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Jewelry Independent Summit Returns to New York

It’s set for Feb. 3.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — The Jewelry Independent Summit announces that its third conference will be returning to New York City on Feb. 3.

The Jewelry Independent Summit has gained recognition in the jewelry industry for bridging the gap between “creativity and business” for modern jewelry designers. February’s event will serve as a curated crash-course in all things jewelry for those currently considering or working within the industry.

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While the summit is open to everyone in the business (including editors, retailers and influencers), its chief goal is to provide insight and support as designers turn what they love into something that is marketable and profitable.

During every summit, speakers delve into topics that create the largest learning curves for designers, such as retailing, social media, accounting and branding. When it comes to assembling experts, it’s important to coordinators that the candidates represent the diversity of the market, which is why pioneers like Jade Trau (Designer), Gurki Basra (Barneys Senior Fine Jewelry Buyer), Angela Koh (Senior Market Editor NYT Style Mag) and Nicole Wegman (Ring Concierge) were so important to align with early on.

The summit will take on a new format, with one-on-one discussions rather than group panels. Attendees will walk away with the knowledge they need to chart their own course and make decisions based on facts, not emotions.

The third installment welcomes speakers Stephanie Gottlieb (fine jewelry influencer and bridal consultant), Polly Wales (international fine jewelry designer), Laura Kitsos (owner, Gem Jewelry Boutique), Katherine Jetter (gemstone expert and retailer), Alain Simic (jewelry photographer), Manon Crespi (jewelry editor, Elitetraveler.com), Vincent Perugini (boutique owner, Vincent’s Fine Jewelry), Sofia Ajram (Canadian fine jewelry designer), Mariel Diaz (Accounting for Jewelers founder), Beth Bernstein (author, journalist, consultant), John Massad (associate buyer, fine jewelry, Barneys NYC), Benjamin Guttery (Graduate Gemologist, jewelry consultant, social media pro) and Jessica Goldfond (founder, The Shiny Squirrel PR). Moderators will include fine jewelry consultant and writer Jackie LeBental and former WJA Colorado President and former Senior Retail Buyer for David Yurman Nan Lung Palmer.

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Those in the audience will have an opportunity to network with speakers, and for those who can’t make it on Feb. 3, a streaming option is available.

To date, over 300 jewelry brands, insiders and enthusiasts from China to New Zealand, Houston to Montreal, have registered for this convenient option. Streaming allows registrants to tune in live and/or watch and rewind as many times as they like for up to 30 days after the summit. Audience members receive a link to rewatch also.

Tickets for the summit can be purchased at www.jewelryindependent.com.

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Press Releases

Steven Kaiser Elected as New Chairperson of JSA Board

He is replacing Stewart Wicht of Rolex.

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                    Steven Kaiser

(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – On Saturday , January 12, 2019, the Jewelers ‘ Security Alliance held its annual meeting and luncheon at the New York Yacht Club in New York for 170 supporters, law enforcement personnel , and industry leaders. At the luncheon it was announced that Steven Kaiser of Kaiser Time had been elected chairperson of JSA for a three -year term, replacing Stewart Wicht of Rolex who had completed his term.

John Kennedy, president of JSA , began the luncheon with a moment of silence for Helen Buck, who worked for JSA for 37 years , and who passed away in October 2018, and a moment of silence for the one jeweler who was killed in the U.S. in 2018 during a
robbery.

Kennedy said that in contrast to one jeweler killed in 2018 , there were 37 U.S . jewelers killed in 1992, indicating a remarkable decline. He also said that in almost every year since 2000 the total dollar losses from crime against the U.S. jewelry industry hit new lows . He attributed this decline to a powerful War on Jewelry Crime that JSA has helped organize, encourage and promote, and which now included a vast network of 3,000 law enforcement personnel , and broad representation of the jewelry industry.

He stated that JSA’s network of over 21,000 industry members and supporters extended from the behemoths of the industry like Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company , GIA, JCK, Rolex and Signet, to manufacturers, chains , independents , security firms and mom-and pop jewelers coast -to-coast.

Newly-elected to the JSA Board was Alan Zimmer , CEO of Reeds Jewelers, a chain of 60 fine jewelry stores. Re-elected to three year terms were: Patti Geo lat of the Geolat Companies; Chris Hackler of Signet Jewelers; Mark Smelzer of JCK; and David
Tearle of GIA. Continuing in their terms on the JSA Board are: Chad Berg of Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry; David Bonaparte of Jewelers of America; Marc Green of Lux, Bond & Green; Adam Heyman of Oscar Heyman & Brothers; David Sexton of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company; Mark Udell of London Jewelers; Stewart Wicht ofR olex ; and Stanley Zale of Stuller.

At the luncheon JSA presented the Annual Industry Service Award s to Michelle Graff, Editor -in-Chief of National Jeweler, and Rob Bates, News Director of JCK.

Kennedy said that these two journalists had made a valuable contribution to the security of the jewelry industry by helping spread JSA’s information and advice to a wide audience.

JSA also presented the Annual James B. White Law Enforcement Awards to three officers with the Paramus , NJ Police Department: Deputy Chief Robert M. Guidetti; Detective Lieutenan t Frank Scott and Detective Nicholas Luciano. Kenned y stated that these officers had provided valuable service to the jewelry industry by investigating and arresting numerous suspects in over 100 crimes against jewelers totaling millions of dollars.

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Press Releases

GIA Alum Craig Danforth to Join Jewelers Mutual team

He will work closely with the leadership team.

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Craig Danforth

(PRESS RELEASE) NEENAH, WI – Craig Selimotic Danforth will join the leadership team of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group on Monday, January 28, assuming the role of vice president of client solutions.

Danforth has 25-plus years of sales, business development, marketing, training, and finance experience, most recently demonstrated as Director, Global Business and Development at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

“Craig’s experience in the industry makes him an ideal candidate for this role,” said Mike Alexander, senior vice president of commercial lines. “We will work together to enhance our current offerings and develop new opportunities to strengthen and grow the jewelry industry.”

As part of the Jewelers Mutual team, Danforth will work closely with the leadership team to shape the foundation, priorities, and vision of our key initiatives. His experiences at upcoming industry events and trade shows will offer Jewelers Mutual insights to further develop our core offerings and expand our emerging businesses.

Prior to his 10 years at GIA, Danforth held management roles at Cartier, David Yurman, and Ermenegildo Zegna.

Danforth completed his BA at Hamilton College, his MBA at ESSEC Business School in France, and has several diplomas from GIA including Graduate Diamonds, Graduate Pearls, and Accredited Jewelry Professional (AJP).

He is on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA), a member of Jewelers 24 Karat Club of Southern California, and also serves on the 24 Karat Club of Southeastern US’s scholarship committee.

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group is seeking skilled and experienced employees to fill a variety of roles within the company. For a full list of employment opportunities, visit jewelersmutual.com/careers.

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Press Releases

Picchiotti Expands U.S. Team with Former Retail Executive Mark Mazzarese

He will help extend the Picchiotti presence across North America.

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                      Mark Mazzarese

(PRESS RELEASE) VALENZA, ITALY – Valenza based Italian jewelry brand Picchiotti is expanding its U.S. team effective February 1st with the addition of former retail executive Mark A. Mazzarese. Building upon the success of its patent-pending Xpandable Collection and its one-of-a-kind gemstone classics, Picchiotti will commence its 52nd year in business with the addition of a second U.S. sales representative. Mazzarese will join U.S. Chief Agent Barry Meyrowitz to help extend the Picchiotti presence across North America.

“My family and I are delighted to welcome Mark to the Picchiotti team,” says President and Founder Giuseppe Picchiotti. “His unique expertise and leadership skills, coupled with his lengthy experience in the fine jewelry industry, ensure that he will grow our business with the standard of excellence and customer service for which our brand is known.”

Mazzarese comes to Picchiotti with a life-long history of excellence and passion in the fine jewelry industry. A nationally recognized retail jewelry executive, he served as President of Mazzarese Fine Jewelry in Kansas City from 1998 to 2017. He has also served on the boards of such prestigious organizations as the FBI Citizens Academy and the Kansas City Zoo. He is a member of the Centurion Leadership Program of the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the Leawood Chamber of Commerce. Mark will bring a unique customer-service and retail-oriented approach to his work with Picchiotti and will take responsibility for the western portion of North America.

Mazzarese is a graduate of the University of Kansas and an alumnus of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Mazzarese or the Picchiottis, please contact Maria Carola Picchiotti (mariacarola@Picchiotti.it) or Luxury Brand Group (duvall@luxbrandgroup.com).

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