Rapaport Magazine

Take Note

December 2006

By Rapaport
RAPAPORT... Donna Baker has been appointed the new president of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Baker had been serving as GIA’s acting president since May 2006 when she took over following the resignation of Bill Boyajian. Prior to that, she had held the office of GIA’s vice president and general counsel since February 2001. GIA Board of Governors’ Chairperson Helene Fortunoff said that the board has every confidence in Baker’s ability to execute the institute’s commitment to achieve greater transparency, more accountability, a stronger level of customer focus, and a continued improvement in all of its business processes.

The GIA has lost one of its founding fathers, G. Robert Crowningshield, who passed away at age 87 in New York on November 8. Described by the GIA as a brilliant gemologist, legendary research scientist and industry pioneer, Crowningshield, one of the founders of the GIA Laboratory in New York, was considered a doyen in modern gemological research in spectrometry.

He was instrumental in building a huge body of gemological knowledge over more than 55 years and made many significant contributions to the study of gems. Crowningshield’s achievements helped lay the foundation of modern gemological research, instilled credibility in the jewelry business, and made him one of the most respected people in the industry, the GIA added.

His career was distinguished by an extensive list of “firsts,” including: groundbreaking findings in the spot method of refractive index determination on Rayner and similar refractometers; spectroscope recognition of treated colored diamonds; and a comprehensive study of gem-quality synthetic diamonds. Crowningshield was also renowned for his expertise in nomenclature and is widely recognized for his contributions in that field.

The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) has made Edwin Griffin, Jr. its first chief operating officer. He previously served as president and chief executive officer of Meeting Professionals International for over 12 years and executive director of the Kentucky League of Cities for about 11 years. Griffin will be responsible for AGTA’s activities at its headquarters in Dallas, Texas, as well as at its gem laboratory in New York.

Catherine Sproule has joined the Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices (CRJP) as its director, North American operations. She will be the chief representative of the CRJP Secretariat in North America, with the key tasks of establishing and maintaining relationships with the organization’s members and stakeholders in Canada and the United States. In addition, she will be responsible for the management of the council’s global finances and administration.

Michel Janssens has been appointed the Antwerp World Diamond Centre’s (AWDC) new chief operating officer. He will report to Freddy Hanard, director-general of the AWDC, which is the former Diamond High Council (HRD). Janssens’ responsibilities will include finance, IT, facilities management, security, central purchasing and human resources.

Centurion Jewelry will expand the retailer round table program at its January 2007 show, to be held in Tucson, Arizona. The new retailer round tables will run on three days, before each morning’s education session.

Business author and ecommerce expert Jeffrey Rayport will be a keynote speaker at VNU Expositions’ second annual Fine Jewelry CEO Summit, scheduled to be held between February 20 and 22, 2007, in Atlanta, Georgia. Founder and chairman of strategic advisory firm Marketspace LLC, Rayport’s most recent book, Best Face Forward: Why Companies Must Improve Their Service Interfaces With Customers, focuses on service strategies in the digital age.

Jennifer Jiunta has become the head jewelry designer of the Tara collections, the signature collections of Tara & Sons. Jiunta, who founded Jiunta Fine Jewelry in 1997, studied in Europe with iconic design houses including Emilio Pucci, Gucci, Fendi and Missoni, and designed for a variety of renowned organizations, including Victoria & Albert Museum in London and The Louvre Museum in Paris.

The Natural Color Diamond Association (NCDIA) has launched its new website, www.ncdia.com. The NCDIA stated that the site’s buyer’s guide, retail locator and design gallery are designed to build consumer confidence by providing prospective buyers with easy access to information about natural color diamonds, allowing them to “window shop” for natural color diamond jewelry and to learn how and where to go to make purchases.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - January 2007. To subscribe click here.

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