Jewelry Industry & People: July–August 2014


>>?Brad Brooks-Rubin, former special adviser for conflict diamonds for the U.S. Department of State, has joined the GIA as global director of development and beneficiation.

>>?Industry vets Sam Ziefer and Jeffrey Sadowsky have joined recycled diamond and ­jewelry company White Pine Trading. Ziefer, who formerly led CIRCA’s retail division, will expand White Pine’s national jewelry buyback program. Sadowsky, former acquisition director of GBC, will focus on increasing its jewelry footprint.

Rita Jammet

>>?French jewelry house Mauboussin appointed Rita ­Jammet interim North American CEO. Jammet, who has a restaurant background, replaces Thierry Chaunu, who took the position last August. The company has also closed its New York City boutique, which opened on Madison Avenue in 2008, and plans to open a smaller location in Manhattan.

>>?Shah Luxury has hired industry veteran Rusty Luker, former rep for Spark and Town and Country, as regional vice president of sales. He will focus on the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Kansas.

>>?Sterling Jewelers has named Robert L. Kapp senior vice president, strategic initiative integration and distribution center. He will also assume accountability for developing a long-term property acquisition and development strategy for Sterling’s home office in Akron, Ohio.

>>?Former Lieberfarb CEO Ann Arnold has joined Buyers Intelligence Group as chief strategy officer. She is also past president of the Women’s Jewelry Association.

>>?Jerry Fehr has joined Joshua J. Fine Jewelry as director of sales for the Southern states. His territory includes Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida.

>>?Jewelry Coach, the skills and selling portal for the jewelry retail industry, has appointed David Peters chief learning ­officer. Most recently, Peters served as director of education and ­industry relations for ­Jewelers of America.

>>?Edward Asscher, who heads the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of the Netherlands, was elected president of the World Diamond Council, the group that represents the industry in front of the Kimberley Process. Andrew Bone, who heads government and industry relations for the De Beers Group, will be vice ­president, and Ronnie VanderLinden, representative of the U.S. Coalition and president of the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association of America, will be treasurer.

Peggy Jo Donahue

>>?The Manufacturing ­Jewelers and Suppliers of America has named Peggy Jo Donahue director of the MJSA Education Foundation. Donahue has been the director of public affairs at MJSA since 2009.

>>?Gregg Steinhafel, a 35-year veteran of Target, has resigned as chairman, CEO, and president in what many news accounts are calling fallout from the company’s massive data breach last year. Target CFO John J. Mulligan has been named interim president and CEO, while board member Roxanne S. Austin has been appointed interim nonexecutive chair of the board.  

Louis Smith

>>?The American Gem Society elected Louis Smith as president of the board during its annual ­Conclave in San Diego in April.

>>?Hamilton Jewelers appointed Anne Russell to vice president of merchandising and product development. Russell has been with Hamilton Jewelers since 2008, when she joined the company as general merchandise manager. 

>>?Stuller promoted two longtime staffers to vice president positions. Former executive director of corporate operations Tammy Kidder will now be VP of findings, metals, and recycled materials. Shawn Montgomery, who served as executive director of customer experience, is now VP of sales.

>>?Frances Gadbois, cofounder and designer of JudeFrances Jewelry, sold her portion of the company in March. ­JudeFrances is now 100 percent owned by cofounder Jude Steele.

>>?The Diamond Bourse of Canada reelected David Gavin as president. He also serves as treasurer. Allen Shechtman was reelected vice president; Jeffrey Brenner was reelected secretary.

>>?Karina Ariana New York ­welcomed David Freed, formerly of Rand & ­Paseka, as its executive director of marketing and sales, national accounts manager, and national sales manager.


FIT honorees Joan Hornig, Dr. Jay H. Baker, and Linda Fargo

>>?The Fashion Institute of Technology honored jewelry designer and philanthropist Joan Hornig at its June 9 gala. FIT board chair Dr. Jay H. Baker and Linda Fargo, senior vice president at Bergdorf Goodman, were also recognized.

>>?Lee Berg, CEO of Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry, will receive the American Gem Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award at its Circle of Distinction Dinner on July 29 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Doug Hucker, CEO of the American Gem Trade Association, and Joel Schechter, CEO of Honora, will be ­honored with AGS Triple Zero awards.


>>?On May 5, Muhammad H. Baig, an employee of Victoria Jewelers in Richmond, Va., was shot in what police believe was an attempted robbery. Three men have been charged with conspiracy to commit the crime.

>>?Leon Weiss, founder of retailer Weiss Jewelry in Los Angeles, died on March 16 at the age of 90. A Holocaust survivor, Weiss established 35 jewelry and watch boutiques in Germany before emigrating to the United States in 1982.

>>?Caroline Colaprete, cofounder of Phillips Jewelers in St. Marys, Pa., died in April at age 95. Colaprete founded the store with her husband, Phillip, in 1948. She came out of retirement at age 85 and worked another five years.


>>?Jeweler Fabergé is suing a Brooklyn restaurant that it says is getting a “free ride” off its international reputation. In papers filed June 4 in New York federal court, the ­jeweler alleged that the eatery, Faberge (no accent), has a “substantially identical” design to its storefront.

>>?Doris Payne, the 83-year-old jewel thief who has been implicated in dozens of crimes over decades, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of burglary and grand theft, stemming from the Oct. 29 theft of a $22,500 ring from a California jeweler. She was sentenced to four years, two in county jail and two under mandatory supervision, during which the judge ordered her to avoid jewelry stores.

>>?The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to lift its decade-long ban on Côte d’Ivoire rough diamonds. They can now be legally sold under the Kimberley Process.


>>?Samuel Aaron, which does business as the Aaron Group, has purchased bridal and fashion designer Armadani. The management team, led by Kevin Brosh and Art Jacoby, will stay on.


>>?Former president George W. Bush will speak at Centurion 2015 in Scotts­dale, Ariz., on Friday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m.

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