Welcome to Las Vegas!, Publisher’s Letter, June 2013

And welcome to the June issue of JCK! Chances are you’re seeing this issue for the first time at the JCK Las Vegas show, as we distribute nearly 10,000 copies to attendees throughout the week of LUXURY and JCK Las Vegas. If so, I hope you are having an amazing show!

April was a great month of industry events here in New York City and on the road. First was the SMART Show in Chicago. As always, it was a good opportunity to see friends and discuss last-minute marketing strategies before JCK Las Vegas. It also provided a great excuse to have some amazing Chicago meals, including dinner with Jeffrey and Samantha Krasner and Jimmy Fox of the Rainbow Sapphire Collection, and a fantastic dinner at RPM with the JCK magazine and JCK show sales teams. I’m lucky to work with such terrific people.

Next up was the New York Jewelers Group luncheon at the Cornell Club. The event provided a rare opportunity for manufacturers to interact with some of the area’s leading retailers. The panelists—Jennifer Gandia from Greenwich Jewelers, John Green from Lux Bond & Green, Bruce Lubman from Hummingbird Jewelers, and Steve Wallach from Wallach Jewelry Designs—were open, honest, and direct with their feedback. The conversation was intense at times, always a good sign that real information is being shared. Congrats to Rachel Rosen, Mark Knobloch, and Joe Menzie of the New York Jewelers Group for a successful event!

Lester Austin/Universal Image
Left: It was a delight to see JCK’s own Rob Bates emcee this year’s Conclave; right: T-Bird Jewels’ Jenny O’Connor Calleri, Leiberfarb’s Ann Arnold, and me rocking red pants at AGS

April also means it’s time for the annual American Gem Society Conclave. I’ve written before that I love the pace and style of Conclave. There’s little-to-no selling; instead, the event offers an opportunity for AGS retailers from around the country to get together, network, share ideas, attend keynote speeches, and just plain have fun. This year’s edition was held at the beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix. As a fan of the jewelry biz, the desert, and architecture, I was in heaven!

A highlight of this year’s Conclave was the LUXURY show’s second-annual dinner. JCK industry vice president Yancy Weinrich hosted about 60 LUXURY exhibitors and attendees for cocktails and dinner under the stars. I was so lucky to have been seated next to the family Boyajian! Of course, I’ve known and respected Bill Boyajian for years, have met his wife, Joyce, many times, and am a big fan of their daughter, Rebecca. But surrounded by them all dinner, I got to witness firsthand what a terrific family they are. We shared all kinds of stories—including the story of how Bill and Joyce met—and had a great time. Congrats to Bill for winning this year’s Robert M. Shipley Award, the AGS’ highest honor!

By the time you read this, I’ll be running around Vegas like a crazy man, seeing hundreds of friends, having multiple meetings, and attending what will feel like a thousand events. I’m looking forward to every minute! See you there!

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