Jewelry Industry & People: October 2015


>> The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) has appointed Deborah Finleon associate director, chair of education. She is one of only four certified master appraisers, the highest designation that NAJA gives.

>> Sam Hines has been appointed the international head of watches at Phillips. Hines is the former head of Christie’s watch department in Hong Kong.

>> Gem-A, The Gemmological Association of Great Britain, has elected nine new members: Kathryn Bonanno, Justine Carmody, Paul Greer, Kerry Gregory, Alan Hart, Alan Hodgkinson, Jack Ogden, Richard Slater, and Christopher P. Smith. Miranda Wells, Mary Burland, and Nigel Israel retained their seats on the council.

>> Bergio International, the New Jersey–based jewelry manufacturer, has named Robert Tomlinson its senior vice president of business development.

>> Target Corp. has promoted John Mulligan to executive vice president and chief operating officer. The company has also named Cathy Smith executive vice president and chief financial officer.

>> Bulova has promoted Robert Christiano to executive vice president of global marketing. He was previously senior vice president for international business development for the company.

>> Guy Bedarida, longtime head designer of John Hardy and former part owner, has left the company. Eva Jeanbart-Lorenzotti, founder of the catalog company Vivre, will step in as interim creative director. She has served as the jewelry brand’s creative adviser since October.

>> Sir Michael Hill, founder and chairman of the eponymous jewelry chain, will retire Nov. 3 and will be succeeded by daughter Emma Hill, who currently serves as vice chair. He will remain the majority owner and plans to stay engaged in the business.

>> James D. “Dusty” Clem has resigned after a little more than a year as chairman, president, and CEO of DGSE Companies, the Dallas-based wholesaler and retailer of metals, jewelry, and coins. No replacement was named.

>> The Edge Retail Academy has added Monét Fischer to its consulting team. Fischer has been in the industry for more than 20 years and has worked for Zales, Helzberg Diamonds, and Neiman Marcus.

>> Ronnie VanderLinden was re-elected president of the Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America at its annual meeting on Aug. 5.

>> Mike Robbins, formerly the senior vice president of global supply chain for Target, has joined J.C. Penney Co. as senior vice president of supply chain. He replaces the retiring Marie Lacertosa. The department store chain also appointed Michael Amend executive vice president of omnichannel; Amend, like new Penney’s CEO Marvin Ellison, used to work for The Home Depot.

>> Manhasset, N.Y.–based London Jewelers has appointed Scott Saunders to the new position of senior vice president of business development. He will focus on growth opportunities for the five-store chain.

>> Richline Group CEO Dennis Ulrich has been named chairman of Jewelers for Children, the industry charity. He replaces Ruth Batson, CEO of the American Gem Society and AGS Laboratories, who concludes a second one-year term.

>> Emily Marchick has joined the Doyle Beverly Hills office as associate director of California operations. A GIA graduate gemologist, Marchick previously served as director of California jewels at auctioneers Bonhams & Butterfields in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

>> Maui Divers Jewelry, which operates 34 stores in Hawaii, has appointed veteran luxury retail exec David Charles its president and CEO.

>> Pure Grown Diamonds, which manufactures lab-created diamonds, has appointed Curtis Lowrey, founder of Independent Gemological Laboratories, its new national director of brand training. The lab will stay open under new management.



>> George Kaplan, the former vice chairman of Lazare Kaplan and son of its namesake, died July 12 following a short illness. He was 97.

>> Dana Schorr, a Santa Barbara, Calif.–based gem dealer with decades in the industry, died Aug. 5 following a heart attack. He was 63.

>> Fran Udell, former co-owner of London Jewelers, died Aug. 1 at age 94.

>> Henry Platt, the former chairman and CEO of Tiffany & Co. who is credited with introducing tanzanite and tsavorite to the world, died July 22 at age 91.

>> On July 6, Ron Dean, a longtime industry executive who worked for the Diamond Promotion Service and Gem East, died while on vacation in Maui, Hawaii, when a pickup truck collided with his car. He was 72. Wife Karen, who formerly headed the Pacific Northwest Jewelers Association, was in the car and is currently in a coma. Industry members can donate to her recovery at



>> The RealReal, the online luxury consignment marketplace, has opened a jewelry and watch valuation office in New York City.

>> French diamond jewelry house Djula unveiled its first U.S. boutique in New York City on Aug. 17.



>> USA Discounters, a Norfolk, Va.–company that owns seven-store chain Fletcher’s Jewelers, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Aug. 24 and plans to wind down operations. In legal papers, the company says it’s “still exploring options” for the Fletcher’s stores.

>> New York City–based jewelry manufacturer Haskell is acquiring 50 percent of e-tailer Charm & Chain.

>> Private equity firm Sycamore Partners will purchase 100 percent of department store Belk in a deal valued at about $3 billion. Tim Belk will stay on as CEO, and the company will remain based in Charlotte, N.C.

>> QVC has purchased Zulily, the millennial mom–oriented flash site co-founded by former Blue Nile chairman Mark Vadon, for $2.4 billion.

>> Sienna Sky Jewelry has acquired fashion jewelry manufacturer Lemon Tree Jewelry. Both companies are headquartered in Longmont, Colo.

>> Birks Group has sold its corporate sales division to Rideau, which specializes in recognition programs, for $4.3 million.



>> Signet Jewelers has settled a dispute with Zale Corp. shareholders over whether it paid the right price for its then-rival last year. The settlement doesn’t alter Signet’s purchase price of $21 a share for Zale, but it pays the petitioners an extra $34.2 million to be allocated among the group.



>> The CIBJO Congress that took place in Brazil in May was the first-ever carbon-neutral event in the jewelry industry, organizers have announced.

>> The AnchorCert Gem Lab, a division of Assay Office Birmingham, has partnered with the London Diamond Bourse to provide LDB members easy access to gemstone testing and reports.

>> The Retail Jewelers Organization has created a nonprofit, the RJO Foundation, to provide scholarships and educational opportunities in the industry.



>> The 24 Karat Club Southeastern United States held its 41st annual banquet on Aug. 8 and named Mary Hayes of Hayes Jewelers in Mobile, Ala., its jeweler of the year.

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