Jolliff Retires, Levine Takes Charge

On Friday, Feb. 6, 2004, at the Annual Tucson Conference, James V. Jolliff announced that, after 12 years as executive director of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA), he was stepping down from that leadership role as of March 1, 2004. Jolliff selected Gail Brett Levine, G.G., as NAJA’s new executive director. Levine, publisher of the Auction Market Resource for Gems and Jewelry, is the first woman to be named executive director of a major appraisal organization.

Levine, who joined the NAJA in 2002, has been in the appraisal business for 23 years and has a long list of credentials. She is a graduate gemologist, a former North American appraiser for H. Stern, a founding member of the Council of Jewelry Appraisal Organizations, an original member of the International Society of Appraiser’s advisory council, former chair of the ISA Gems & Jewelry division, and past president of the ISA board of directors.

Levine also is a charter member of the GIA Alumni Association and since 1982 has held various offices with GIA’s award-winning Manhattan Chapter. She’s been an active member nationally through the alumni executive committee, presently holding the title of vice chair.

An active board member of the American Society of Jewelry Historians, she produces the organization’s membership directory and was responsible for developing the Society’s first Web site.

Levine’s Auction Market Resource is published twice a year, and Levine also hosts a Web site by the same name. Both publication and Web site won ISA’s Lamp of Knowledge award in 2003.

Under the direction of Jolliff, his partner, Ardythe Jolliff, and two associate directors, David Atlas and Joseph Tenhagen, NAJA offered a twice-a-year conference on appraisal theory and product knowledge. Over his 22 years of membership and 12 years of leadership, Jolliff answered his own phone, referred appraisal requests, mentored novice appraisers, counseled veteran appraisers, and provided deeply discounted professional tools and books to NAJA members.

Jolliff will continue in his appraisal practice and remain an active Certified Senior Member of the Association.