grunstein, president of Citizen Watch Company of America for 16 years, retired on April 15. He was succeeded by Jeffrey A. Cohen, most recently executive vice president.

>>?Leonard R. Polivy was named managing director of the retail division of Gordon Brothers Group, the restructuring and advisory company announced March 22. Polivy began his jewelry career with the company in the mid-’80s, and went on to become the president of a wholesale diamond company. He returned to Gordon Brothers in 2009.

Susy Garcia Johnson

>>?Belle Étoile named two new regional sales directors: Judi Drinker will serve as West Coast director of sales, and Susy Garcia Johnson will serve as its Northeast director of sales.

Allen Johnson

>>?Allen Johnson was promoted to store manager of the Northeastern Fine Jewelry flagship location in Schenectady, N.Y., where he spent the previous six and a half years as a sales associate. Johnson will oversee 15 employees, including sales, support, and office staff.

>>?The Gemological Institute of America named Mark B. Mann director of its Global Jewelry Man­ufacturing Arts division, effective Feb. 28. Prior to joining GIA, Mann was the director of product engineering for Hearts On Fire.

Rahul R. Singh

>>?Gemological Science International announced March 28 the appointment of two senior executives, Rahul R. Singh and Sanjay Ingole, to oversee its expanding Indian operations and sales. Singh will head up Indian operations, and Ingole will assume a newly created position in charge of GSI India sales. 

>>?The Honolulu-based Wedding Ring Shop named Karin Knudsen general manager and Hae Yon Domingo sales performance coordinator. Knudsen had previously been chief merchandising officer and executive vice president of merchandising and marketing at Finlay Fine ­Jewelry. Domingo had served as a fine jewelry consultant to the Wedding Ring Shop before the promotion.

>>?Sterling Jewelers appointed Lynn Dennison senior vice president of legal, compliance, and risk management, it announced March 8. Prior to Sterling, Dennison held several legal-related positions.

>>?Chris Del Gatto, CEO and chairman of CIRCA, joined the board of directors of New Yorkers for Children, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of youth in foster care in New York City.

Phyllis M. Bergman

>>?Phyllis M. Bergman, president of Mercury Ring Corp., was elected for a third year as chairperson of the 24 Karat Club of New York. Bergman is the first woman to chair the 109-year-old organization. Todd Wolleman, president of Leo Wolleman and Color Craft, was elected president of the club. Wolleman has been a member of the club for 18 years.

>>?BHP Billiton announced March 23 that Chris Ryder, head of the company’s diamond marketing unit in Antwerp, will relocate to Canada to lead its external affairs group. Niels Wage will replace him as vice president of marketing for diamonds and specialty products.

>>?ASHI Diamonds promoted Bill Harrison to sales manager for Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee.

>>?Direct-sales jewelry company ­bamboopink appointed Susan Bush chief operating officer. For the past 10 years, Bush had been the executive vice president of JudeFrances ­Jewelry, overseeing all divisions of the company including sales, marketing, and operations. 

REMEMBERED

Neal Goldberg

>>?Neal Goldberg, who served as CEO of Zale Corp. from December 2007 through January 2010, died March 17 at age 51. Prior to working at Zale, ­Goldberg served in top-level positions at the Children’s Place, Gap, and Macy’s. Following Zale, he worked as COO at the DocPatient Network.

>>?Lorraine Garvey, an executive with Fredrich Stahl Design USA and Thomas Sabo, died of cancer March 3 at age 63 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Garvey was also active in the Women’s ­Jewelry Association and was president of the group’s New England chapter from 1999 to 2005.

LEGAL

>>?New York City Diamond District jeweler Shalamu Nisimov was arrested on bankruptcy fraud charges March 9. Nisimov, the former owner of Diva Jewelry Design, allegedly made false claims in bankruptcy court.

ASSOCIATIONS

Rick Harrison

>>?Rick Harrison will speak at the upcoming GIA Symposium in May, the institute announced March 9. Harrison is a third-generation owner of the Las Vegas–based Gold & Silver Pawn Shop featured on the History Channel’s series Pawn Stars.

HONORS

Wilson & Son Jewelers

>>?Wilson & Son Jewelers of Scars­dale, N.Y., was inducted into the Westchester County Business Hall of Fame for Family Business Success on April 14.

>>?The Hawaii Jewelers Association named Michael Han, president of the Wedding Ring Shop, its 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year. He received the award on April 6.

LABS

>>?The American Gem Society Laboratory and the Rapaport Group on March 25 announced an agreement in which Rapaport Services will represent AGS Laboratories in the global marketplace. Under the deal, Rapaport offices in Mumbai, Surat, and Ramat Gan will provide improved access to AGS Laboratories services.

GIVING

>>?Jewelers for Children donated $25,000 to Save the Children to support relief efforts in areas of Japan devastated by the recent earthquake and tsunami.

>>?The New York City 47th Street Business Improvement District has urged local jewelers to donate $1 from every sale to the Red Cross to aid in Japanese relief efforts.

>>?Citizen Watch Co., whose main headquarters is in Japan, donated $1.3 million toward post-earthquake aid for that country.

>>?Rottermond Jewelers in Milford, Mich., has joined forces with the Ocean Conservancy, a national organization dedicated to helping protect the oceans, to offer “Ocean” watches for $24.95. Forty percent of the proceeds are currently being donated to the conservancy.

CLOSING

>>?After 104 years of business, R.L. Lackner Jewelers in Brownsville, Texas, will close its doors. “The economy isn’t suitable for our type of business in this area right now, so we decided to get out when we could,” says owner Carolyn Lackner Baird.

EVENTS

>>?The Gemological Institute of America hosted its first GIA Career Fair in India in collaboration with the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council March 14 at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai. The fair attracted more than 300 attendees, 55 recruiters, and 20 industry experts.

INTERNET

>>?Online custom jewelry retailer Gemvara just raised $15 million in funding, the Lexington, Mass.–based site announced March 24. Balderton Capital led the funding, with participation from existing investors Highland Capital Partners and Canaan Partners.

>>?Bidz.com announced a relaunch March 21 that will feature larger thumbnail images, improved search options, top brand navigation, and an enhanced checkout process.

AWARDS

>>?The 2012 NICHE Awards, which celebrate achievement in North American craft, opens for entries May 22. For information, go to nicheawards.com.

>>?Jewelry Television accepted the Refinancing of the Year award at the fifth annual Turnaround Awards Gala presented by the M&A Advisor in Palm Beach, Fla., March 7. JTV was successful in bringing to closure a series of transactions including an equity infusion from Gems TV Holdings and the long-term refinancing of bank debt last year.

CASE Award-winning jewelry by Stephen Spicer of Spicer and Co.

>>?Jewelers of America announced the winners of its CASE Awards, which this year received the highest levels of participation in recent history. Stephen Spicer of Spicer and Co. in Cookeville, Tenn., won the prize for women’s jewelry under $2,000. Jennifer Whitekiller of Naifeh Fine ­Jewelry in Oklahoma City won the prize for women’s jewelry $2,000–$5,000. Ziad H. Noshie of Almaza Jewelers in Houston had the best piece of women’s ­jewelry over $5,000.

AUCTIONS

Courtesy of Christie’s
Gloria Swanson’s former ring

>>?Christie’s Paris Jewels Department will auction a rectangular-cut 5.10 ct. diamond ring that once belonged to Sunset Boulevard star Gloria Swanson May 23. 

COMPANIES

>>?Royal Asscher Diamond Co., in conjunction with Sparkle Roll Group Ltd., announced plans to open a series of flagship stores in China. The first flagship is set to open in Beijing by the end of the year.