Lee Berg, president of Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry, Baton Rouge, was named Louisiana Entrepreneur of the Year in the retail category.

The award is associated with the 10th annual National Entrepreneur of the Year awards program founded by Ernst & Young and sponsored nationally by Inc. magazine and Merrill Lynch. It is given to businesspeople who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their business community.

Berg is now eligible to compete to be the National Entrepreneur of the Year. This award winner will be featured in the December issue of Inc. magazine, along with other national award recipients and finalists. All award recipients will be inducted into the Entrepreneur of the Year Institute.


The American Jewelry Design Coun cil bestowed its prestigious Benne Award on Cindy Edelstein, president of the Jewelers’ Resource Bureau, New York, N.Y., in July. The award recognizes her efforts in furthering the development of U.S. jewelry design.

Edelstein started the industry’s first marketing company dedicated to the business of designer jewelry. She also joined the JCK International Jewelry Show team to develop the industry’s first all-juried designer exhibit pavilion. And she created the Designers’ Live Auction and the Future of Design Education Foundation.

The Benne award itself was designed by Michael Bondanza and is a sculptural interpretation of a map of the U.S. Fashioned from green and black bronze, it stands 7″ high and is topped by an 18k gold crown and a diamond highlighting the recipient’s home state.

The American Jewelry Design Council is a non-profit educational organization that recognizes and promotes jewelry of original design as art. Formed in 1990, AJDC is dedicated to elevating the caliber of jewelry design.


Donald Hamann is the new chairman of the Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co., Neenah, Wis. Hamann owns Sartor-Hamann in Lincoln, Neb., and has served on the JMI board since 1981.

“Don Hamann is dedicated to the jewelry industry and he has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities,” says JMI President Ronald R. Harder. “We’re pleased and fortunate to have him as the new chairman of the board.”

Hamann succeeds Richard Kern, who served as chairman for 14 years and has reached the board’s mandatory retirement age. William Argo, who was noted for his advocacy for the jewelry industry, also retired from the board. In recognition of both men’s service, JMI will establish a $5,000 scholarship in each of their names at the Gemological Institute of America.

Five new directors have joined the board: Patti Geolat of Geolat & Associates, Dallas, Tex.; Howard Kilguss of Excell Manufacturing Co., Providence, R.I.; John Spadea of Spadea & Co. Fine Jewelers, Rancho Santa Fe, Cal.; and William McGinnis and Wil liam Stoegbauer, both of JMI.


The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith’s Fine Jewelry Division presented its Torch of Liberty award to Michael C. Barlerin, chief executive officer of the World Gold Council in New York, N.Y.

The award is given to those who embody the ideals and aspirations of ADL.

Barlerin is an executive committee member of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee and the Jewelry Information Center and a member of the 24 Karat Club of the City of New York. He also is chairman of the Leadership Gifts portion of the Gemological Institute of America’s Vision 2000 campaign.

For information concerning the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith or its Fine Jewelry Division, call (212) 490-2525, fax (212) 867-0779.


Dean Kois resigned as an officer and director of Gold & Diamond Merchants Group Inc., New York, N.Y.


David Warren was appointed head of Christie’s Jewellery Department in London, England. He began his career at Christie’s in 1978 and most recently worked to establish jewelry auctions in Asia. Raymond Sancroft-Baker assumed a new senior management role in Christie’s International Jewellery Department, working closely with director Franois Curiel.

Guy DiPasquale was named general sales manager of Holmes Protection of Philadelphia, Pa. He joined the company in 1990.

Neil E. Kearney was appointed national sales manager at Force Industries, Paoli, Pa. He formerly held various sales and marketing management positions at Owens-Corning. Force Industries produces specialty chemicals and is prominent in soldering, brazing and welding flux technology.

Antoine Sarrouf was appointed manager of Cartier’s boutique in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He was formerly in sales at the boutique.

Michael T. Whitney was promoted to national sales manager of Speidel Textron, Providence, R.I. He joined the company in 1976 and most recently was eastern regional sales director.

Donald Seamans joined Steven Bell Associates Inc. as retail account executive for Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Indiana. The company is the U.S. agent for Candela and Beck Dillenius jewelry.