Jewelry Industry & People: January–February 2019


ed and lisa bridge
Ed and Lisa Bridge

Lisa Bridge, who was appointed president and chief operating officer of Ben Bridge Jeweler one year ago, has now been appointed the retailer’s CEO. She takes over for her father, Ed Bridge, who is retiring after heading the company since 1990. She is the fifth generation of her family to head the company, and the first woman.

Richard Kessler, who founded seven-store chain Kesslers Diamonds in 1980 and was the voice of its radio ads, has left the company.

jill soltau
Jill Soltau

J.C. Penney has appointed Jill Soltau, former president and CEO of fabric and craft retailer Jo-Ann Stores, its new CEO. She replaces Marvin Ellison, who left last May.

Varda Shine, former CEO of De Beers sales arm, the Diamond Trading Company, has joined the board of miner Petra Diamonds as an independent nonexecutive director.

christopher designs morganite earrings
Earrings with 24.19 cts. t.w. morganites and 1.49 cts. t.w. diamonds in 14k rose gold; $22,989; Christopher Designs; 800-955-0970;

Christopher Designs has appointed industry veteran Ann Kim to be its West Coast vice president of sales. She previously worked for jewelry companies Scott Kay, David Yurman, John Hardy, Ritani, and Verragio.

Auction house Bonhams has named Brett O’Connor senior international ­jewelry director and senior vice president for the United States. He previously worked for ­Sotheby’s Geneva and Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

Tiffany & Co. veteran Catherine Lacaze has been appointed the new watches and jewelry director for Louis Vuitton. She replaces Hamdi Chatti.

zackery hicks
Zackery Hicks

Signet Jewelers has named Zackery Hicks, executive vice president and chief digital officer of Toyota Motors North America, an independent board member.

Veteran jewelry executive Marc Hruschka has joined retail technology startup Hero as president of luxury strategy and partnerships. He previously served as president and CEO of Chopard USA and chief commercial officer of John Hardy.

The Responsible ­Jewellery Council announced that Andrew Bone will step down after three years as the ­organization’s executive director. His last day is March 27.

Yvonne Montoya
Yvonne Montoya

Art Jewelry Forum has named Yvonne Montoya its new executive director. She replaces Rebekah Frank, the first person to hold the job.

Six months after exiting Chapter 11, costume jewelry chain Charming Charlie appointed chief financial officer Rob Adamek its chief operating officer. It also named Joy ­Garcia senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

melissa lowenkron
Melissa Lowenkron

Neiman Marcus has named Melissa Lowenkron ­general merchandise manager of accessories, including ­designer jewelry, precious jewels, ladies’ shoes, and handbags. She previously worked for Neiman subsidiary Bergdorf Goodman.



On Oct. 4, ICICI Bank sued Shrenuj & Co., alleging that the Indian company committed fraudulent transactions through its U.S. subsidiary.

New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood and 13 other state attorneys general are suing Harris ­Jewelry, claiming its credit program misleads and overcharges active-duty service members. The 23-store military retailer calls the allegations “inaccurate and baseless.”

EBay has filed a lawsuit against Amazon, claiming that Amazon’s sales reps set up phony eBay accounts to lure high-volume sellers from its platform.

JewelPops Inc., the company behind the popular Kameleon jewelry brand, has filed for bankruptcy in Canada.

On Oct. 18, the U.S. ­subsidiary of Links of London Inc. filed for Chapter 7 ­bankruptcy. The brand is owned by the Folli Follie Group, which itself filed for bankruptcy protection in Greece a few weeks later.



Carolyn Kelly, a well-known and respected industry veteran whose career spanned Saks Fifth Avenue, David Yurman, and Bloomingdale’s, died Oct. 2 of cancer. She was 60.



The two main groups serving the middle of the diamond pipeline, the World ­Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond ­Manufacturers Association, are in talks to join forces.



The American Jewelry Design Council will present its highest honor, the Benne Award, to educator and designer Alan Revere at the American Gem Trade Association GemFair in Tucson in February.

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