Jewelry Industry and People: September 2020

Swarovski tropical gold tone leaf earrings
Tropical gold-tone plated leaf earrings; $79; Swarovski; 800-426-3088;


Swarovski has named Robert Buchbauer, great-great-grandson of the company founder, its new CEO as part of a business realignment. According to WWD, Nadja Swarovski will no longer head Atelier Swarovski or branding and communications, though she’ll still lead the Swarovski Foundation and overall sustainability efforts and remain on the executive board.

Ernest “Ernie” Blom, president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses since 2012, has resigned, following a dispute over a personal arbitration. Yoram Dvash, president of the Israel Diamond Exchange, was chosen as acting president.

Colin Shah
Colin Shah

Colin Shah, founder of Kama Schachter and Kama Jewellery, has been elected chairman of India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council. Shah, previously vice chairman, succeeds Pramod Kumar Agrawal, who finished a two-year term. Vipul Shah is the new vice chairman.

Swiss watch brand Ochs und Junior AG has named Marc Bernhardt its CEO. He follows Beat Weinmann, who left the company in December.

Katie Hamian
Katie Hamian

Christopher Designs named Katherine “Katie” Hamian its director of marketing. She has worked for Nader Kash International and Beny Sofer.

Carolyn Rafaelian, who founded Alex and Ani and has served as CEO for the last six years, left the brand in May, according to a recent lawsuit. Robert Trabucco, former chief financial officer of Signet, is now CEO, the suit said.

Sumit Dangi has joined ­Jewelers Mutual Group as chief financial officer and treasurer. Dangi comes from HSBC Global, where he was senior vice president and CFO.

Michael Richards
Michael Richards

Suzanne Miglucci, president and CEO of Charles & Colvard since 2015, has resigned. Taking her place is Don O’Connell, chief operating officer and senior VP of supply chain.

Michael Richards, vice ­president of Underwood Jewelers, has been elected president of the American Gem Society. He takes over from John Carter, who completed his two-year term. Alexis Padis of Padis Jewelry was elected secretary; Larry Rickert of Jim Kryshak Jewelers was elected treasurer; and Georgie Gleim of Gleim the Jeweler was elected senior adviser.

Alexis Padis
Alexis Padis

Bruce Lake has joined Vibhor as regional director of sales for the western United States. He was previously sales director for Mémoire and Forevermark.

Frederique Gouzard
Frédérique Gouzard

Pandora has appointed Frédérique “Fred” Gouzard, former global brand marketing director for De Beers Diamond Jewelers, head of its Moments division. Raul Duque Ruiz, a onetime global associate brand director for Procter & Gamble, will run its Style division. Jeerasage Puranasamriddhi, senior VP of manufacturing overseeing Pandora’s operations in Thailand, was named chief supply officer.

Lauren Thompson
Lauren Thompson

Reed Exhibitions (parent company of JCK) has named Lauren Thompson group marketing director of the JCK Las Vegas and Luxury shows. She worked 14 years for Jewelers of America, where she rose to associate director of communications and digital development.


Three-store Cincinnati chain Stafford Jewelers is shuttering after 26 years in business.


William W. Thompson, former president and CEO for the A.A. Friedman jewelry chain, died May 1. He was 88.

Irvin Reiner
Irvin Reiner

Irvin Reiner, founder and longtime owner of Reiner’s Fine Jewelry in Houston, died May 7. He was 94.

Leila Tai, an award-winning designer known for her work with plique-à-jour enamels, metals, and gems, died April 2 at age 77, after a 10-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Joseph “Joe” Sindt, a refugee from Austria who later became president of Hirsch USA, died July 7 of congestive heart failure. He was 71.


Dominion Diamond Corp., owner of the Ekati diamond mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories and 40% of the Diavik mine, filed for insolvency protection April 22. Current owner The Washington Companies has bid to repurchase its assets.

MCH Group, which ran the fair formerly known as ­Baselworld, is debuting HourUniverse in April 2021 in Basel, Switzerland.

Log Out

Are you sure you want to log out?

CancelLog out