Birks & Mayors Acquires Jose Hess
Birks & Mayors has purchased the exclusive rights to Jose Hess’s brand name, designs, and worldwide distribution. Hess will act as a consultant and design jewelry under the Jose Hess and Birks brands as well as advise the company on the product development, manufacturing, marketing, and sale of his collections.
Former Editor Donahue Goes to JA
Peggy Jo Donahue, former editor-in-chief of Professional Jeweler and JCK, has joined Jewelers of America as its new director of public affairs. Donahue will act as chief spokesperson for JA and the Jewelry Information Center on issues of industry and public concern.
JSA Announces New Chairman
David Cornstein has been elected the new chairman of the board of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, the organization announced at its annual luncheon. He replaces Walter Fischer, who retired as chairman. Cornstein, the chairman emeritus of Finlay Enterprises, has also served as chairman of New York Off-Track Betting Corp. and the New York Olympic Games Commission. He has been a JSA board member for eight years.
At the luncheon, the organization presented its Eighth Annual James B. White Law Enforcement Award to FBI special agent Daniel X. McCaffrey, for his help in fighting jewelry-related crime. The first annual JSA Industry Service Award went to George Slicho, senior vice president for loss prevention for Zale Corp.
Barkley to Head Georg Jensen Retail Operations
Georg Jensen has appointed Larry Barkley, former national retail director of Bulgari, to head its retail operations. Barkley will oversee Georg Jensen boutiques in Manhattan; Greenwich, Conn.; Short Hills, N.J.; and Las Vegas. He’ll also lead the reopening of the company’s Chicago location and spearhead a national retail expansion effort.
Digico Acquires ‘Leading Jewelers’
Digico Holdings has acquired Leading Jewelers of the World, an organization of leading upscale jewelers conceived and formerly run by ex-DTC sightholder W.B. David. Digico is a DTC sightholder. Jack Gredinger remains executive director of the association.
Color Diamond Association Now Nonprofit
The Natural Color Diamond Association, founded in 2003 to promote the colored-diamond category, is now a nonprofit entity with an office in Manhattan and a full-time marketing coordinator. New officers and a board of directors will be announced soon. Originally founded by Michael Werdiger and Rosy Blue, the group now has 25 members. Following the decision to keep the Argyle Mine open, Argyle owner Rio Tinto gave the group what is described as a “generous” grant.
Former Kenneth Cole President to Head David Yurman
Paul Blum, former president of Kenneth Cole, has been appointed chief executive officer of David Yurman Inc. David Yurman will continue as designer/chairman and Sybil Yurman remains president and chief marketing officer.
JVC Hires New Assistant General Counsel
The Jewelers Vigilance Committee has named Rebecca Halperin as its new assistant general counsel. Halperin will supervise legal cases brought by the JVC, conduct seminars and education sessions, and advise industry members on legal compliance matters and investigations. She was formerly with law firm Kirkland & Ellis.