Industry & People: September 2012


>>?Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry named Ryan Berg market president of its Texas operations and its Lafayette, La., location. Scott Berg will serve as market president of the two Lee Michaels locations in Baton Rouge, La., a Pandora franchise store in the Mall of Louisiana, and seven Gold Market stores the company operates in Louisiana.

>>?Jewelers of America has promoted chief operating officer Robert B. Headley to vice president and COO. Headley joined JA in February 2009.

>>?Thierry Chaunu has been named Damiani Group’s new CEO for the Americas. Chaunu will be responsible for Damiani’s operations in the U.S. market, plus Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Chaunu is a 25-year industry veteran and past president of companies including Cartier, Chopard, and Christofle.

Alan Davies

>>?Alan Davies is the new chief executive of Rio Tinto’s diamonds and minerals division as of Sept. 1, replacing Harry Kenyon-Slaney. Davies was previously head of its iron ore international operations. Kenyon-Slaney has moved to the energy division.

>>?Charles & Colvard has appointed Anne M. Butler to its board of directors. Butler brings many years of experience to her new role, having worked for Avon Products, Mary Kay ­Cosmetics, and PartyLite Gifts. Most recently, she served as CEO of Butler Advisors.

>>?The board of directors of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre elected Stephane Fischler its new president. The board also appointed Kaushik Mehta vice president, representing the trade, and Philippe Barsamian vice president, representing the bourses.

>>?Former National Jeweler senior ­editor Cheryl Dixon is joining watch auctioneer Antiquorum as vice president of marketing and communications. Dixon will be responsible for designing and implementing all global marketing, branding, and communication efforts throughout the company. 

>>?Verigold Jewelry appointed Amy Rossman vice president of design and merchandising of its bridal division. Rossman worked as director of design at Scott Kay for more than a decade. 

>>?Jewelry Television has named Trisha Condra vice president of merchandising. Condra most recently worked at Belk, where she served as vice president since 2006.

Peter Tonjes

>>?Peter Tonjes, CEO of Ed Levin Jewelry, purchased the company in February 2012 from its founder, Ed Levin. Tonjes has worked at the company since 1984, when he began his career as a production manager. He worked his way up to CEO in 2005.

>>?Victoria Tynedale has been appointed West Coast director of Belle Étoile. Tynedale, a GIA graduate gemologist, brings nearly 20 years of experience to her new role.

Victoria Tynedale

>>?Joshua J. Fine Jewelry has named Stephen Golob its Eastern regional sales manager. Golob has more than 30 years of experience in the fine jewelry industry.

>>?Fossil has announced leadership staffing changes, including the promotion of Tom Kennedy to executive vice president. Kennedy has served as senior vice president within Fossil’s retail division since 2009. Joanne Cala­brese has been appointed to senior vice president of retail merchandising. She joins ­Fossil from JCR Consulting. Edward J. Robben has joined the company as senior vice president and chief information officer. He was previously senior vice president and chief information officer of J.C. Penney.

>>?Fran Cookson is taking on the role of PR and events manager for London-based luxury jeweler Astley Clarke. Cookson was previously a PR executive at


>>?JewelPops Inc. was ranked as the fifth-fastest-growing company in Canada on Profit magazine’s 2012 PROFIT 200 list. The 27-employee Dartmouth, Nova Scotia–based company exhibited 7,156 percent revenue growth during the last year, the magazine said. In 2011, it generated 14.5 million Canadian dollars ($14.1 million) in revenue.


>>?Glen A. Beres, 50, former editor of JCK’s ­High-Volume Jeweler and editor at National Jeweler, died June 20. He also wrote for New York Diamonds, MJSA Journal, and other publications. 

>>?Leslie Bibens Von Bargen, 58, a principal of Von Bargen’s Jewelry in Vermont, died of ovarian cancer on July 9. She is survived by her husband, two children, and grandchildren.

>>?Milton Gralla, longtime publisher of National Jeweler, died July 11 at age 84. In 1951, Gralla and brother Larry launched Gralla Publications, which eventually comprised a range of business-to-business magazines.

>>?Jeweler Herschel Mullins, 96, died on July 17. Mullins opened Mullins Jewelry Store (now J. Mullins Jewelry and Gifts) in 1938 in Rutherford County, Tenn.

>>?Jack Woolf, an industry veteran who worked most recently as executive director of the 24 Karat Club of Southern California, died of heart failure on July 19. He was 75.


>>?Jewelry designer and retailer Alex and Ani has purchased Sakonnet Vineyards, a winery in Little Compton, R.I. The Alex and Ani purchase includes the Sakonnet Vineyards grounds as well as an additional 70 acres of land.

>>?J.C. Penney is now $248 million richer after selling 2 million units of its limited partnership interest in Simon Property Group. Following the transaction, JCP Realty Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of J.C. Penney, will continue to hold approximately 205,000 units in Simon’s operating partnership.


Matthew Fenner/KSW
Manhattan’s sparkling new Swarovski boutique

>>?During the last week of July, Swarovski opened a new boutique at 365 Madison Avenue in New York City between 45th and 46th streets, at the base of the historic Roosevelt Hotel. The 1,654-square-foot space has two entrances: one on Madison and another that opens into the Roosevelt.

>>?Nordstrom is planning its first department store in Manhattan. The store will be located on 225 West 57th Street, between 7th Avenue and Broadway, and will be part of a proposed skyscraper owned by Extell Development Co.


>>?Fashion Bug, a value-priced retailer of clothing and accessories with more than 600 stores in 43 states, will close in 2013. The closing was part of Ascena Retail Group’s purchase of ­Charming Shoppes, which also owns Lane Byrant and Catherines Plus Sizes.

>>?Signet Jewelers announced that its board of directors has authorized a $50 million increase in its existing program to repurchase Signet’s common shares. The program is now at $350 million.


>>?In May 2012, Gem Certification & Assurance Lab passed its fifth annual ISO 17025 Audit. This audit expands the lab’s ISO scope to the field of forensic testing for diamonds and gemstone analysis.


>>?Dealfind, considered the third largest group deal site behind Groupon and LivingSocial, will start offering regular jewelry deals. The jewelry deals will be offered on a weekly basis to U.S. and Canadian customers.