Wishing You a Wonderful 2011!

The new year has just begun, but thanks to the busy calendar of events surrounding the 24 Karat Club’s annual black-tie gala in early January, it has been wall-to-wall ­jewelry biz around here!

First up was our annual JCK Industry Fund grant meeting. This is the gathering where we decide which worthy jewelry industry organizations will have their grant requests funded in part or in full. I am always impressed with the professionalism of these requests and the amazing programs they outline.

Courtesy of Sandro de Carvalho
Mercury Ring president and 24 Karat Club board member Phyllis Bergman and Gladys Knight in their black-tie best

Since the launch of the JCK Industry Fund (the only charitable program of its kind among trade magazines and trade shows), we’ve given back more than $4 million to important organizations such as the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), the Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA), the American Gem Society, the Diamond Development Initiative, and many others. Dave Bonaparte, group vice president of JCK Events, and I are extremely proud of our organization’s role in supporting those who work for the betterment of this industry.

The next event on January’s busy social schedule was the annual JVC luncheon, hosted by one of our industry’s most admired members: president, CEO, and general counsel ­Cecilia Gardner. Later that day, many of the same faces that were at the luncheon assembled beneath the soaring ceilings of Cipriani 42nd Street to celebrate the winners of the Jewelry Information Center’s annual Gem Awards, the one night of the year when the consumer and trade sides of the industry come together. Congratulations to Jeffrey Post, curator of the National Gem Collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, ­Breitling USA president Marie Bodman, Marie Claire editor in chief Joanna Coles, and designer Neil Lane on their awards.

Courtesy of Sandro de Carvalho
JCK’s Mark Smelzer and Victoria Gomelsky at the Waldorf

?The following day kicked off with the JSA luncheon, hosted by another universally admired person in our industry, president John J. Kennedy. Hearing the true stories of crime in our industry is always harrowing, but it is wonderful to know the JSA is there for us.

Of course, the black-tie granddaddy of them all, the 24 Karat Club gala, took place that evening. From the pre-dinner cocktail parties in the Waldorf-Astoria’s suites to the dinner and performance (by Motown legend Gladys Knight!) in the grand ballroom to the after-dinner parties and dancing, the evening was a blast. Many thanks to all of you who offered kind words about our magazine, website, newsletters, and trade shows. It’s great to know we’re part of a brand the industry can take pride in.

Speaking of the magazine, I continue to be blown away by the publication our editor in chief, Victoria Gomelsky, and her staff produce. More than ever, the book is a collection of industry faces and voices—from retailers and manufacturers to artisans and industry experts. To read an issue is to understand something of the passions that drive all the ­players in our industry.

Next up, Tucson!

See you there,

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