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LFS Consultants Names Director of Sales

He will help implement the company’s sales strategy and business development plans.

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Darren Fries

(PRESS RELEASE) PITTSBURGH, PA – LFS Consultants, a recognized leader in jewelry liquidations, announces Darren Fries has joined the company as its new vice-president & director of sales. Fries was most recently vice-president for Simplex Consulting, LLC. He will join Melvin Schmidt, COO of LFS Consultants, implementing the company’s sales strategy and business development plans intended to increase their presence within the liquidation sales market.

“We are enthusiastic about Darren joining our team.” said Schmidt. “His extensive experience working with jewelers and other retailers across the county, means he really understands the challenges they face and is prepared to discuss the best options open to them.”

Fries attributes the work ethic and customer service focus of both LFS, and their parent company Don Conkey & Sons, as the main reason for accepting this new position. “Having a chance to work with a consulting group that shares the same values I have built my career on was the main driving force behind my decision to join LFS Consultants.”

Fries comes to LFS Consultants with over 27 years of sales and management experience in retail consulting. He has worked with both independent stores and national chains analyzing and resolving key business issues facing owners, including financial, marketing, promotions, trade shows and management. Fries has worked with jewelry stores that are members of RJO, IJO, CBG as well as AGS stores.

Like most retail segments today, the retail jewelry industry is undergoing constant change. The ability to adapt to these changes whether through financial analysis or marketing adjustments cannot be underestimated. Fries looks forward to expanding the number of clients LFS Consultants can help, and he is well positioned to be a valuable resource when working with financial institutions and asset based lending groups.

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“I am excited to help LFS Consultants assist future clients who face challenges with their business. We know how to plan an event that will produce the highest return for inventory and assets.”

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WFDB President Urges KP Plenary to Ensure Pro-Active Role for Proposed Permanent Secretariat

It is particularly in facilitating the process of rehabilitation of countries that had previously been found to be non-compliant.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ANREWERP, BELGIUM – World Federation of Diamond Bourses President Ernie Blom has appealed to government representatives attending next week’s Kimberley Process Plenary session in New Delhi, India, to ensure that the new KP Permanent Secretariat that is being set up is given a pro-active role, particularly in facilitating the process of rehabilitation of countries that had previously been found to be non-compliant.

Writing in his President’s Blog on the WFDB website, Blom urges the KP members to follow the spirit of UN Resolution A/71/L.55 of January 2017 so that that the new structure being set up to replace the current Administrative Support Mechanism (ASM) is not reduced to being “a bureaucratic pen-pusher”. Blom says that the Ad Hoc Committee on Review and Reform tasked with the establishment and practical organization of a Permanent Secretariat has put forward a list of functions of the new body that “are only of an administrative nature”.

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This fails to tackle a “structural deficiency in the organization”, he writes, elaborating, “One particular problem that demonstrates this is the process of rehabilitation for countries that had previously been found to be noncompliant.

The reasons for the long process of normalization in these countries is related to poverty and the lack of human and technical capital and the many structural deficits of a country which has been in a conflict.

“For example, while the special teams that are established to follow up the process of rehabilitation do excellent work in developing the internal controls necessary for a Participant to once again become compliant, these are often
voluntary groups with no prior institutional knowledge and therefore lack any consistency in the structures that they implement.”

Unfortunately, the idea that the secretariat “could potentially help to facilitate progress in countries of concern and especially in assisting the Kimberley Process with regard to Participants who had been suspended and who are
resuming participation in the KP is nowhere to be found.”

It will be a pity if the opportunity to create such a body is missed, Blom writes, but concludes: “It is not too late and hopefully the Plenary will do what is needed.”

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Jewelers of America Announces Dates for 2020 National Convention

The convention will feature the theme “2020: Envision”.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, has announced it will host the second annual Jewelers of America National Convention at the InterContinental New York Barclay July 26-28, 2020, during a week when the industry will descend on New York for galas and board meetings. The Convention, with a theme of 2020: Envision, unites Jewelers of America members for impactful presentations and discussions that look to the future of the jewelry retail marketplace.

Engaging Jewelers of America’s network of retailers and supplier businesses, the National Convention will feature two-days of seminars – from experts outside and inside the industry – with a look toward the future of jewelry retail. With compelling keynotes and seminars, attendees get insight on the issues influencing the jewelry industry and solutions to their top-of-mind challenges.

“We were thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received following our inaugural National Convention last year. Our team is hard at work developing a program that will help jewelry businesses successfully grow in 2020. Our membership is diverse and yet they share many of the same business challenges. Through the National Convention, we are striving to provide solutions to those challenges in a variety of ways from education and interactive labs to networking and idea exchanges,” says JA President & CEO David J. Bonaparte.

The Convention will also feature unique opportunities for attendees to get hands-on with jewelry, retail tech and diamond detection devices. The Welcome Party will be hosted on the evening of Sunday, July 26, and will feature a Designer Preview where participating designers wear their favorite pieces of jewelry to the cocktail party, display a selection of their jewelry and share the inspirations behind their designs with attendees in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. The Diamond Detection and Retail Innovation Labs will bring together leading companies and technologies that can help retailers work more efficiently and increase sales.

To learn more about the Jewelers of America National Convention or to sign up to be notified with updates, including when tickets go on sale, visit www.jewelers.org/convention.

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Bulova Attends 20th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards

Gifts first-time award winners with special edition timepiece.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — Bulova continued to celebrate its partnership with The Latin Recording Academy through its participation as an official sponsor of the 20th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards. In the days leading up to and throughout the show, Bulova participated in various activations in celebration of The Biggest Night in Latin Music.

On November 12th, Bulova attended the 2019 Leading Ladies of Entertainment, which honors and recognizes professional and socially conscious women within the arts and entertainment fields who have made significant contributions, inspiring the next generation of female leaders. Bulova gifted special Rubaiyat timepieces to the honorees of the evening including María Elisa Ayerbe, audio engineer and producer, Lila Downs, Latin GRAMMY/GRAMMY winning singer/songwriter and social activist, Luana Pagani, music executive, president & partner of Seitrack US, Dayanara Torres, actress, model, author, and former Miss Universe and Elsa Yep, CFO/executive vice president of operations, Universal Music Latin America & Iberian Peninsula.

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Prior to the Person of the Year Gala (POTY) on the evening of November 13th, Bulova hosted an intimate moment on the POTY red carpet to honor and celebrate all artists nominated for this
year’s Best New Artist category at the Latin GRAMMY Awards. The artists were welcomed by Gabriel Abaroa, President and CEO of The Latin Recording Academy and Michael Benavente, managing director of Bulova, and presented with a Special Edition Latin GRAMMY timepiece. Following the ceremony, Bulova celebrated the 2019 Person of the Year, Juanes, and presented him with a 24k gold Bulova timepiece.

To represent the brand throughout the entirety of the week’s celebrations, Bulova brought along singer/songwriter and participant in the brand’s Tune of Time series, Mariah, to chronicle her experience. Guests were able to countdown to the awards from an arena countdown clock brought to them by Bulova. The brand also participated in the official gifting lounge in which award show attendees could view and bring home the stunning 2019 Special Edition Latin GRAMMY timepiece by Bulova or piece from the brand’s new Latin GRAMMY jewelry collection.

Finally, for the first time and as an expansion of the brand’s partnership with The Latin Recording Academy, Bulova will gift all first-time Latin GRAMMY Award winners an exclusive Bulova Special Edition Latin GRAMMY timepiece featured in a gold tone stainless steel case with edge to edge modernized crystal and finished on a sleek rubber strap. These first-time winners, including Best New Artist Winner, Nella, will receive their personalized timepiece alongside their official Latin GRAMMY statuettes. The case back of the gifted piece features the winner’s name and category award in which they won.

For additional information of Bulova’s partnership with The Latin Recording Academy visit Bulova.com.

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