Advancing the Business of Gems

This is the world after 2008 – a new normal defined by shifting centers of economic power, emerging markets with rising concentrations of wealth, radical changes in consumer preferences and behaviors, a landscape cluttered with symbols of status and prestige, and new gem materials and technologies that threaten to undermine the concept of rarity – the essence of value.

Symposium’s Business sessions are designed to provide leaders in fine jewelry with critical insights into new markets, upcoming trends, and the practical applications the very latest gemological advances have to offer. Join experts in the luxury space as they discuss the strategies, challenges, failures and successes in building and protecting luxury jewelry brands.

Sunday, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Where is Luxury in this Brave New World?

For the fine jewelry sector, a brave new world means immeasurable opportunity for those willing to up-end 20th century approaches to business in favor of new strategies for delivering brands of value to new consumers in new markets. But who are today’s high net worth individuals? What are their expectations of luxury? More importantly, where will they be tomorrow? And what will define luxury over the next few years?

To understand the consumer mindset, we turn to the Gallup organization, the global leader in behavioral economic research. Employing gold-standard methodology, and the world’s leading scientists in management, economics, psychology, and sociology, Gallup delivers a top-down view of current consumer perceptions and behaviors. Gallup conducts surveys in more than 150 countries. Its studies provide a scientific window into the thoughts and behaviors of 98% of the Earth's population through nationally representative samples.


Speakers

Amit Dhamani, CEO and Managing Director, Dhamani Jewels

Amit Dhamani is a second generation jeweler who has made a huge impact in the worldwide jewelry industry, specifically in the Middle East, Europe, the Far East, and India. Mr. Dhamani played a vital role in the rapid expansion of his family’s loose diamond and gemstone business into a luxury retail jewelry chain of international acclaim. Headquartered in Dubai, the Dhamani Group of Companies operates a number of retail outlets in the Gulf.

In 2003, his perseverance for excellence won him the “Bareeq” award from the Dubai Municipality for following Good Trade Practices. Highly respected among his peers, in 2006 Mr. Dhamani won prestigious selling rights for the unique 99-facet “Dubai Cut Diamond” which represents the City of Dubai. These exclusive rights awarded by DMCC- Government of Dubai have helped him gain a coveted position in the diamond and jewelry industry.

Mr. Dhamani is a Director on the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) and has served on the Board of the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group from 2006 - 2010. He is an active participant in international trade activities and a distinguished speaker. Most recently, his views on the existing condition of the gold and jewelry industry and future trends were featured on CNN International.

Born in 1972, Mr. Dhamani is a graduate of Harvard’s prestigious O.P.M program. He is president of the Harvard O.P.M 39 Alumni and president of the GIA Alumni Association Gulf chapter.


Nicolas Luchsinger, Vice President of Retail Operations, Van Cleef & Arpels

Nicolas Luchsinger has been with Van Cleef & Arpels for nearly five years and oversees seven internal boutiques in the U.S. Previously, Luchsinger was director of the New York flagship store and the Heritage collection, which he established and curates. He continues to collaborate on museum purchases and exhibitions and leads the estate collection expansion. Prior to joining Van Cleef & Arpels, Luchsinger’s spent 10 years with Christie’ New York and was a vice president and senior jewelry specialist.


Ken Royal, Senior Client Service Manager, Gallup

Recipient of Gallup’s “Innovator of the Year” award, Ken Royal has been tracking and reporting on consumer sentiment since joining Gallup in 1993. He spearheads research and consulting initiatives for employee selection, development and engagement; customer engagement; and brand and advertising tracking. He works with Fortune 500 companies in the retail, automotive, health care, financial services, utilities, entertainment and transportation industries.

A University of California, Irvine graduate, Mr. Royal’s insights have been published in the Gallup Management Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, The Orange County Register and The Detroit News. As a GIA Diamonds Graduate and former COO of five-store chain of family-owned jewelry stores, Mr. Royal retains his passion for gems and deep appreciation for the unique needs and challenges of the jewelry industry.


Ulrik Thaysen, Vice President of International Retail, PANDORA

Ulrik Thaysen is vice president of international retail sales for Pandora, a global Danish jewelry brand known for its high standards, craftsmanship quality and unique designs. Pandora is present in 25 countries with a global network of 10,000 partners. Mr. Thaysen joined the company in 2007 and developed the retail concept and customer matrix for all Pandora partners, including the retail management guide and retail training for all partner levels. Previously he was retail operational manager for Iittala, a Scandinavian design company, project leader for IDG Direct, a direct marketing and research group for the media group IDG Demark A/S, and assistant store manager at the White Company, a U.K. company that specializes in home accessories and clothing.


Moderator

Susan M. Jacques, President and CEO, Borsheims Fine Jewelry and Gifts,
a Berkshire Hathaway Company

Born and raised in Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe), Susan Jacques graduated from the GIA Resident Graduate Gemology Program in December, 1980.

Beginning as a sales associate and appraiser at Borsheims in 1982, Ms. Jacques was subsequently appointed by Warren Buffett as president and chief executive officer in January, 1994. Borsheims is one of America’s largest independent retail jewelry stores, located in Omaha, Nebraska.

In addition to serving on numerous civic and charitable boards in Omaha, Ms. Jacques also serves on several boards, including: Gemological Institute of America, Jewelers for Children, Jewelers Vigilance Committee, Creighton University, Women’s Jewelry Association, and YPO.

Ms. Jacques and her husband, Gene Dunn, have three sons.

Sunday, 4:00 – 5:30 pm

Digital Age Marketing: Are You Still Partying Like it’s 1999?

You are if you’re not providing your customer with a seamless multi-channel experience. A new consumer mindset – thrifty, highly engaged, but often distrustful - and shifting media behaviors have created an environment where shoppers nimbly crisscross channels – including television, online, phone, auctions, and bricks and mortar, in search of quality, value, and the best deal. These new channels mean increased competition for the hearts and minds of these customers. With a dizzying array of technology at our disposal, new rules of communication and changing consumer expectations, how do you connect the dots to find prospective customers, close sales, and generate repeat business? In this provocative session, a leading expert in branding, luxury marketing and digital communications, will challenge you to think creatively – and honestly – about your marketing and sales strategy, your customer’s experience, and ultimately the future of your business.


Speaker

Scott Galloway, Clinical Associate Professor, NYU Stern School of Business

Scott Galloway teaches brand strategy and luxury marketing as the founder of L2, a think tank for prestige brands. Mr. Galloway is also the founder of Firebrand Partners, an operational activist firm that has invested more than $1 billion in U.S. consumer and media companies. In 1997, he founded Red Envelope. He was elected to the World Economic Forum’s “Global Leaders of Tomorrow,” which recognized 100 individuals under the age of 40, whose accomplishments have had impact on a global level.

Mr. Galloway has served on the boards of directors of Eddie Bauer (Nasdaq: EBHI), The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), Gateway Computer, eco-America, and UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He received a B.A. from UCLA and an MBA from UC Berkeley.


Session Introduction

Thomas T. Yang, Senior Vice President of International, Callaway Golf

Thomas Yang has been Senior Vice President of International at Callaway Golf Co. since July 20, 2006 and is responsible for developing and executing Callaway Golf's international strategy with the Carlsbad International Team and International subsidiaries. In addition, he is also responsible for leading the Global New Product Concept & Platform Development team.

Mr. Yang served as Senior Vice President of Global Consumer Products for International of Starbucks Corp. and was responsible for leading Starbucks into the consumer products business in international markets. Mr. Yang also served as Senior Vice President of International Marketing, helping lead the growth and the expansion of Starbucks retail business into new markets from 8 countries to 32 countries during his tenure there. He served in international roles for Coca Cola, Proctor & Gamble, and Clorox Company and currently serves on the San Diego World Trade Center Board of Directors and the GIA Board of Governors.

Mr. Yang graduated from the University of Colorado with a B.S. in Marketing and has a Masters of International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) in Arizona. With experience living and working in seven different countries on three continents including North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, he has served in positions of senior leadership responsibility at the local, regional and global levels. Mr. Yang and his wife Valerie have two boys and a girl and live in Encinitas, California.

Sunday, 2:00 – 3:30 pm

Jewelry Design: From the Masses to Museums

Successful fine jewelry design is all about achieving an almost impossible balance between creativity, market demand, price points, product quality, and distribution. So it’s no wonder that so few succeed and so many fail. In this session you’ll learn from mass merchandisers, branded houses, and individual artists and craftsmen, each of whom represents a unique solution to the age-old quandary of quality versus price. Discover how some have successfully walked the line between high quality product with broad appeal, and why others have walked away from the commercial realm altogether, opting instead to produce personally inspired art worthy of museums and private collections.


Speakers

Wallace Chan, Jewelry Artist

Wallace Chan is recognized internationally as the only Chinese jewelry sculptor of revolutionary design and unique technique. A master of Eastern sculpture and the Western art of cameo and intaglio carving, Mr. Chan forged these into a unique carving style, known as the “Wallace Cut”. His work exploits facet lighting, colors, metallurgy and ergonomics to give form to his Zen-stimulated mind. Defying geometry, he elongates, distorts and foreshortens shapes in pursuit of fluidity. Technical wizardry. Lifelike realism. Deconstructed design. Simple elegance. Mr. Chan has defined and redefined the concept of jewelry, transforming the making of jewelry, and its appreciation, into art.


Martin Katz, Jewelry Designer, Martin Katz, Ltd.

Martin Katz is a passionate purveyor of important gems, renowned for his exquisite jewelry collections and uniquely approachable manner. Mr. Katz has an international reputation as a favorite of the Hollywood elite and his jewelry pieces can be spotted on the red carpet of the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and Emmys Awards. He is regularly written about in fashion magazines and his jewelry has graced the covers of Town & Country, W, People, Elle, InStyle and Vogue.


Shivan Sarna, Show Host, HSN

Shivan Sarna, self-proclaimed “rock-hound” and lifetime collector of gemstones, found her niche when she joined HSN nearly twelve years ago as a Show Host. A GIA Graduate Gemologist, Ms. Sarna courted a relationship with giftware and collectibles as a young child. Her family created the Bells of Sarna brand in the early 1920s.

As HSN is one of the largest colored gemstone merchants in the country, Ms. Sarna’s role as Show Host provides her with a platform to do what she loves: educate the network’s 96 million viewers about gemstones. Selling gemstones throughout the year enables Ms. Sarna to connect with customers by speaking to the science and romance behind the stones. Her favorite stones are those with symbolism and phenomenal properties.

Prior to her joining HSN, Ms. Sarna operated her own yoga studio and broadcasted two television shows: a talk show about natural healing and an instructional yoga show. She also traveled the world for a year teaching business skills to women and spoke about “How to Project a Powerful Positive Image.” Ms. Sarna is surprised by how much she loves Facebook, adores her job, and believes that everyone deserves quality in whatever they buy.


Moderator

Huw Hopcyn Daniel, President, Platinum Guild International USA

Huw Daniel joined Platinum Guild International USA as president in 2003. Formerly senior vice president, management director at Saatchi NY, he was responsible for integrated marketing communications for Procter & Gamble North America Detergents. Prior to that, he was the diamond marketing group director for J. Walter Thompson in Hong Kong and was responsible for integrated marketing communications for DeBeers in 11 Asia Pacific markets.

Monday, 9:00 – 10:45 am

The Future of Gemstones and Gemstones of the Future

The world of gemstones seems to be shifting under our feet. Complex treatments and more natural-appearing synthetics continue to rapidly enter gem laboratories and markets worldwide. Economic and political turmoil impact our ability to do business and inflame ethical issues surrounding production, manufacturing and distribution. Add to this, consumers’ changing preferences and their growing tolerance for gemstones that are treated, enhanced, or manufactured. How to move forward in this changing landscape? This session will provide and in-depth overview and stimulating discussion on the future of the very material on which the fine jewelry industry is based.


Speakers

Douglas K. Hucker, CGA, Chief Executive Officer, American Gem Trade Association

Douglas Hucker combines dynamic public speaking ability developed through many years of addressing jewelers conventions, seminars, and training sessions with an in-depth knowledge of estate, antique jewelry, colored gemstones and diamonds. He provides new strategies to help the retail jeweler expand their business through comprehensive training, establishing efficient in-house training methods, and by improving promotional and marketing techniques.

A leading figure in the international industry, and particularly in the colored stone sector, Mr. Hucker has served on the board of directors of a number of trade organizations including the American Gem Society, the Jewelers Education Foundation, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, the GIA Executive Council, the Jewelry Industry Leadership Forum, and the JCK Advisory Board. He is a GIA Graduate Gemologist and an AGS Certified Gemologist and Certified Gemologist Appraiser.


Stephen Lux, President and CEO, Gemesis Diamond Company

Stephen Lux has served as president and chief executive officer of Gemesis Diamond Company since October of 2006. Under his leadership, the company has achieved an industry breakthrough, becoming the first to provide high-quality colorless lab-created diamonds as a significant part of its product portfolio.

Prior to joining Gemesis, Mr. Lux was group vice president of Engelhard Corporation (now part of BASF Global), at that time a surface and materials science company providing environmental technologies, specialty chemical and performance products. There, he led an $800 million division including products such as state-of-the-art colorants for the fashion-conscious cosmetic and automotive industries. He directed facilities in eight countries with a staff of 2,800 employees. Mr. Lux graduated from San Jose State University with a B.S. as well as a master's degree in chemical engineering in 1973 and 1977, respectively.


Martin Rapaport, Chairman, The Rapaport Group

Martin Rapaport founded the Rapaport Diamond Report, a weekly publication providing diamond price and market information, in 1978. His price indications are frequently used as a basis for trading in the diamond markets. He also founded Diamonds.Net and RapNet to provide electronic information and trading services to the diamond trade and is very active in Fair Trade initiatives in several diamond-producing countries.


Stuart Robertson, Research Director, Gemworld International, Inc.

Stuart Robertson is the Research Director for Gemworld International, Inc., a research and consulting firm that analyzes and reports market conditions relevant to the international diamond and colored stone trade. Mr. Robertson supervises the collection and interpretation of gem pricing data and production statistics collected by the company, and serves as Gemstone Editor of the periodicals published under the company’s GemGuide and Gem Market News brands. Mr. Robertson has researched and authored market reports regarding new gemstone deposits; and price and demand issues associated with robust and stagnant markets. His key interest lies in gemstone treatments and their influence on price and market demand. His current research traces the history of gem treatments from ancient to modern periods in order to understand the role of treatments as a tool for enhancing quality, and how treated gems have influenced the concept of rarity at different points in history.

Mr. Robertson is an Accredited Senior Gemologist, Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA), a member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA), and The Scottish Gemmological Association (SGA). A frequent lecturer on various aspects of gemology in both public and gem industry forums, Mr. Robertson serves on the Board of Governors of the Accredited Gemologists Association, was Conference Co-Chair, World of Gems Conference, 2010 and was awarded the prestigious Antonio C. Bonanno Excellence in Gemology Award, 2011.


Robert Wan, CEO and founder of Tahiti Perles and Robert Wan Tahiti

Robert Wan has dedicated his efforts to the Tahitian cultured pearl for more than twenty-five years, and his company is currently the largest producer and exporter of Tahitian cultured pearls. He is considered one of the industry’s pioneers, and during his three decades in the pearl business, Tahitian pearl farming has become French Polynesia’s second biggest economic resource.

Mr. Wan is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for his work in developing and promoting the Tahitian cultured pearl industry. He is both a knight of the French Legion of Honor and a chevalier of the French National Order of Merit. In January 2000, Wan was inducted into the prestigious Club des N°1 Mondiaux Français à l’Export. The Robert Wan Education Wing at the GIA Carlsbad campus is named in his honor.

In 1995, he expanded the Robert Wan Tahiti brand overseas, within the area of luxury jewelry, accessories, and cosmetics. Robert Wan Tahiti is present in Europe, Asia and in the Middle East with boutiques in French Polynesia, Paris and Abu Dhabi, and pearls auctions in Hong Kong.

The Robert Wan Tahiti brand is fast-developing in China with showroom in Shanghai opened in 2010 and flagships stores opening soon in Shanghai and Beijing.

Dedicated to the love of his life, he created the world’s first and only museum devoted to pearls and particularly to the Tahitian Pearl. “The Pearl Museum” is located in downtown Papeete, Tahiti.


Moderator

Peggy Jo Donahue, Director of Public Affairs, MJSA

Peggy Jo Donahue is Director of Public Affairs at MJSA, the association for professional excellence in jewelry making and design. She works on legal, legislative, and regulatory issues impacting the jewelry making and design community, as well as other communications projects. Ms. Donahue writes for both MJSA Journal, the magazine for jewelry makers and designers, and MJSA Custom Design, the magazine for custom jewelers. In addition, Donahue maintains Donahue & Associates, a consulting and communications business.

Formerly Director of Public Affairs for Jewelers of America, Ms. Donahue worked primarily on responsible business practices issues such as conflict diamonds. She was also Editor in Chief of Professional Jeweler magazine and Editor in Chief of JCK magazine, where she earned two Neal Awards from America Business Media for her reporting on legal and security issues.

Ms. Donahue currently serves on the Advisory Group of the Diamond Development Initiative, and operates its social media communications on a volunteer basis. She is also on the Steering Committee of the Madison Dialogue, another cross sector initiative addressing responsible business practices in the jewelry supply chain. She is an active participant at GIA’s Career Fairs, and also coaches job seekers for the Women’s Jewelry Association.

Monday, 11:15 am – 1:00 pm

Everything Old Is New Again: The Appeal of Auctions, Estate, and
Vintage Markets

When the financial crisis struck the world economy in the fall of 2008, the major auction houses, like every other business, pulled back to assess their situations. As the crisis deepened in December 2008, however, the Wittelsbach Blue, then a 35.56 ct. fancy deep grayish blue diamond, sold for $23.4 million at Christie’s, the highest price ever paid for a diamond at auction. After that sale, Christie’s and Sotheby’s, which together account for about 90% of the world jewelry sales at auction, have not looked back. Sotheby’s Nov. 16, 2010 Geneva auction, which featured a $46 million pink diamond, was the first jewelry auction ever to top $100 million total.

It’s not just the top end experiencing a boom. Both in the U.S. and internationally, consumers, collectors, connoisseurs, and individual investors are flocking to the auction, estate and vintage jewelry category in search of rarity, craftsmanship, art, and ultimately value. In this session, leaders from some of the most successful – and unique - companies operating in this very lucrative niche will share their insights, secrets, and the key business drivers that deliver success.


Speakers

Rick Harrison, Star of History’s series “Pawn Stars”, The Gold & Silver Pawn Shop

After 28 years in the business, Rick Harrison is an expert when it comes to spotting anything fake or stolen. As far as big-ticket items, he is the man for the job. Spotting a fake Cartier watch that most people would mistakenly purchase for $30,000 is just one of his many skills. Trained in the pawn business from the age of 13, Mr. Harrison was born a hustler. He even dropped out of high school to pursue his $2,000-a-week business of selling fake Gucci bags. With enough money to partner with his father at the age of 23, he never looked back.

Today, along with his father and son, Mr. Harrison operates The Gold & Silver Pawn Shop on the famed Las Vegas strip, and stars in the popular American reality television show and pawnshop chronicle, “Pawn Stars”. The Gold & Silver Pawn Shop was awarded the “Pawnbroker of the Year” award by the National Pawnbroker’s Association for bringing the industry greater recognition and a better image through the TV show.


Gary H. Schuler, Senior Vice President – Director,
New York Jewelry Department, Sotheby’s

Gary Schuler is responsible for the evaluation of jewelry and assisting in the development of client relationships internationally. Mr. Schuler joined Sotheby's in 1987 and has played a major role in developing the company's pre-eminence in the international jewelry market. He has been involved with every Sotheby's Jewelry auction since 1987, including the Collection of the Countess du Boisrouvray, which sold for a total of nearly $31 million, as well as auctions which have included Magnificent Jewelry from the Estates of Betsey Cushing Whitney, Clare Booth Luce, and Mrs. Harry Winston.

Prior to joining Sotheby's, Mr. Schuler served as the President of the Estate Purchasing Division of a prominent South Florida jewelry firm. A graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, Mr. Schuler received his Graduate Gemologist diploma in 1977 from GIA in Santa Monica, California. He is a frequent guest lecturer on many jewelry-related subjects. Mr. Schuler lives in Wilton, Connecticut with his wife Carol and their son Kevin.


Stephen H. Silver, Chairman and CEO, S. H. Silver Company

An expert in estate jewelry, Stephen Silver has over 30 years of experience in the jewelry industry. In 1980 he founded S.H. Silver Company Estate and Fine Jewelry and in 2009 opened the Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry boutique in Silicon Valley’s luxurious Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel.

Mr. Silver’s company is a highly successful wholesale and retail business. By leveraging an illustrious network of worldwide contacts, Mr. Silver has acquired some of the rarest and finest stones in the world. Among the most prestigious examples include an exquisite, one-of-a kind vivid orange diamond, a six-carat vivid blue diamond considered the rarest and largest ever cut, and the second largest red diamond ever cut, nicknamed “the cranberry.”

Other notable acquisitions include jewelry belonging to the late actress Eva Gabor, ironworks magnate Irving Scott, and the famous Cullinan Blue diamond necklace acquired from the Cullinan family. To commemorate his company’s 30th anniversary and the Centennial Anniversary of the Smithsonian Institute, Mr. Silver placed the necklace into the Smithsonian’s National Gem and Mineral Collection, where it is proudly displayed adjacent to the Hope Diamond in the Winston Gallery.

As a generous donor and supporter of the trade, Mr. Silver was inducted into the Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) Circle of Honor for his continued contributions to GIA’s Historical Museum Collection of gems and jewelry. To ensure new and young talent continues to be cultivated within the trade, Mr. Silver has made a ten-year commitment to GIA to fund an annual scholarship for low-income students to study jewelry design.

An avid golfer and community philanthropist, Mr. Silver co-founded the annual Randy Cross Invitational Golf Tournament, which has raised millions of dollars for the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford Children’s Hospital. The company is a proud supporter of many local charities including the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, and the Menlo Charity Horse Show and Vintage Affaire, both of which support the Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Mr. Silver attended San Diego State University where he studied Geology and holds a Graduate Gemology degree from GIA.


Moderator

John A. Green, President and CEO, Lux Bond & Green

John Green graduated from Boston College in 1978 and in 1979 graduated as a Gemologist from GIA. He earned the titles of Registered Jeweler (RJ) and Certified Gemologist Appraiser (CGA) with the American Gem Society (AGS) in 1981. In 1992 Mr. Green was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Lux Bond & Green. Today Lux Bond & Green, established in 1898 by Mr. Green’s great grandfather, has grown to eight locations in Connecticut and Massachusetts with over 100 employees.

Mr. Green has served on several organizations within the community and the jewelry industry including the Hartford Old State House, Connecticut Historical Society, Greater Hartford Convention and Visitors Bureau, Connecticut Science Center, Bushnell Park Foundation, Theater Works, The Hartford Ballet, The Hartford Downtown Council, and Young Presidents Organization. He also served as the Chairman of Jewelers of America and the Jewelry Industry Council.

Currently, Mr. Green serves on the Board of Directors of the Saint Francis Hospital Foundation, the Connecticut Bank and Trust Company, and the Connecticut Business & Industry Association. Nationally, he serves as Treasurer of Jewelers for Children and as Governor and Executive Committee Member of the Gemological Institute of America.

Mr. Green resides in West Hartford with his wife of 30 years, Norma Jean, a gemologist and third generation jeweler formerly of Galveston Texas, and their four children.

Monday, 2:00 – 3:30 pm

Playing a Bigger Game: Better Business for a Better World

Customers are asking for it. Governments expect it. New social movements demand it. How does your business contribute to the quality of life for your employees, your customers, the economies and societies your business touches every day? In today’s hyper-connected global environment, the truly great companies are achieving – and measuring – success in radically new ways. These companies have made a commitment to value-based innovations that not only add to their bottom lines, but enrich the planet as well. In this session, you’ll discover what global brands like Nike and Starbucks have already learned: sustainability and profit are not mutually exclusive concepts – but mutually necessary for success in today’s world.


Speaker

Dr. Brian Nattrass, Managing Partner, Sustainability Partners

Dr. Brian Nattrass is founder and managing partner of Sustainability Partners, one of the world’s leading consultancies on sustainable enterprise. He advises some of the most prominent global brands on the strategy and implementation of sustainable business practices. He has been responsible for designing and helping to deliver dozens of sustainability programs for consumer-facing businesses with global supply chains such as Nike, Starbucks, Target, Nordstrom, VF Corp, The North Face, REI, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, and many others.

He and his wife, Mary, have also been the senior advisors on sustainability strategy and implementation for the U.S. Army since 2002 and help drive sustainability into the global operations of one of the world’s largest and most complex organizations.

Dr. Nattrass is a Batten Fellow of the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia, a lecturer at the U.S. Army War College, and a Senior Fellow of the Centre for Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. He is the coauthor of four books, including two of the leading titles in the field of sustainable enterprise: The Natural Step for Business: Wealth, Ecology and the Evolutionary Corporation and Dancing with the Tiger: Learning Sustainability Step by Natural Step. Both are used by businesses, government agencies, and universities around the world.


Session Introduction

Bev Hori, Vice President of Education and Chief Learning Officer, GIA

Bev Hori, an instructor at GIA early in her career, has an extensive background in developing education and training programs for the gem and jewelry industry. She was vice president of education with Seattle-based Ben Bridge Jeweler and developed the Ben Bridge Knowledge Center and a learning management system with e-tools to train Ben Bridge sales associates in more than 70 stores in 12 states.

Ms. Hori has worked to increase ethics, knowledge and professionalism in the jewelry industry by facilitating strategic alliances to make education more readily accessible. She has served on the board of directors for Jewelers of America and the American Gem Society, and was past president of the Pacific Northwest Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) Chapter.

She is passionate about corporate social responsibility and is a member of the Standards Committee of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC).

Monday 4:00 – 5:30 pm

Debate Center

The passengers and crew of Le Briolette, a private luxury liner heading toward an undisclosed African port, find themselves stranded on a small atoll, far from land and Wi-Fi access. The motley group of castaways includes: An outspoken, energetic, bow-tie-wearing diamond entrepreneur and maverick. A world-renowned gem trader and staunch advocate for artisinal miners. A research scientist famous for his work on gem characterization. And an expert in gem evaluation and appraisals. Holding them in check is the first mate – a level-headed retailer from the American Midwest – and the captain, an internationally-recognized authority on sustainability and corporate responsibility.

As they compete for resources and the audience’s attention, they use their logic – and humor (we hope) – to make their opinions heard and counted. What’s at stake? Nothing less than the future of gemstones and the fate of the international jewelry industry.

Who will survive? Well, that’s up to the audience to decide.



Captain

Dr. Brian Nattrass, Managing Partner, Sustainability Partners

Dr. Brian Nattrass and his wife Mary, founded Sustainability Partners in Vancouver, B.C., one of the world’s leading consultancies on sustainable enterprise. He advises some of the most prominent global brands on the strategy and implementation of sustainable business practices and is co-author of four books, including two of the leading titles in the field of sustainable enterprise.


First Mate

Susan M. Jacques, President and CEO, Borsheims Fine Jewelry and Gifts,
a Berkshire Hathaway Company

Susan Jacques was appointed president and CEO of Borsheims in 1994 by Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. She has guided Borsheims to substantial growth and worldwide prominence. Ms. Jacques is chairman of GIA’s board of governors and a board member of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee and Jewelers for Children.


Passenger List

Tom Cushman, Managing Director, Richfield Investor Services

Tom Cushman has been deeply involved in Madagascar’s gemstone trade for more than 18 years. He founded and managed the Institute de Gemmologie de Madagascar under a grant from the World Bank. As the Country Manager of the NGO Artminers Madagascar, Mr. Cushman is instrumental in building a strong domestic gem industry and is a leader in the development of Fair Trade jewelry.


Richard Drucker, President, Gemworld International

Richard Drucker is the president of Gemworld International, Inc. in Glenview, Illinois. He began a pricing publication in 1982, now known as the GemGuide that is used in more than 20 countries. He is a Graduate Gemologist of the Gemological Institute of America and a board member on the GIA Alumni Advisory Council.


Martin Rapaport, Chairman, The Rapaport Group

Martin Rapaport founded the Rapaport Diamond Report, a weekly publication providing diamond price and market information, in 1978. His price indications are frequently used as a basis for trading in the diamond markets. He also founded Diamonds.Net and RapNet to provide electronic information and trading services to the diamond trade and is very active in Fair Trade initiatives in several diamond-producing countries.


Dr. George Rossman, Professor of Mineralogy, California Institute of Technology

Dr. George Rossman is a professor of Mineralogy at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry at Caltech in Pasadena. His research interests include spectroscopic studies of color in natural and irradiated minerals and gems, and he has published more than 220 papers in the areas of mineralogy and chemistry. Dr. Rossman has worked with the GIA research department since 1974 and has served on GIA’s Board of Governors.


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