Rapaport Magazine

Take Note

Matthew A. Runci, the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Jewelers of America (JA), will retire on December 31, 2012. Runci joined JA as president and CEO in 1995. He previously served as CEO of the Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA), where he held several positions over a 16-year period.


Birks & Mayors appointed Jean-Christophe Bédos as president and chief executive officer (CEO), effective April 1. He succeeds Thomas A. Andruskevich, who plans to step down in the second quarter of 2012. Bédos has held senior positions at Cartier, Boucheron International Paris and Richemont International. Andruskevich will continue as vice chairman of the board and serve on the board’s executive committee.


Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced the promotion of Rosalind G. Brewer to president of Sam’s Club. Brewer was most recently president of the Walmart U.S. eastern business unit, where she was responsible for more than $100 billion in annual revenue. She was also the first chairperson of the Walmart president’s council of Global Women Leaders. In other news, Walmart promoted Rollin Ford to chief administrative officer for the company. Gisel Ruiz was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer (COO) for Walmart U.S. and Karenann Terrell was promoted to chief information officer (CIO).


The Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) appointed Sara Yood as assistant general counsel and promoted Suzan Flamm to senior counsel. Yood will focus on trademark monitoring and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) review of the jewelry industry. Flamm joined JVC in 2008 as assistant general counsel.


Helena Krodel was named the new director of Studio PR. Krodel, the former director of media and special events for Jewelers of America (JA), began her industry career at Jewelry Information Center (JIC).


The Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA) reelected its sitting officers on the board of directors to a second term, while installing two new directors: Lee Krombholz, the president of Krombholz Jewelers/Just Like You Designs in Cincinnati, Ohio and Bimal Das, director of ScotiaMocatta, a precious metals division of The Bank of Nova Scotia in New York City. In addition, David Pillow, president of Innovative Design Group in Texas, returned to the board as a director. 

The reelected officers include: MJSA chairman David Meleski, president of Richline Group; vice chair Edward DeCristofaro, president of LDC Inc.; vice chair Michael Toback, president of Myron Toback Inc.; secretary Stuart Lee, vice president of marketing at Sterling Inc.; treasurer Ann Arnold, vice president of Lieberfarb and chairman of the MJSA education foundation Richard Powers, president of Cookson.


Lucio Genovese was appointed to the board of Firestone Diamonds as nonexecutive chairman, effective immediately. Genovese has 24 years of experience in both the merchant and financial sector of the metals and mining industry. He was formerly the chief executive officer (CEO) of Nage Capital Management in Baar, Switzerland.


SCIO Diamond Technology Corporation was issued its first Canadian patent, number 2511670, titled “Tunable CVD Diamond Structures.” The patent relates to single crystal diamonds grown in layers, wherein the layers of diamond are manipulated to create the desired properties, according to the company. The finished product of multiple layers is called a “structure.” Diamonds grown in this manner can be adapted for use in applications such as semiconductor devices, optical waveguides and industrial applications and can have mechanical, tribological and electronic properties comparable to — or exceeding those of — natural diamonds, the company explained in its statement.


Sarin Technologies Ltd. launched its “Diamond Assay Service” (DAS), a web-based subscription service that enables diamond wholesalers, jewelry retailers and appraisers to buy, sell and evaluate diamonds and to produce branded cut reports and recutting evaluations of polished diamonds in a matter of minutes. According to the company, DAS provides the ability to analyze diamonds using a variety of grading laboratory standards, while presenting the results both graphically as well as in a detailed report. Another built-in feature is the American Gem Society’s (AGS) grading performance software that allows subscribers to generate an image of any round or princess-shaped diamond.


Stuller Inc. announced that it was renewing its “Bridge” conference series for its customers in 2012. The conference allows a select group of retailers to learn about the industry’s technologies, customization tools and media development. Stuller has scheduled nine conferences beginning in April and running through October to be held at its global headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana. More information is available at www.stuller.com/bridge.


The New York State Jewelers Association (NYSJA) is opening its membership to all professionals in the jewelry industry across the country. NYSJA is also introducing a new healthcare benefit program for members, while exploring the option of offering an exclusive association plan to NYSJA members. For more information, contact Barbara Keefe, NYSJA executive director, at or go to info@newyorkjewelers.org or www.newyorkjewelers.org.


The Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA) recognized two individuals for their efforts in fighting crime in the jewelry industry. The 14th annual “James B. White Award to Law Enforcement” was given to FBI Supervisory Special Agent Eric B. Ives of the Organized Crime Section for the Jewelry and Gem Program.Paul Jones, the senior director of global asset protection at eBay, received the JSA’s seventh annual “Industry Service Award” for improving the integrity of the eBay marketplace, especially through closer cooperation with law enforcement and with major retailers. During the ceremony, a moment of silence was held for the six jewelers murdered in 2011.


Jeffrey Singer, cofounder of CIRCA, was inducted into the 24 Karat Club of the City of New York. This invitation-only organization recognizes industry leaders by their accomplishments, personal and civic contributions and their commitment to the betterment of the jewelry trade.

A third-generation estate jewelry retailer, Singer established L and J Singer and helped form the New York Jewelers Group. In 2001, Singer co-founded SellJewelry with partner Chris Del Gatto, which became CIRCA in 2006. CIRCA is a global buyer of diamonds, jewelry and watches from the public. The company is committed to reducing the environmental impact of mining for new gemstones and precious metals.


The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) announced the formation of the Gem & Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI) to enhance and upgrade workers’ skills. GJSCI will have 11 directors from the industry and two from the government on its governing council. Its goal is to train 4 million people by 2022.


The Jewelry Information Center (JIC) honored industry professionals and companies at its tenth annual GEM awards in New York. Among those honored were Ralph Destino, the chairman emeritus of Cartier and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and former chair of the Jewelry Information Center (JIC), who received a Lifetime Achievement award; Candy Pratts Price, editor-at-large for Vogue.com, who received a Journalistic Excellence award and jewelry designer Daphne Guinness, who received a Jewelry Style Award. Chanel Fine Jewelry was also honored with a Corporate Communications award.


Howard Rubin, an industry veteran with over 64 years of gem trade experience, passed away. In 1982, he developed GemDialogue, a system for the description and color notation of gemstones and fancy color diamonds. From 1979 to 1988, he was the vice president of Leer Gem Ltd., the color stone division of M. Fabrikant & Sons Diamond Company. In 1993, he joined his wife Gail Brett Levine’s appraisal practice company, Timeless Inc., as senior evaluator and appraiser. Rubin was president of the American Gem Society (AGS) New York Guild from 1976 to 1977 and the national secretary of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA).

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - February 2012. To subscribe click here.

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