Jewelry Industry and People: November–December 2019

COMINGS AND GOINGS

Jerry Ehrenwald
Jerry Ehrenwald

Jerry Ehrenwald, who has headed the North American division of the International Gemological Institute since 1991, is leaving the lab to start the Laboratory Grown Diamond Exchange, a trading platform for created diamonds. He will be succeeded by Avi Levy, a veteran of diamond companies Star Diamond, MJJ Brilliant, and Renaissance Jewelry.

Forevermark has let go six employees at its U.S. division, including two employees who had long been the face of the De Beers–owned brand: vice president of sales Kevin Lane and vice president of partner development and training Jeffrey Skaret. A company source said the brand is not downsizing but changing direction.

Ian Rowe
Ian Rowe

The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) has named Ian Rowe, who has served as deputy executive ­director since last September, as executive director. He replaces Dorothée Gizenga, who is taking on a new role as DDI’s regional director to lead its expansion in Africa.

Richard J. Whitby, who had served as senior vice president of finance for De Beers Group sightholder sales, has joined ALTR Created Diamonds as chief financial officer.

Stuller has appointed Brian Henderson, who has worked for Crate & Barrel and The Gap, as vice president of marketing. Additionally, Alix Gonsoulin has been promoted to vice president of bridal, fine jewelry, and findings.

Kathryn Kimmel
Kathryn Kimmel

Kathryn Kimmel, senior vice president and chief ­marketing officer of GIA, retired Aug. 30. Kimmel has been with GIA 29 years.

Toby Cruse, a two-decade ­veteran of De Beers, is ­joining Diamond Foundry as vice president of strategic sales. He most recently served as De Beers’ vice president of sightholder sales for India and the Middle East.

Mary Lou Keen
Mary Lou Keen

Mary Lou Keen has ­retired as show manager for the American Gem Trade ­Association after three decades with the group.

Lab-grown brand Lark & Berry has named industry veteran Paul Ziff as North American brand president. He ­previously headed the North American division of Ralph Lauren Watches and Jewelry.

John McCullough
John McCullough

James Avery Artisan Jewelry has appointed John McCullough, previously chief operating officer, as CEO. He is the first person outside the founder’s family to head the company. Chris Avery, son of the company’s founder and namesake, is retiring as CEO but will remain chairman of its board.

Signet Jewelers has appointed Neil Old as head of its United Kingdom division. He was previously CEO at Jessops Europe Ltd., a retailer of cameras and photography supplies. Colleen Rooney, former chief communications officer and vice president of brand marketing for Qurate Retail Group, has joined the company as chief communications officer, replacing Carol Schumacher.

Adrienne Fay
Adrienne Fay

Borsheims has promoted Adrienne Fay to vice president, where she will oversee the customer purchase journey. A 15-year veteran of the Omaha, Neb.–based store, she previously served as ­director of marketing.

Pandora has appointed Erik Schmidt as chief human resources officer. He was previously chief HR officer at child-safety product manufacturer Britax, which at one time was headed by Pandora CEO Alexander Lacik.

Jennifer Markas
Jennifer Markas

The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) has hired Tiffany & Co. veteran Jennifer Markas as executive ­director. She replaces Bernadette Mack, who has relocated to Virginia. The WJA is moving its offices to New York City.

Ashi fusion diamond pendant
0.875 ct. t.w. Fusion diamond pendant in 14k white gold; $3,280; Ashi Diamonds; 212-319-8291; ashidiamonds.com

Ashi Diamonds has ­appointed Thomas Eddy sales representative and marketing consultant for the West Coast region. He previously worked for Gabriel & Co.

Richard Weisenfeld has retired as president of the Jewelers Board of Trade after a year on the job. He is succeeded by Erich Jacobs, who joined the group as vice president of information technology in 2018.

Frederick Goldman’s recently formed Jewelry Solutions Group has enlisted John Badee, former general manager of Riva Precision Manufacturing, to be its director of manufacturing and engineering. Donna DeLucia, former director of sales for John C. Nordt and LeachGarner, has been appointed senior director of technical sales.

World Diamond Council ­executive director Marie-Chantal Kaninda has left the group after two years.

Alistair Bickerstaff
Alistair Bickerstaff

De Beers Group Auctions has appointed Alastair ­Bickerstaff as head of product and sales. He has been with De Beers 15 years.

Alexis Vourvoulis
Alexis Vourvoulis

Auction house Phillips has named Alexis Vourvoulis senior specialist and vice president in its Los Angeles office. She joins Phillips from Bonhams, where she was a jewelry specialist.

WD Lab Grown Diamonds has hired Sue Rechner as its CEO. Until recently, she was global president of Merrell, the footwear and apparel brand. She has also worked for Frederick Goldman and a variety of watch brands. She takes over from founder Clive Hill, who will continue to serve as an active board member and shareholder.

Benjamin Beaufils
Benjamin Beaufils

TAG Heuer has ­appointed Benjamin Beaufils, a veteran of Louis Vuitton North ­America, as president of its North American division. He replaces Kilian Müller, who earlier this year left the brand to become director of sales for Bucherer Group, owner of Tourneau.

TAG Heuer Monaco calibre 11 special edition
Monaco Calibre 11 special edition; $6,550; TAG Heuer; 973-467-1890; tagheuer.com

Kering has appointed Bartolomeo (“Leo”) Rongone CEO of Italian brand Bottega Veneta. He succeeds Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, who has headed the brand since 2016.

Alrosa’s supervisory board has reelected Anton Siluanov as chairman. Siluanov serves as first deputy prime minister and minister of finance of the Russian Federation.

Sean Kell
Sean Kell

Blue Nile has named Sean Kell—current head of the senior living referral service A Place for Mom—as its CEO. He takes over from Eric Anderson, the Bain Capital Private Equity executive who served as the e-tailer’s interim CEO following the January departure of Jason Goldberger.

Joe Thompson
Joe Thompson

Watch news site Hodinkee.com has named Joe ­Thompson as its first executive editor, where he will oversee day-to-day editorial operations. Thompson, a veteran watch industry reporter, got his start at JCK and recently appeared on JCK’s podcast “The Jewelry District.”

HONORED

Day’s Jewelers, the eight-store jewelry chain based in Waterville, Maine, received the 2019 Renys Large ­Business Award from the Institute for Family-Owned Business on June 3.

Ed Bridge
Ed Bridge

Jewelers of America will honor Ed Bridge, chairman emeritus of Ben Bridge Jeweler, with its 2020 Gem Award for Lifetime Achievement. The ceremony will take place Jan. 10, 2020, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

A recently discovered species of mineral will be named after veteran GIA gemologist John Koivula. The mineral, known as Johnkoivulaite, was found in the Mogok Valley of Myanmar.

FINANCIAL

On June 24, Tara Jewels LLC, a New York City–based wholesaler formerly known as Fabrikant-Tara, filed for Chapter 11 protection in Southern District of New York bankruptcy court. Also filing was Tara Jewels ­Holdings, which owns 100% of the company.

TD Bank has given Greenwich, Conn.–based four-store chain Betteridge Jewelers a $20 million asset-backed revolving line of credit.

On Aug. 8, the Securities and Exchange Commission revoked the shares of Scio Diamond Technology Corp. Executives said the delisting won’t affect the company’s planned sale to Nevada ­corporation Adamas One.

Lord + Taylor has been purchased by Le Tote, a 7-year-old clothing rental subscription website, for $75 million. The department store chain was previously owned by HBC, which owns Saks Fifth Avenue and Hudson’s Bay.

Auction house Sotheby’s has been purchased by telecom entrepreneur Patrick Drahi for $3.7 billion. As a result, it will become a private company for the first time in 31 years.

Camile Hannoush, one of the owners of Hannoush ­Jewelers, has purchased Michaels Jewelers, the 10-store ­Waterbury, Conn.–based chain.

ASSOCIATIONS

The Plumb Club, the ­supplier comprising some of the biggest names in the industry, is requiring members to become certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council.

REMEMBERED

Donald McCutchen, owner of McCutchen Jewelers in Rockville, Md., died June 17 at age 70.

David Morrow, husband of Reinhold Jewelers founder Marie Helene Morrow and a partner in the business, died of cancer in August at age 88.

Robyn Hawk, a self-described “serial blogger” who served as a “fly on the wall,” chronicling the jewelry business for various outlets, died July 16 following a stroke. She was 63.

Albert Milton, managing director since December 2018 of Debswana Diamond Co., the 50-50 joint venture ­between the government of the ­Republic of Botswana and De Beers Group, died Aug. 16.

Mark Cohen, co-owner and main designer for the jewelry brand and retailer J.J. Marco, died May 27. He was 63.