The Awards Keep Coming!

I really need to begin this month’s letter with a big congratulations to our editorial team. Each year, publishing trades such as Media Industry Newsletter and Folio: honor magazines such as ours, and the first full year of the “new” JCK was recognized in a big way! In total, our magazine won 14 awards this season—by far the most recognition we’ve ever received.

Most exciting of all was the Folio: magazine Eddie award for best full issue of a retail trade publication for our May 2011 issue—essentially the Best Picture Oscar in our world. Congrats again to editor in chief Victoria Gomelsky and her amazing team.

I was honored to moderate a panel on creative jewelry careers at the GIA Career Fair in October.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’d be remiss in not recognizing the priority we place on our readers’ interests; meeting your needs and providing you with a superior industry resource is our ultimate goal. In our last reader survey, we received more than 50 handwritten additional comments: “Excellent!”; “Love the magazine improvements. Keep up the good work!”; “Just don’t stop what you’re doing!” We’re truly honored by your praise.

October included my annual jewelry whirl through Southern California, including a terrific day at the GIA Career Fair in Carlsbad. (Coincidentally, I passed my online final for the Diamond Essentials portion of my GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional degree on my flight to L.A.!) I was honored to be asked by Kathryn Kimmel to moderate a panel titled “Creative Careers” featuring industry professionals Doug Hucker of the American Gem Trade Association, Chris George from Van Cleef & Arpels, Amy Helein of Jewelers Mutual Insurance, and industry lawyer Steven Mindel. It was a lively discussion and a pleasure to moderate.

The week’s other highlight was the annual 24 Karat Club of Southern California’s Fall Dinner Dance, where two of my favorite women in this industry—designer Erica Courtney and Traditional Jewelers’ Lula Halfacre—were honored for their roles in our community. Congrats to both!

For those of you who have been following our first original online video series, JCK Rock Star, presented by Swarovski Gems, I’m excited to let you know that the judging episodes have begun. Each of our five contestants—Nina Basharova, Michael Bruder, Rosanne Pugliese, Walter Adler Chefitz, and Alex Woo—will face the judges over the next five months, and the winner will be announced in June at the JCK Las Vegas show. For those of you who have not yet become fans of the series, all our past episodes are available for viewing at

As we enter into 2012 (my eighth year in this business!), I want to personally thank all of our friends for your kindness and support. None of the exciting things we do at JCK would be possible without you. Happy New Year!

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