Whitehall Gets Sears Exec as New CEO.

Lucinda “Cindy” M. Baier has joined Whitehall Jewelers as president and COO. She will report to Hugh Patinkin, chairman and CEO. Baier joins Whitehall from Sears, Roebuck and Co., where she had been a senior vice president and general manager.

In other news, Manny A. Brown, the company’s executive vice president, has resigned from the company.

Hudson New Head of

Laurie Hudson, former Platinum Guild International USA president, has been named president of the Internet company, owned by manufacturer Andin International. Hudson said her primary role at is to serve as the site’s advocate to consumers, retail partners, and supplier partners. differs from a conventional jewelry e-commerce site in that it does not sell merchandise directly, Hudson said, but serves as a “shopping mall” to showcase jewelry sold by its retail partners—Zales, Macy’s, Sears, JC Penney, Helzberg, and The May Company.

Richemont COO Resigns.

Yannick Lakhnati, COO of Richemont, has resigned and will leave the group on May 31, 2005. The Swiss-listed luxury goods group said that Lakhnati is leaving for personal reasons and will return to South Africa. No decision has been made regarding Lakhnati’s replacement, the company said.

GIA to Hold Gemological Research Conference in 2006.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) invites gemologists, international experts, scientists from a variety of disciplines, students, and the general public to participate in or attend the Institute’s first-ever Gemological Research Conference, Aug. 26-27, 2006, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. The conference, which is being held just prior to GIA’s Fourth International Gemological Symposium, will provide a global forum for scientists and other specialists to exchange information and gain a better understanding of modern gemological research. The event will explore new innovations in the science of gemology and its most recent technical developments worldwide.

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