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The Inaugural CJA Industry Summit in Vancouver, B.C. Was a Resounding Success

Over one hundred enthusiastic industry professionals were in attendance.




The Inaugural CJA Industry Summit in Vancouver, B.C. Was a Resounding Success

(PRESS RELEASE) TORONTO, ON — With over one hundred enthusiastic industry professionals in attendance at the inaugural Canadian Jewellers Association (CJA) Industry Summit, this full day event held on Monday October 23, 2023 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Vancouver, British Colombia, was an unprecedented day of connecting, learning, and celebrating.

Following the 2023 Annual General Meeting and Special Meeting of Members led by CJA Chair, Angela Beteridge, attendees were delighted by the four Keynote Speakers: Abe Sherman, Buyers Intelligence Group (BIG); Kelly Ross, Jewellers Vigilance Canada; Craig Paterson, Retail Insider Media Ltd.; and Ivete Stephanopoulos, De Beers Group. Keynote Speakers engaged the audience consisting of retailers, suppliers, and other industry members with unique and highly relevant topics. Attendees left with new tools and ideas that could be implemented in their businesses immediately.

The Retail Industry Panel, moderated by Craig Paterson, included representatives from both independent retailers and retail chains including Tom Hart, Charm Diamond Centres; Chau Lui, Paris Jewellers; Marco Miserendino, Bijouterie Italienne; Charlie Miton, Miton’s Jewellers; and Marco Pasteris, Birks Group Canada. The diverse panel was well equipped with perspectives and experiences that resonated with attendees. Topics including staffing woes, foreign visitor tax rebates, lab grown diamonds, mall hours, and more were passionately addressed. Attendees participated in a lively question and answer session with the panelists.

The CJA Cocktail Hour was a sea of smiles and good cheer. The positive energy was infectious as old friends reconnected and new relationships were established. During the CJA Awards Dinner, the incredible achievements of four individuals and businesses were celebrated. 2023 CJA Award Winners included:

  • CJA Volunteer of the Year Award | Justin Opert, Sorbet Sapphire, Thornhill, ON
  • Canadian Retailer of the Year Award | Miton’s Jewellers, Ridgetown, ON
  • Canadian Supplier of the Year Award | Courtney Gold Company, Vancouver, B.C.
  • Erol Paylan Lifetime Achievement Award | Adom Knadjian, retired, B & S Canada Inc., Toronto, ON

In a beautifully crafted acceptance speech, Adom addressed the captivated audience noting “I dedicate this prestigious award to everyone in the Canadian jewelry industry, a community which brings together friendships, expertise and passion for the betterment and advancement of the jewelry trade both in good and in challenging times”. Adom goes on to mention “it is more than just the scintillating diamonds, vibrant gems and beautiful jewels; it is about enduring business relationships and genuine friendships that were nurtured with so many wonderful people at all levels of the industry, across Canada and overseas. [ . . .] The CJA has not only been an immense resource and forum for me, but also for thousands of others since its establishment in 1918. [ . . .] I cannot possibly put a value on the friendship and fellowship cherished from 43 years of my CJA Membership.” Congratulations to all award winners!

The CJA Industry Summit served as an ideal opportunity for industry members to connect, learn, and celebrate, with attendees remarking on the CJA Industry Summit’s jubilant atmosphere. The Canadian Jewellers Association is proud to be the respected voice of the Canadian jewelry industry for over 100 years and will continue to serve the interest of members and consumers. The spirit of the jewelry and watch industry is unique, and it is this collective passion and sense of community that fuels the CJA’s initiatives. See you in 2024 at the CJA Industry Summit!


For more information about the Canadian Jewellers Association, please visit

Thank You CJA Industry Summit Diamond Sponsors: De Beers and Jewelers Mutual.

As the voice of the Canadian jewelry industry for over 100 years, the Canadian Jewellers Association (CJA) is devoted to maintaining the integrity, security, and profitability of our members’ businesses while creating consumer trust and respect.



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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