Industry & People: March–April 2016


>>?The Public Relations Society of America New York chapter has appointed jewelry industry PR rep Olga Gonzalez (pictured) as its president-elect. Gonzalez will hold the office in 2016 and serve as chair of the organization’s 2016 Big Apple Awards. She will become chapter president in 2017. 

>>?Jewelers unBLOCKed, the insurance underwriting company, has named Don Saltmarsh relationship executive. Saltmarsh was most recently the executive vice president at the Cornell Group.  

>>?Christie’s has named Peggy Gottlieb its West Coast jewelry specialist. Gottlieb has been an estate jewelry appraiser and auction house specialist for 20 years.

>>?Ed Levin Jewelry, the Cambridge, N.Y., jewelry manufacturer, has named Deborah Shamyer Northeast key account manager. Shamyer has more than 20 years of experience in the jewelry industry and has held positions at Pandora, Lalique, and Waterford.

>>?The Israel Diamond Exchange has named Eli Avidar its managing director. Avidar is also managing director of the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies and will stay in that role. He replaces Moti Besser.

Janice Winter

>>?New York City–based fine jewelry brand Misahara Fine Jewelry House has appointed Janice Winter CEO. 

>>?Leo Schachter Diamonds has named Joseph Green executive vice president of sales. Green was most recently senior vice president at Frederick Goldman and vice president of Ritani.

>>?The Diamond Empowerment Fund has elected new officers and board members. Phyllis Bergman, CEO of Mercury Ring, continues as president. Ed Hrabak, chief operating officer of Signet Jewelers, was elected vice president; Yancy Weinrich, senior vice president of JCK Events, was elected secretary; and Rich Slomovitz, chief financial officer of Rush Communications, continues as treasurer.

>>?J.C. Penney has named Joe McFarland executive vice president of stores. McFarland is a 20-year veteran of Home Depot.  

>>?Jeffrey Cohen has been appointed president of Bulova Corp. Cohen is currently president of Citizen Watch Company of America. He will also continue in this role. Citizen Watch Co. Ltd. is the parent company of both entities. 

Eva-Lotta Sjöstedt 

>>?Georg Jensen, the Danish luxury brand that creates fine jewelry, watches, and home goods, has appointed Eva-Lotta Sjöstedt CEO. Sjöstedt previously held executive positions with home goods retailer IKEA and the German department store chain Karstadt.

>>?Manufacture Contemporaine du Temps, the Swiss watch company, has appointed Pierre Jacques CEO. Jacques is the cofounder of the watch magazine GMT. He has also served as the director of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève and CEO of De Bethune.

>>?Israel “Izzy” Itzkowitz and Maarten de Witte have joined lab-grown diamond producer Diamond Foundry. Itzkowitz, called the inventor of the princess cut, will serve as master cutter. De Witte, a veteran of Hearts On Fire, Embee Diamonds, and EightStar Diamond Co., will be master cutter and brand builder.  

>>?Shmuel Schnitzer has been elected chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute, the nonprofit organization that represents all institutions involved in the Israeli diamond industry.

>>?Armin Strom, the Swiss watch manufacturer, has appointed Christian Leiggener as international sales manager. Leiggener was most recently head of international sales at Maurice Lacroix.

Saad Makdesi

>>?Black, Starr & Frost, the Newport, Calif.–based fine jeweler, has appointed Saad Makdesi vice president and managing director of its Phoenix salon. Makdesi was most recently the designer jewelry and precious jewels salon manager at Neiman Marcus.

>>?A. Lange & Söhne, the German fine watch brand, has appointed Silvia Juarez-Henry its brand president, North America. She replaces Gaetan Guillosson, who has been named brand president, Asia Pacific.

>>?Kim International, the Dallas-based jewelry manufacturer, has named Bill Harrison its Southern regional sales manager. Harrison has worked in the jewelry industry for 25 years. for brands including Ashi Diamonds and Gabriel & Co.  

>>?JCK Events has hired Isabel Cajulis as retailer account manager for the JCK Tucson and JCK Las Vegas events. She previously worked for the Silver Promotion Service


>>?Harold Markman, founder of Knoxville, Tenn.–based Markman’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry, has died. He was 89.

>>?Robyn Lewis, who headed the Italian Jewelry Guild for two decades and played a major role in introducing the country’s products to the United States, died Jan. 8. She was 61.

>>?Alexandre Reza, the famed Paris jeweler and gem collector whose clients included celebrities and royalty, died in Geneva Jan. 15 at age 93.

>>?Ilse Grunwald, who cofounded American watch manufacturer Belair Time Corp., died Feb. 3 at her home in New Jersey. She was 93.

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