John L. Winright has joined Robertson Display Inc. as vice president of sales and marketing. Winright has more than 20 years’ experience in the jewelry display industry in both manufacturing and sales and has conducted several jewelry display seminars. Robertson Display is located in Edon, Ohio.
Color Craft recently announced the appointment of William Jobbins as general manager. An industry veteran of 35 years, Jobbins most recently served as president of the jewelry division of the Colibri Group in Providence, R.I.
Robert Manse has been named vice president of sales and marketing for Color Merchants, New York. Before joining the company, Manse served as a regional sales manager for National Jeweler. Prior to that, he was director of sales and marketing for Royal Chain.
Mark Gratton, formerly the jewelry manager for Hamilton Jewelers’ Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) location, has been promoted to manager of Hamilton’s Worth Ave. store. A former jewelry company owner, Gratton brings more than 20 years’ experience to his new position.
James R. Braun has joined Charles & Colvard Ltd., based in North Carolina, as chief financial officer. Braun was most recently executive vice president and CFO of Webcraft Inc., a manufacturing and database company specializing in direct marketing.
Elizabeth Holt has joined the staff of the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) as marketing manager. Holt has nearly a decade of marketing and advertising experience in the chemical, medical, high-tech, and retail industries.
Cameon Allen has been appointed marketing director for Gemworld International, publisher of The Guide. Allen spent three years with a jewelry industry marketing company.
Bvlgari has appointed Patrick Duchamp to the position of managing director of the Americas. Formerly managing director of Bvlgari’s Latin American and Caribbean segments, he will be responsible for directing the North American business strategy and operations for the company.
Gerald J. Seibel has been appointed general manager of the L.A. Mart in Los Angeles. Previously, he served as vice president of gift leasing at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago.
Steve Liebman has been named New York area sales representative for General Findings, a manufacturer and supplier of precious metal jewelry findings. He has more than 20 years of experience in the jewelry industry.
Prof. Dr. Stefan Hencke has been appointed to the position of managing director by the newly founded Convensis GmbH in Stuttgart, Germany. Hencke is an honorary professor of marketing and communications at the University of Trier.
The Gemological Institute of America has appointed Elise B. Misiorowski to the newly created position of museum director. Misiorowski began her career with GIA in 1979 as a diamond grader in the GIA Gem Trade Laboratory. In 1984, she became research librarian for the Institute’s Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center.
GIA has also named Barbara Nemery as director of East Coast operations for the GIA Gem Trade Laboratory in New York, where she will oversee the operations, facilities, and customer service departments.
GIA has appointed James C. Enos director of research operations. Enos will work with GIA’s research staff and be responsible for project management and prioritization, resource allocation, and departmental planning for the Institute’s facility in Carlsbad, Calif.
Cartier has appointed Lorraine Torti manager of the company’s new Palo Alto boutique in the Stanford Shopping Center. Torti was previously manager of Cartier’s Boston boutique.
Mort Weissman has joined Nobel Watch Co. as vice president, national accounts. Weissman will be responsible for increasing market share of Nobel’s high-fashion stainless-steel line and its new 18k gold collection.
Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co. recently welcomed two new members to its board of directors. Jonathan Bridge of Ben Bridge Jeweler, Seattle, Wash., and Ernest L. Moody III of Moody’s Jewelry, Tulsa, Okla., were elected to three-year terms on the board. Donald Hamann of Sartor-Hamann, Lincoln, Neb., retired from the board after 20 years of service. He served as board chairman for five of those years.
MJSA has appointed Paula Esposito as director of trade shows and special events. Formerly director of trade show sales, Esposito has been with MJSA since 1994.
Nagalle Designs has appointed Chuck Toombs as vice president of sales and marketing. He was most recently general manager for Glen Dimplex United States, a privately held consumer product company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.
William Sullivan, senior vice president and director of communications at Rolex Watch USA, plans to retire at the end of 2011, after 20 years with the company. Martha Webster, formerly vice president and corporate publisher for fine jewelry and watches at Fairchild Publication, will join Rolex in January 2002 as director of communications, assuming Sullivan’s responsibilities in that area.
Shawn M. Bush, AJM magazine’s advertising account executive for the Western and Pacific regions, has been named director of advertising. Bush has been with AJM since 1998.
Evert De Graeve has been named director of product development for Mikimoto America. Prior to this appointment, De Graeve spent eight years as director of special business development for The Suna Collection, Suna Bros. Inc., and five years as vice president of special programs at Harry Winston Inc., both in New York.
The International Society of Appraisers has honored Gail Brett Levine, ISA CAPP, G.G., with its 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award. Levine, the publisher of Auction Market Resource, was given the award during the group’s Annual Appraisers Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
The American Association of Swiss Watch Representatives, a new nonprofit organization headquartered in Dallas, presented its first Lifetime Achievement Award to Harry Bock, founder and owner of Bachendorf’s. Bock received the award during the group’s “Jewel and Carat Ball,” held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Irving, Texas.
Barbara Mooty, advertising director for AJM Magazine and director of the West Coast office of the Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA), was recently honored with an Award of Excellence by the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) in the category of Sales.
Beryl Raff of J.C. Penney Co. recently received the American ORT Jewelry Industry Chapter’s Community Achievement Award during a tribute dinner held in her honor at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. Raff was recognized for her professional accomplishments as well as her strong support for various charities championed by the jewelry industry.
Julius Levi, a German immigrant who established a jewelry store in downtown Baltimore, Md., died recently at the age of 88. He left Germany in 1937 to escape Nazi persecution and settled in Philadelphia, Pa. He moved to Baltimore in 1938 and worked as a busboy, waiter, and warehouseman so he could bring his mother, sister, and other family members to this country.
He married Lore Wolf in 1942, and three years later the couple founded Howard Street Jewelers. According to Levi’s son, Alvin J. Levi, his father was “known for his affability and sense of humor,” and the firm became known as “Baltimore’s Friendly Jewelry Store.”
A former director of the Jewelers Association of Baltimore and the Downtown Merchants Association, Levi also served as former divisional chairman of the Associated Jewish Charities. He was a member of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation and established with his wife the Levi Scholarship at the Krieger Schechter Day School of Chizuk Amuno Congregation in Northwest Baltimore.
Levi is survived by his wife, Lore; sons Alvin J. and Jeffrey H.; and two granddaughters.
Longtime watch and jewelry executive Franklin Matthew “Buck” Rogers died Aug. 28 of natural causes at his home in Largo, Fla. He was 84.
After graduating from Seton Hall University, Rogers enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. As Executive Officer of PT Boat Squadron 27, he was directly involved in General MacArthur’s return to the Philippines. When World War II ended, he married and joined the family business—Rogers Mill Supply, Bellville, N.J.—with his father Matthew and uncle James P. Rogers.
His watch and jewelry career began in 1948 when he became a general sales manager for Elgin American. His job involved a variety of territory assignments, during which he met and became close friends with Morris Zale and Bern Lipshy of Zale Jewelers. After being appointed eastern sales manager, Rogers was named vice president of sales and marketing at Gruen Watch Co. in New York, where he developed the “Gruen Guild of Fine Jewelers.” He later moved to the Bulova Watch Co., where he held a number of positions including regional manager, director of department store sales, and vice president of national account development and was named to the Bulova Hall of Fame.
According to his son Randall C. Rogers, “Buck” served as a mentor to many of those who now run their own companies in the watch industry. He is survived by his four children, Randall C., Kevin F., Richard S., and Judy Rogers Cunningham; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Günter Blümlein, the head of the prestigious LMH watch group and chief of the watch division of Swiss luxury goods conglomerate Richemont AG, died on Oct. 1 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. He was 58.
Blümlein was born in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1943. He served as managing director for marketing and sales of the German watch brand Junghans. After 1981, he worked with Swiss luxury brands Jaeger-LeCoultre and IWC. In 1987, he became chairman of the board of Jaeger-LeCoultre, and in 1990, chairman of IWC as well.
In 1990 Blümlein joined Walter Lange as co-managing director of A. Lange & Söhne, another historic luxury watch brand. He was instrumental in restoring it as a major competitor in the top luxury timepiece markets.
In 1991, Blümlein became chairman and chief executive officer of Les Manufactures Horologie (LMH), which owed Lange & Söhne, IWC, and Jaeger LeCoultre.
After Richemont purchased LMH in 2000, Blümlein remained in charge of the company. In March of this year, he was named chief executive of Richemont’s new watch division, which includes not only Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC and Lange & Sohne, but also the major watch brands Piaget, Baume & Mercier, Vacheron Constantin, and Officine Panerai.