Industry & People, May 2016


>>?Hannah Connorton (pictured) has joined JCK Events as a retailer account manager for LUXURY Las Vegas and LUXURY Privé. She was most recently a senior editor for National Jeweler.  

>>?Charles & Colvard, the moissanite manufacturer and seller, has sold the main assets of its Lulu Avenue direct-selling business to Yanbal USA.

>>?Stacie Orloff, who served as president of Miami Beach, Fla.–based watch brand Bell & Ross for seven years, has left the company. Carlos Rosillo, cofounder of the brand, will take over as president. Kirk Aronson has been named vice president of sales for North America. He was most recently with TAG Heuer.

>>?Cartier North America has promoted Kiyo Taga-Witkin to associate vice president of communications. She has been with the company since 2010 and was previously director of media and digital communications. Stephanie Labeille-Sczyrba is joining the brand as director of press and celebrity relations. She was previously vice president of global communications at Assouline Publishing

>>?Continental Buying Group has elected Mark Motes as head of its board. Motes is the chief operating officer of the Baltimore-based retailer Smyth Jewelers

Paul Boutros

>>?Phillips has appointed Paul Boutros as head of Americas for watches and international strategy adviser. Boutros, a former consultant for the auction house, contributed to the $80 million in sales garnered by Phillips Watches in 2015, its first year.

>>?Bernard Fornas, the former head of Cartier, will retire as co-CEO of Richemont. Richard Lepeu remains CEO.

>>?Ashi Diamonds, the New York City–based diamond manufacturer, has named Keith Topal sales representative and marketing consultant. He will work with independent -jewelers across the Northeast region, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware.

>>?Gregg Ruth, the Malibu, Calif.–based jewelry designer and manufacturer, has named Claudia Evan Zale sales director. In addition, Alana Hatfield has been promoted to vice president of sales. 

1919 Datetimer Eternity Black in titanium; $3,700; Porsche Design Timepieces, Grenchen, Switzerland; 41-32-654-7256;

>>?Porsche Design is expanding its watch sales team. Thomas Herzog will develop the brand’s international wholesale segment, and Oliver Krebs and Henning von Boddien will join the domestic sales team. 

>>?The Diamond Producers Association has announced that Sally Morrison, managing director of marketing, will leave the organization in May “to pursue another professional opportunity.” Michael Pace, a 13-year veteran of the World Gold Council, has been named interim managing director of marketing.  

>>?Harlan Kent, the veteran retail executive who served as president of Alex and Ani for the last year, has stepped down, according to, which says that the company is looking for a new chief operating officer.

Susumu Kawanishi

>>?Susumu Kawanishi is the new president and CEO of Seiko Corp. of America. Kawanishi has 30 years of experience in the watch industry, including having served as president of Seiko Watch India.

>>? Jacques Korn has been elected president of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse, and Rajender Gahani has been elected executive director.

>>?Rick Cote, chief operating officer and vice chairman of Movado Group, will retire in June after 16 years with the company. He will continue to serve as a nonmanagement member of the board of directors.

>>?The Jewelers Board of Trade has elected Todd Wolleman of Leo Wolleman its chairman. He recently chaired the search process to select a new president and CEO for the organization. Michael Kaplan of Rocket Jewelry Box was elected first vice chairman, and Ann Arnold of Arnold Advisory Group was elected second vice chairman.

Alan Hart

>>?The Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) has appointed Alan Hart its CEO. Hart is the head of the Earth Sciences Collections at London’s Natural History Museum and is a former member of the Gem-A Council.

>>?Stephen Urquhart will retire as president of Omega, part of the Swatch Group, after 17 years with the brand. Raynald Aeschlimann, vice president of sales at Omega since 2001, will take over as president on June 1.

>>?Jacmel Jewelry has appointed Kim Pelletier senior vice president of sales for its luxury division, where she will oversee the Michael Aram and Stephen Dweck brands. She was previously with John Hardy and Hearts On Fire



Classic Chain cuff in sterling silver and 18k gold; $2,750; John Hardy, NYC; 888-838-3022;

>>?John Hardy is opening its first U.S. store in New York City, according to a news release attributed to real estate company Thor Retail Advisors.

>>?Blue Nile is opening its third webroom in Tysons Corner Center in Tysons Corner, Va., by midsummer. Having a physical presence in Virginia means the company will have to collect sales tax in the state. It already has a webroom in Garden City, N.Y., and is soon opening one in White Plains, N.Y. 



Andy Hilfiger

>>? is partnering with New York City–based fashion company Andrew Charles, which was founded by Andy Hilfiger, brother to designer Tommy Hilfiger, to carry exclusive jewelry

>>?Frederick Goldman has purchased selected assets of Joyeros Costarricenses, a bridal jewelry company formerly based in Costa Rica. Operations of the 25-year-old company will relocate to Frederick Goldman’s facilities in Mérida, Mexico, and New York City. Company principal Jeff Rothstein is exiting the business.

>>?Iconix Brand Group has sold the intellectual property to the Badgley Mischka brand for $16 million. Buyers include cofounders Mark Badgley and James Mischka, footwear company and brand licensee Titan Industries, and MJCLK, an apparel licensee partially owned by the cofounders.  



John Parrish

>>?On April 1, gem photographer John Parrish died following an accident on a camping trip. He was 65. A memorial fund in his name has been established at the Greenland Hills Memorial Garden in Dallas.



>>?The Diamond Empowerment Fund will present the first Diamonds Do Good Lifetime Achievement Award to Nate Light, former CEO of Sterling Jewelers, at its annual awards gala in Las Vegas on June 2. Dorothée Gizenga, executive director of the Diamond Development Initiative, and Chow Tai Fook will also receive awards from the group.

Hank Siegel

Stewart Wicht

>>?Dione Kenyon, Stewart Wicht, and Hank Siegel will all be honored by the American Gem Society (AGS) at its annual Circle of Distinction dinner July 26 in New York City. Kenyon, president of the Providence, R.I.–based Jewelers Board of Trade, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Siegel, president of Hamilton Jewelers, and Wicht, the CEO and president of Rolex Watch U.S.A., are both recipients of the AGS Triple Zero Award.