Jewelry Industry & People: May 2015


David Bennett

>>?David Bennett has been appointed worldwide chairman of the Sotheby’s jewelry division. Bennett previously held the title of chairman of the ­jewelry division for Europe and the ­Middle East.

>>?Zalemark Holding Co. Inc. has named Steven Zale, who formerly served as chairman emeritus, its CEO. Deborah Blohm has been appointed brand director for the company’s Crayola line.

>>?Lagos has named president Chris Cullen its new CEO, as founder Steven Lagos focuses on his roles as chairman and creative director. Cullen has served as president of the Philadelphia-based jewelry brand for the last seven years.

>>?, an online marketplace that specializes in pre-owned luxury goods, has named former ­Tiffany & Co. executive vice president and chief gemologist Peter C. Schneirla as its first president.

>>?Laurent Dordet has been appointed CEO of La Montre ­Hermès, the watch division of the Paris-based fashion house. Dordet was previously CEO of Hermès Maroquinerie Sellerie, its leather goods division.

>>?The Jewelers of America Political Action Committee, which supports the fine jewelry industry in Washington, D.C., has elected Jenny Caro to be its new chair. Caro, owner of ­Jewelry by Design in Woodbridge, Va., has served on the Jewelers of America board of directors since 2013.

Kevin Reilly

>>?Kevin Reilly has been named vice president of Platinum Guild International USA, after nine years of service with the organization. He currently serves as senior director of business development.

Jeff Sarfaty

>>?ABN AMRO has named Jeff Sarfaty head of its diamond and jewelry desk for North America. Sarfaty worked at ABN AMRO from 1987 to 2007, and then rejoined in February 2014 as a credit portfolio manager.

Varda Shine

>>?Varda Shine, who previously headed the Diamond Trading Co. of De Beers, has joined the board of platinum miner Lonmin as an independent nonexecutive director.

>>?Watch industry veteran Phil Ogle has been named president of North American and Caribbean operations for Swiss watch manufacturer MB&F.

>>?Anjanette Sinesio, who helped found the Diamond in the Rough line, has joined designer Todd Reed as general manager. Sinesio will be running Reed’s Los Angeles showroom.

Stéphane Lindner

>>?Gucci has named Stéphane Linder, a watch veteran who most recently headed TAG Heuer, president and CEO of its timepieces and jewelry division.

>>?Harlan Kent, former CEO of Yankee Candle as well as defunct retailer C. Wonder, has been named president of Alex and Ani. Founder Carolyn Rafaelian is remaining as CEO; she replaced Giovanni Feroce in March 2014.

 Sandy Ray

>>?Online fancy diamond and ­jewelry company Leibish & Co. has appointed Sandy Ray its new executive vice president of North American sales.

>>?Tad Smith has joined ­Sotheby’s as president and CEO, replacing longtime CEO William Ruprecht. Smith has headed Madison Square Garden Co., Cablevision Systems Corp., and Reed Business Information, JCK’s former parent.


>>?Charlotte Preston Catalysts, which has facilitated and run education programs for many prominent organizations and trade shows including JCK Las Vegas, is closing, due to owner Charlotte Preston’s cancer diagnosis.

>>?New York City–based diamond and jewelry manufacturer ­Eloquence Corp. completed a $21.1 million debt refinancing with Rosenthal & Rosenthal. Daroth Capital Advisors acted as financial adviser and placement agent.

Pandora ramps up its recycling efforts abroad.

>>?Pandora is now recycling 81 percent of its production waste at its facility in Thailand, an increase of 24 percent compared with 2013, the company shared in its 2014 Ethics Report.


>>?Ramil Abalkhad, owner of San Diego’s Romano’s Jewelers, and two of his employees have been charged with 14 counts of identity theft. He allegedly instructed employees to use Social Security numbers ­belonging to members of the armed forces to add unauthorized charges to their store credit accounts, which were then deducted automatically from their pay. His attorney says Abalkhad knew nothing of the scheme.

>>?Carlos Parra, owner of ­Master Diamonds in New York City, pleaded guilty March 3 to buying and transporting jewelry he purchased from an armed robbery ring, according to an FBI news release.


>>?E-tailer Blue Nile is ­exploring the Indian market through a partnership with local chain PC Jeweller.


>>?Diamond Intelligence Briefs, the influential Israel-based ­subscription-only newsletter that covers the diamond industry, will now be published 12 times a year instead of weekly, though that could increase as news arises.

>>?The print version of Women’s Wear Daily is transitioning to a weekly format. The final daily ­edition was published April 24.


>>?Irving Mann, a World War II veteran who cofounded Rochester, N.Y.–based Mann’s Jewelers, died March 6, just shy of his 90th birthday.

Mark Levinson

>>?Mark Levinson, who grew Levinson Jewelers from a small booth-based business to a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., retailer, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the early hours of Feb. 24, local police confirmed. He was 60.

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