Industry & People: What’s Happening in the Jewelry Industry in February 2012


>>?The American Gem Society Laboratories recently named Alethea Inns director of diamond grading. Inns is a graduate gemologist in residence, with pearls and jewelry business management credentials from GIA. She started her career with GIA’s Gem Trade Laboratory in the diamond grading and gem identification departments.

>>?Months after taking full control of Bulgari, luxury conglomerate LVMH tapped Fendi chair Michael Burke to head the Italian ­jeweler. Burke ran U.S. operations for Christian Dior and was president and CEO of Louis Vuitton North America from 1993 to 1997.

John Gupton

>>?Belair Time Corp. named John Gupton VP of sales and planning. Gupton previously worked in management in the jewelry division of Walmart, and the Gordon’s Division at Zale Corp.

Jean-Chrisophe Bedos

>>?Tabake Kobedi has been named managing director of DTC Botswana. He was previously the group finance manager for Debswana.

>>?Jean-Christophe Bédos was named president and CEO of Birks & Mayors. He succeeds Thomas A. Andruskevich, who announced his retirement in ­September. Bédos was president and CEO of Boucheron International from 2004 to 2011.

Jean-Claude Biver, Ricardo Guadalupe

>>?Swiss watch brand Hublot has promoted Ricardo Guadalupe, until now managing director of the company, to chief executive officer. Guadalupe takes over for longtime CEO Jean-Claude Biver, who is stepping down. Biver will continue to be Hublot’s chairman of the board and spokesperson.

>>?Tiffany & Co. appointed Stephane Lafay to the newly created position of group vice president of the Asia-Pacific region and president of Tiffany Japan. The company is searching for a candidate for the managing director of Japan position who will report to Lafay.

>>?Signet Jewelers appointed former Cadbury CEO H. Todd Stitzer as an independent director. Stitzer ran the chocolate company until its acquisition by Kraft in 2010.

>>?Michigan’s Tapper’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry appointed Mark Tapper and Marla Tapper Young to company president and vice president, respectively. Both are children of cofounder and president Howard Tapper.

>>?The Diamond Development Initiative tapped Patricia Syvrud, founder and president of Joia Consulting, to head program development for the Friends of DDI. The program will allow jewelry retailers, designers, manufacturers, and suppliers to support DDI’s work on the ground in mining communities.

>>?SCIO Diamond Technology, which manufactures lab-grown diamonds, appointed diamond industry veteran Theodorus Strous to its board of directors. Currently a senior adviser to Diamond Asset Advisors, Strous was managing director of the Antwerp Diamond Bank until 2010.


Johnny Nunez/Nubuzzphoto
Edward Hrabak, Rebecca Foerster, Ivanka Trump, DEF board president Phyllis Bergman, Ivanka Trump CEO Andrea Hansen, and DEF adviser Dr. Ben Chavis

>>?The Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) honored four individuals and their companies for “outstanding leadership in the area of good corporate citizenship” Jan. 5 in New York City. The inaugural honorees include: Varda Shine and the Diamond Trading Company (a De Beers Group Company); Edward ­Hrabak and Sterling ­Jewelers; Rebecca Foerster and Rio Tinto Diamonds; and Ivanka Trump and Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry.

>>?Don Lemp Jr., president of M. Lemp Jewelers in Syracuse, N.Y., was named outstanding volunteer fundraiser by the Association of Fund­raising Professionals. For eight years, Lemp has run a golf tournament, “The 100 Holes 4 Kids,” that has raised nearly $600,000 for the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center.


>>?U.S. Army specialist Michael Brewer won the $40,000 engagement ring from Union Diamond‘s “My Perfect Union” contest. The Atlanta store honored Brewer for his service in Afghanistan, when he drove his convoy out of the kill zone despite being blinded by smoke from explosions and the blood from his own injuries.


>>?De Beers Diamond Jewellers opened a store in Tianjin, China. The Tianjin store is De Beers’ second store in mainland China and represents De Beers’ expansion into the fast-growing Chinese market.

>>?Fabergé will open its first U.S. boutique—its third worldwide—in Manhattan in spring 2012 on Madison Avenue between 62nd and 63rd streets.


>>?Cyril Madesker, owner of Deval Corp., died Nov. 19 in New York City at the age of 87. Madesker served as a director of the New York bourse, the Diamond Trade Association, and was also a member of the American Gem Society. He retired in 2002.

>>?Glen Wickersham, founder of the Wickersham Jewelry chain in Wisconsin, died Dec. 3 at the age of 80. After serving in the Korean War, Wickersham borrowed $2,000 from his wife’s family in 1959 to open an 800-square-foot store in Abbotsford, Wis. His son Jeff now runs the company’s three locations.

>>?Ida Snow, cofounder of Snow’s ­Jewelers in south Florida, died Nov. 25 at the age of 89. Ida and her husband, Edward, started Snow’s in 1958, with just a $600 loan, three cases, and their dining room table covered in wrapping paper that served as a makeshift display. The store would become one of south Florida’s most established independent jewelers, and now has locations in Miami Lakes and Coral Gables.


>>?The 2012 education catalog for the Gemological Institute of America is now available online and in print. To request a printed copy, contact GIA Admissions at

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