Industry & People: March 2013


>>?The Jewelers Vigilance Committee has hired Jasmin Greene as its marketing and development associate. She has worked in the marketing field for various nonprofits, most recently in the education sector.

>>?Meijer, the 199-store Midwest chain that sells jewelry in its discount supercenters, has appointed J.K. ­Symancyk as its new president. Prior to his appointment, he served as chief operating officer.

>>?JudeFrances Jewelry has named Ann Kim its new vice president of sales. Kim brings more than 20 years of executive experience to her new role, joining JudeFrances from Scott Kay.

>>?Richard H. Michaels, president of Michaels Enterprises, the Waterbury Conn.–based retailer, announced his retirement after 32 years of service. He will be succeeded by Mark Michaels.

>>?Sears Holdings CEO Louis J. D’Ambrasio stepped down from the position Feb. 2 because of “family health matters.” He will be replaced by current chairman Edward S. ­Lampert, who will hold both titles.

>>?Shopko has promoted Jill Soltau to president and chief merchandising officer. Soltau joined Shopko in 2007 as senior vice president and general merchandise manager for apparel and accessories.

>>?Los Angeles–based Rahaminov Diamonds has appointed Rossana Aguilar its chief operations officer. Aguilar joins ­Rahaminov from the California ­Jewelers Association, where she served as executive director and CEO for more than a decade.

Jacqueline Raffi

>>?Hearts On Fire announced changes to its executive and management team: Gilly Straus has been promoted to executive vice president of global sales; ­Jacqueline Raffi and Chris Croteau have been promoted to vice president of key accounts and North America director of sales, respectively.

Gilly Straus

>>?Erica Courtney has hired Adam Graham as CEO in order to allow Courtney to focus on design as she assumes the title of president. Graham most recently served as marketing manager of the American Gem Trade Association. Replacing Graham at AGTA is Danielle Pelletiere, who had served as its marketing and sales coordinator.

>>?Gemvara has appointed Tiffany & Co. veteran Jeanne B. Daniel to its board of directors. Daniel, who most recently launched her own company bella tu, brings more than 30 years of experience to her new role. She also held positions at Vera Wang, Giorgio Armani, Fossil, and Carelle.

>>?Anglo American, the ­mining company that owns 85 percent of De Beers, has appointed Mark Cutifani as its CEO, effective April 3. He replaces Cynthia Carroll, who resigned in October. Carroll also served as De Beers chairman; at press time it was unclear whether Cutifani would also hold that role.

>>?Peter Smith, longtime executive vice president at Hearts On Fire, has joined Leo Schachter Diamonds as executive VP of brand development.


>>?Gene Verri, a leading designer who founded Gem Craft, died Dec. 30 at age 101.

>>?Walter H. Volkmann, a third-generation jeweler who owned Volkmann’s Diamonds in Kankakee, Ill., died Jan. 31 at age 85.

>>?Marvin Orenstein, the ­longtime owner of Gem Jewelry Co. in ­Gainesville, Ga., died Dec. 21 at age 91.


>>?The Accredited Gemologists Association honored gemologist Dr. Emmanuel Fritsch and Alice Keller, editor-in-chief emeritus of Gems & Gemology, at the AGA Tucson Conference on Feb. 6.

>>?The Diamond Empowerment Fund presented Tiffany & Co., Leo Schachter Diamonds, and humanitarian Noella Coursaris Musunka with GOOD Awards on Jan. 10 at LAVO in New York City.

>>?For the second straight year, Leo Schachter leads Israel’s Top Polished Diamond Exporter List, selling a net $317 million in 2012. MID House of Diamonds ($238 million) and A.A. Rachminov Diamonds ($180 million) placed second and third, respectively.

Richard M. Kern

>>?Mort Weisenfeld and Richard M. Kern received Industry Service Awards at the Jewelers’ Security Alliance Jan. 12 lunch. Weisenfeld, former head of A. Cohen & Sons, was honored for his 27-year tenure as a JSA director, including two years as board chair. Kern, who owns Churchill ­Jewelers in Santa ­Barbara, Calif., was honored for his 30-year stint on JSA’s board.

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