Industry & People: February 2013


>>?Jewelers for Children has donated $25,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief fund to support recovery efforts for Hurricane Sandy.

>>?The Diamond Em­pow­er­ment Fund has donated $10,000 to the Flaviana Matata Foundation, which empowers young orphan girls through education, ­training, and micro-finance ­projects in Tanzania.


Norman M. Miller

>>?Niche Media has appointed Norman M. Miller to executive director of luxury brands. Miller will focus primarily on watch and jewelry accounts for Niche’s 10 luxury lifestyle magazines.

>>?Matt Lauzon, the founder of custom jewelry e-tailer Gemvara, stepped down as CEO. Chief operating officer Janet Holian has been promoted to interim CEO.  Lauzon will serve as chairman, replacing Deb Bessemer.

>>?Two longtime David Yurman top executives—chief operating officer David Minster and chief financial officer Scott Vogel—have left. Vogel will be replaced by former Wall Street analyst Adrianne Shapira. Ruth Sommers has been named COO.

>>?Scio Diamond Technology Corp., a manufacturer of lab-grown diamonds, has appointed Steve Kelley as its CEO. Kelley was most recently chief operating officer of Cree Inc. 

>>?The Indian Diamond & Colorstone Association announced its executive committee for 2013. The board unanimously elected Mehul Shah as president; Haridas Kotahwala, vice president; Prakash Mehta, secretary; Rayaz Takat, joint secretary; and Shekhar Bhansali, treasurer.

Ruth Batson

>>?Ruth Batson, ­executive director and CEO of the ­American Gem Society, was named CEO of American Gem Society Laboratories. She retains her current post.

>>?Stephen Lux, who served as CEO of lab-grown diamond producer Gemesis for six years, has resigned. At press time, no replacement had been announced. Lux is now suing the company, charging improper termination and breach of his employment agreement.


Paul McQuigg (center) with son Sebastian and fiancée Holly Jackson

>>?Leo Hamel Fine ­Jewelers in San Diego chose Paul McQuigg, a gunnery sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, as the winner of its “Perfect Proposal” contest. McQuigg—who was injured during combat operations in Iraq six years ago—proposed to his girlfriend, Holly Jackson, with a $10,000 1.2 ct. Hearts On Fire diamond engagement ring awarded to him by Leo Hamel.

>>?On Dec. 5 at a gala in New York City, the Natural Color Diamond Association ­honored ­industry leaders Eddie LeVian (excellence award/marketing and promotion of natural colored diamonds); Eden Rachminov (excellence award/promotion of natural colored diamonds); ­Jordan Fine (recognition award/support of natural colored diamonds); and Sethi Couture (designer award). 


>>?Cahners vice president and ex–JCK publisher Richard “Rick” Bay died Dec. 2 of cancer at age 67.

>>?Fred P. Czap—who owned and operated Barbara & Fred’s Jewelry in Danbury, Conn.—died of lung cancer Dec. 7 at 68.

>>?Joe Bernstein, former senior vice president of Kay Jewelers, died Sept. 8 in Naples, Fla., of complications from pneumonia.

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