The Gemological Institute of America has made two appointments.

Judith Shechter-Lankford has been named director of corporate sales. A Graduate Gemologist with more than 26 years of industry experience, she will be responsible for national sales of GIA?s new Accredited Jewelry Professional program and other educational programs.

Shechter-Lankford previously worked for GIA for 15 years as a gemology instructor, distance education manager, and manager of the GIA bookstore. In the three years before rejoining GIA, she was operations manager of MVI Marketing Ltd. in California.

Alexander Angelle has been named GIA?s public relations manager.

Angelle served as a deputy director of media relations on Gen. H. Norman Schwartzkopf?s staff in Operation Desert Storm. Prior to that assignment, he was chief of public affairs for the Army?s Recruiting Command during post-Cold War manpower reductions. He initiated and launched the national ?We?re Still Hiring? campaign, which included a ?Stay-in-School Program,? winner of the Public Relations Society of America?s Silver Anvil Award.

Angelle served as an Army infantry officer specializing in journalism and public relations. He was editor and publisher of the Stuttgart Citizen newspaper in Germany. Prior to his Army service, he was editor of the Newcomerstown News and sports editor of the Star-Beacon, both in Ohio.


Les Mann has been named executive vice president of S.T. Dupont USA, a unit of the Colibri Group. Previously, he was Eastern regional sales manager at A.T. Cross.

Amanda O?Connell has been named national sales manager at Wolf Designs Inc., Malibu, Calif., a manufacturer of accessories and giftware. O?Connell, formerly sales manager for Dorida Industrial USA, a license-driven toy manufacturer, has worked in the gift industry since 1972.

Sue Ann Newberg has been named vice president of merchandising, jewelry at ValueVision International Inc., a national shopping network based in Minneapolis. She will oversee all aspects of ValueVision?s jewelry operations, including strategic planning, vendor relationships, and new-concept merchandising. She also will be instrumental in planning for the company?s relaunch as SnapTV. Previously, she was director of merchandising for Mayor?s Jewelers, Sunrise, Fla.; vice president of merchandising at Wedlo Inc., Birmingham, Ala.; senior buyer at Black, Starr & Frost, a subsidiary of Kay Jewelers in Alexandria, Va.; and director of marketing services at Omega Watches, New York.


Leon Fire Cizon, 91, owner of Cizon?s Jewelers, Amarillo, Texas, died April 10 in Dallas. Born in Poland, he emigrated to the United States in 1911 and settled in Milwaukee. In 1939, he moved to Dallas and worked in the credit clothing and jewelry business. He went to work for Zale?s in Lubbock, Texas, in 1944. He was transferred to Amarillo in 1946 as a district supervisor and worked his way up to corporate vice president of the Western Division. He left Zale?s in 1959 and opened his own jewelry store in Amarillo. He later opened several stores in Texas and New Mexico. He was active in the business until he suffered a stroke in 1997. He was an active civic volunteer and involved with many charities.

Bernard L. Cohen, 84, founder of mall kiosk chain Piercing Pagoda, died March 1 in Boca Raton, Fla. Cohen, born in Albany, N.Y., founded the earring chain in 1969 in Bethlehem, Pa. He chose the name ?Pagoda? to promote ties to Bethlehem?s sister city in Japan, Tondabayashi. When he retired in 1984, the company had more than 137 stores in 20 states. Cohen also was president of Finkelstein?s Jewelers in Bethlehem.

Booker T. Dobbs, 84, retired owner of Dobbs Jewelry Shop in St. Louis, died March 15. He owned and operated the business for 48 years. He retired in 1986. He learned watch repair at Bradley Polytechnic School in Peoria, Ill.

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