Press Release: CIRCA, the leading international buyer of fine jewelry, diamonds and watches, today announced the appointment of Mary Forte as acting CEO and the promotion of Jayne Conway to chief operating officer and chief financial officer, bringing together a proven management team to lead CIRCA's global expansion.
Forte brings more than 20 years of relevant industry experience to her role, having previously served as CEO of Zale Corporation from 2002 to 2006. While at Zale, Forte oversaw the day-to-day operations of the company's many divisions including Zales Jewelers, Gordon's Jewelers, Bailey Banks and Biddle, Piercing Pagoda, Peoples Jewelers, Mappins Jewelers and Zales Outlet. Prior to Zale Corporation, Forte held leadership positions with QVC and the Federated Department Stores. Forte has served on the boards of numerous organizations including Jewelers of America, Jewelers Security Alliance, Jeweler's Vigilance Committee, The Make-A-Wish Foundation and the National Retail Federation.
In her role as CIRCA's acting CEO, Forte will oversee the expansion of the company's private buying offices along with the retail, solutions and casino divisions worldwide.
"CIRCA is an incredible company with unlimited opportunity," Forte said. "I am thrilled to lead CIRCA's amazingly talented team through our next phase of growth."
Joining CIRCA in April 2012, Conway brings more than two decades of strategic, financial and operational leadership to the company, having served in several key executive positions at Dunkin' Brands including chief strategy officer, and more recently at the post of chief financial officer at Gulf Oil and Planet Fitness. During her tenure at Dunkin' Brands, Conway ultimately led the divestiture of the company to a consortium of private equity investors. While at Gulf Oil, she spearheaded the restructuring of its corporate infrastructure in preparation for scale national expansion. Conway started her career as an international project developer for General Electric and is also a Bain & Company alumna. She holds a B.S. in Engineering from North Carolina State University, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Conway will oversee CIRCA's strategic growth plan and operations worldwide. “I’ve always liked non-traditional business models, and CIRCA is certainly that,” Conway said. “A powerful, service-oriented brand uniquely positioned between the vast space of the fragmented world of ‘cash for gold’ and the large auction houses, the growth opportunity is simply boundless.”
Further strengthening the executive team is the addition of Ilene Allen, the senior director of human resources. Prior to joining CIRCA, Allen came from an international multi-business background and most recently served as director of human resources at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, where she oversaw domestic and international functions for 1,700 employees.
Speaking on behalf of CIRCA's board, company co-founder and vice president, Jeffrey Singer, said, "We are fortunate to have assembled such an impressive group of executives. Their combined track records and leadership abilities further strengthen CIRCA's position as the leading international jewelry buying firm and pave the way for continued international expansion."
Established in 2001, CIRCA is the leading international buyer of fine jewelry, diamonds and watches, with more than 100 associates and 10 offices worldwide including New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Geneva, Barcelona and Hong Kong. CIRCA has redefined the experience of selling one’s jewelry with its renowned expertise, discreet service, best value and immediate payment. CIRCA’s Authorized Purchasing Agent Program extends the company’s buying services to an invite-only network of established regional jewelry retailers through buying events and a mail-in program. CIRCA Solutions provides manufacturers, distributors and retailers specializing in luxury jewelry and watches with inventory solutions, while CIRCA Casino offers specialized buying events and unique VIP incentive programs for premier casinos. For more information, please visit http://www.circajewels.com or call 877-876-5493.
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