Industry & People, March–April 2019


philippe charriol
Philippe Charriol

On Feb. 26, Philippe Charriol, founder of watch and jewelry brand Charriol, died in a car racing accident in Le Castellet, France. He was 77.



Auction house Doyle has appointed Laura K. Doyle as its CEO and Joanne Porrino Mournet as its president. Doyle is the youngest daughter of ­former CEO Kathleen Doyle, who will now act as chairman.

Matthew Tratner has been appointed GIA’s global director of business development. He was previously director of sales and membership at Jewelers of America and publisher of National Jeweler. He replaces Craig Danforth, who joins Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co. as vice president of client solutions. Regina Ciarleglio will replace Tratner as JA’s director of membership.

kim e pelletier
Kim E. Pelletier

Kim E. Pelletier has been appointed president of IGC Brand Services, the Chicago-based fine jewelry division of IGC Group Antwerp. Pelletier, who most recently served as senior vice president of Jacmel Jewelry, will relaunch IGC’s Naledi jewelry brand.

Luca Bernasconi is the new president and CEO of the U.S. division of Rolex. He previously served as president and CEO of Rolex Canada. He replaces Stewart Wicht, who retired in ­January after eight years as head of the division.

Swiss jeweler de Grisogono has appointed Céline Assimon, a veteran of Piaget, as its CEO. She takes over from John Leitão, who has served since 2013. De Grisogono also hired Keith Rosen to serve as general manager of the Americas. Rosen previously worked at Tourneau, Panerai, and Piaget.

Kaiser Time president Steven Kaiser has been elected chairman of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance. He takes over for Stewart Wicht, who has completed his three-year term.

Patrick Evans, who in December stepped down as CEO of Canadian diamond miner Dominion Diamond Corp., is starting a lab-grown diamond company, according to reports. Dominion chief operating officer Shane Durgin is now the miner’s CEO.

kristina buckley kayel
Kristina Buckley Kayel

The Diamond Producers ­Association has ­appointed Kristina Buckley Kayel ­managing director of its North American division.

Michael Hill International has appointed Andrea Slingsby to the role of the retailer’s chief operating officer.

Reed Jewelry Group has hired luxury-industry sales veteran Jim Fox as its new portfolio sales director for the JCK and Luxury shows. He was the sales director for the consumer products division of Swarovski.

Monterey Financial Holdings, an Oceanside, Calif.–based financing company that focuses on jewelry retailers, has named Shaun Lucas president and CEO. President and CEO Chris Hughes has been appointed executive director.

Ania Haie has hired industry veteran Alisa Bunger to be U.S. director of sales. Bunger ­previously worked for seven years as director of sales for Elle Time & Jewelry. Before that, she was general ­manager, inventory manager, and management development specialist for Signet.

James “Jim” Gold, president and chief merchandising officer of Neiman Marcus, resigned from the retailer Jan. 25. He had been with the company 28 years.

russell kelly
Russell Kelly

Online watch publication Hodinkee has appointed Russell Kelly to be its first chief commercial officer. He has worked for Blancpain and Vacheron Constantin, and for Rolex as brand manager for Tudor Watch USA.

The Jewelers Board of Trade has named Erich K. Jacobs as vice president of technology. He was previously CEO and chief technology officer at OnKöl.

Beth Moeri, former chief merchandising officer for Pandora Jewelry, has joined Fossil Group as executive vice president for portfolio brands.

Nilesh Sheth
Nilesh Sheth

The Indian Diamond and Colorstone Association has reelected Nilesh Sheth as its president for 2019. Sheth, president of Nice Diamonds, was first elected president of the association last year.

Jason Goldberger, Blue Nile’s CEO for the past year and a half, has resigned. Eric Anderson, executive vice president of Bain Capital Private Equity, which purchased the e-tailer in 2016, will serve as interim CEO until a successor is found. Blue Nile has also appointed Starbucks veteran Alexandra Wheeler chief marketing officer.

Rebecca Foerster
Rebecca Foerster

Alrosa has appointed ­industry veteran Rebecca Foerster president of Alrosa USA, the Russian diamond miner’s representative office in New York City.

Christopher Designs has appointed Lindsay Priest vice president of sales for the East Coast and Mary Marr-Belcher vice president of sales for the Southern states. Priest is former director of ­marketing and director of business development at Verragio. Marr-Belcher was most recently director of sales for Christian Bauer.

Boaz Moldawsky
Boaz Moldawsky

Boaz Moldawsky was elected president of the Israel Diamond Institute. He previously served as acting chairman.



Private equity firm Huron Capital has made an unspecified equity investment in WD Lab Grown Diamonds, based in Laurel, Md. Clive Hill, WD founder and CEO, and Yarden Tsach, WD’s chief technology officer, remain investors and will stay in
their current roles.

In December, the assets of Scio Diamond, a Greenville, S.C.–based producer of lab-grown diamonds, were purchased by Adamas One Corp. Nevada-based Adamas One is headed by John “Jay” Grdina, a former adult-film actor and director who has headed an ammo manufacturer and hangover cure maker NoHo.   

fire and ice rings
Aurora and Selene rings in 18k white gold with 1 ct.–1.95 cts. t.w. diamonds; $6,250–$9,000 (with center stones); Fire & Ice; 209-522-9926;

A. Jaffe has taken a minority stake in the Fire & Ice diamond brand. Fire & Ice cofounder Bart Marks remains president.

Fossil Group has sold $40 million in intellectual property related to smartwatch technology to Google., a diamond-centric e-tailer purchased in 2016 by De Beers sightholder Dalumi Group, closed down in January.



Âme Jewelry, a new company that sells designer product with lab-grown diamonds, has opened stores in Los Angeles and New York City. Alex Popov, head of the Moscow Diamond Bourse, says his company will use white diamonds produced in a factory in Long Island City, N.Y.

Ame two finger ring
Angle two-finger ring in 18k gold with 1.36 cts. t.w. lab-grown diamonds; $6,500; Âme; 888-285-3935;



Dr. James E. Shigley
Dr. James E. Shigley

The GIA has bestowed its highest honor, the Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement, on Dr. James E. Shigley. Shigley, who has been at GIA for 30 years and currently serves as a distinguished research fellow, was honored for his many contributions to gemological research and the institute’s mission.

The Diamond Empowerment Fund will honor Russian ­diamond miner Alrosa and Luxury Jewelers Resource Group at its Diamonds Do Good gala May 30 in the ­Palazzo ballroom at the ­Venetian Resort during the JCK Las Vegas show.

Top: Forever Colors bangles with signature steel cables and PVD; $275–$350; Charriol; 

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