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Gold Conference Set for April in New York

It will be held at Bohemian National Hall.




(PRESS RELEASE) For the ninth year in a row, Initiatives in Art and Culture (IAC) has created a two-day gathering of experts and visionaries working across various fields related to gold.

From journalists and jewelry designers, to environmentalists and government regulators, an international gathering of those passionate about gold will discuss challenges the precious metal and its surrounding industries face. Hosted on April 4 and 5, “Gold: Legacy, Leadership, Luminescence” will be held at Bohemian National Hall in New York City.

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Mark Hanna, CEO, Richline Group Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company, said, “We often equate gold to wealth; the gold conference always has and always will provide the wealth of information important to gold … in every dimension from resource to responsible.”

Stephen Webster, founder and creative director for Stephen Webster, will speak about his admiration for gold in a talk entitled “Goldstruck,” discussing his design process and career. From the manufacturing end, Ted Doudak, founder and CEO of Riva Precision Manufacturing, will share his vision regarding the company’s new workspace, as a leader in fine jewelry product development. Tracy Matthews, chief visionary officer and creative director for Flourish and Thrive Academy, will discuss how jewelry designers can stand out and find their voice and aesthetic in a saturated landscape.

Lisa Koenigsberg, president and founder of Initiatives in Art and Culture, who established the Annual International Gold Conference nine years ago, said, “Initiatives in Art and Culture is honored once again to bring together a ‘Who’s Who’ in the gold community — including makers, miners, retailers, journalists, financiers, regulators, and environmentalists — to focus on specific, contemporary challenges from mine to market and how we can best meet them. Approaches and solutions to these challenges are building blocks, and our collective attention to them can ensure that society’s use of gold is driven by respect for materials, craft, and authentic, artistic expression, and a mindfulness for ethical sourcing and responsible practice.”

Locally, Initiatives in Art and Culture will be highlighting Brooklyn makers in a panel exploring the parallel consumer and the creator paradigm shift. Alisha Blechman, head of studio operations, Catbird; Beth Bugdaycay, co-founder and creative director, Foundrae; Ted Doudak; Leigh Plessner, co-creative director, Catbird; Ronny Vardi, owner, Catbird; and Elle Hill, CEO, Hill & Co. Fine Jewelry Launch and Growth Experts, will converse and offer unique perspectives spanning design, manufacturing, retail and business strategy for creating and marketing to an audience that is following the borough’s signature aesthetic.


The panel titled “Washington Update,” will consider regulations and legislation relating to gold. The panelists include: Mark Hanna; Linus Drogs, owner and president, Au Enterprises; Elizabeth Orlando, economic officer, Bureau of Economic Affairs, Office of Threat Finance and Countermeasures, U.S. Department of State; Tiffany Stevens, president and CEO, JVC. The panel will be moderated by Andrea Hill, owner, Hill Management Group LLC.

“The trade of the goldsmith and silversmith faces new challenges every day. Now more than ever it is important to share knowledge and collaborate with international partners to ensure our trade thrives well into the future. The Goldsmiths’ Centre is therefore pleased to partner with IAC and present at the highly regarded annual Gold Conference, sharing experiences as the UK’s leading charity for the professional training of goldsmiths, silversmiths, and the allied trades. We are delighted to share our experience and perspective at ‘Gold: Legacy, Leadership, Luminescence,’ and look forward to a dynamic meeting of minds and to working together to develop solutions presented by the future,” said Peter Taylor, director of The Goldsmiths’ Centre.

With sustainability at the forefront, IAC has also assembled leaders to discuss sourcing in a panel called “Building Blocks for our Future: The Foundations of Ethical Sourcing, Transparency, and Responsible Practice.” Panelists include: Brad Brooks-Rubin, Managing Director, The Sentry/Enough Project; Lara Crampe, Pure Earth, Director, Community Outreach; Lara Koritzke, Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA); Joanne Lebert, Executive Director, IMPACT; Elizabeth Orlando; and Michael Peters, CEO, Trusted Gems & Founder, Panjshir Valley Emeralds, a Trusted Gems Company; the panel will be moderated by Rob Bates, Senior Editor, JCK.

Other speakers and moderators include: Chris Oliver, Head of Professional Training, The Goldsmiths’ Centre, London; Alan Craxford and Castro Smith, British Master Engravers and Jewelers; Glenn Adamson, Author, Fewer Better Things: The Hidden Wisdom of Objects and Senior Scholar, Yale Center for British Art; Jeffrey M. Christian, Managing Director, CPM Group; Stewart Grice, Vice President, Mill Products, Hoover & Strong; Stuart Harmon, Director, The Money Stone; Robert Lang, Director, The Shadow of Gold; Amy Hill, Executive Director, Amazon Aid Foundation; and Christina Miller, owner, Christina T. Miller Consulting; Co-Founder, Ethical Metalsmiths and Chair of its Advisory Council.

Thursday evening, Initiatives in Art and Culture will host a Champagne reception, followed by a conversation with Mimi So, who will be discussing her story as an American jewelry designer, as well as luxury today. She will be in conversation with Alli McCartney, Managing Director, Private Wealth Management Alignment Partners, UBS Financial Services Inc.

Sponsors of “Gold: Legacy, Leadership, Luminescence” include: The Goldsmiths’ Centre, The Goldsmiths’ Company, Panjshir Valley Emeralds, a Trusted Gems Company, Signet Jewelers, Riva Precision Manufacturing, Hoover & Strong, AU Enterprises, JCK Las Vegas, DMIA, Society of North American Goldsmiths, and Anza Gems.


Register for “Gold: Legacy, Leadership, Luminescence” directly on Eventbrite by clicking here.

To learn more about Initiatives in Art and Culture, or inquire about sponsorship opportunities for the Gold Conference, visit, call 646-485-1952, or email info(at)artinitatives(dot)com.



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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