(NEW YORK) – Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, has elected Ryan Berg, Market President of Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry in San Antonio, TX, as JA’s new Board Chairman. He succeeds Bill Farmer Jr., partner of Farmer’s Jewelry. Berg was elected on July 25 at JA’s Board meeting that also welcomed many new Directors.
“Ryan has the right combination of experience that will make him an effective Board Chairman. Like so many others in the jewelry industry, Ryan is helping his family-run jewelry business adapt, grow and evolve. He brings a fresh perspective that focuses on growing Jewelers of America and all of our members’ stores’ bottom line. It is an honor to have him lead our Board of Directors during his term as Jewelers of America Board Chairman,” says JA President & CEO David J. Bonaparte.
Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry was founded by Ryan’s father, Lee Michael Berg, in 1978 in Baton Rouge, LA. During its 35 years in business, Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry expanded to eight stores in six markets in three states. Berg’s active involvement in his community reinforces his company’s culture of giving back, and he currently serves on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of San Antonio, the Advisory Board of the San Antonio Junior League, member of the Downtown San Antonio Rotary, as a trustee for the Witte Museum of Natural History, on the board of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), and as a member of FBI Citizens Organization. Ryan’s engagement in numerous jewelry industry organizations further demonstrates his enthusiasm for creating and sustaining positive change. He served as President of the Jewelers of Louisiana, was a member of the Board of Directors for Jewelry Information Center and was on the Jewelers Advisory Committee for Jewelers Mutual Insurance.
“My years of service on the Jewelers of America Board of Directors has given me deep insight to the value that Jewelers of America provides. JA is poised to deliver tremendous value to its members and the industry at large. I look forward to working more closely with the Board of Directors and Dave Bonaparte, President & CEO, as we continue to transform Jewelers of America and create a meaningful impact on the jewelry industry’s business outcomes,” says Berg.
Board Executive Committee Elections
As Chairman, Berg will lead an Executive Committee of the following elected officers: Chair-Elect – John Henne, Henne Jewelers; Vice Chair – Mark Light, Sterling Jewelers; Vice Chair – Holly Wesche, Wesche Jewelers; Treasurer – Coleman Clark, B.C. Clark Jewelers; Secretary – Cathy Tivol, Tivol, Inc.
Incoming & Outgoing Directors
The following directors will begin terms on the board:
Efraim Grinberg is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Movado Group, Inc. (MGI), the world-renowned watch company. Named President and Chief Operating Officer in 1990, Effraim oversaw the company’s initial public offering in 1993. Since that time, he has been responsible for building MGI into a global enterprise. Movado’s commitment to the arts is intrinsic to the brand’s identity. Efraim maintains active affiliations with numerous arts organizations including serving on the Board of Directors of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He also serves on the Board of Jewelers Vigilance Committee.
Simon Katz is owner of Simons Jewelers in St. Louis, MO. Founded in 1976, Simons Jewelers specializes in designer jewelry, diamonds, precious gems and fine watches. Katz is actively involved in his community, and supports numerous local charities. Katz’s business philosophy is simple: Treat people with respect, provide excellent value, and never compromise on service.
Joe Molfese is owner of Bella Cosa Jewelers in Willowbrook, IL. Joseph, along with his wife Amy, started Bella Cosa Jewelers in December of 2000. After eight years, the store doubled in size and added a state of the art custom design department. Joseph is a GIA Graduate Gemologist. Some of Joseph’s specialties include estate jewelry, importing and fancy colored diamonds.
Matthew Rosenheim is the President of Tiny Jewel Box. As the man who oversees the day-to-day operations of Tiny Jewel Box as well as maintains the store’s legacy, Matthew has helped his family grow a three-generation business into an iconic Washington D.C. institution and internationally renowned jeweler. Matthew graduated from Syracuse University and earned a GIA Graduate Gemologist degree. He is a founding member and serves on the Executive Board for Gen-Next Jewelers and is a member of the Young Presidents Organization.
Craig Rottenberg is a fourth generation jeweler and current President of his family’s business, Long’s Jewelers, which was established in 1878. Rottenberg grew up working in the jewelry industry after his family purchased the store in 1991. After earning his MBA and spending over a decade in the financial industry, Rottenberg rejoined Long’s Jewelers as President in 2004. Today, the store serves Massachusetts with five locations. He currently sits on the Centurion Retail Advisory Board and he is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, New England Chapter.
Fred Weber began his career in the jewelry industry in 1955 before opening Weber Jewelers in Dayton, OH in the early 1970s. A certified gemologist appraiser, Fred earned a degree in Business Administration at The Ohio State University. He has served the community in many ways including as Dayton City Commissioner and Chairman of Wright State University’s Board of Trustees. Fred serves on the board of the American Gem Society Laboratories as well as the International Diamond Grading Organization. In 2012, Fred earned the Robert M. Shipley award, the American Gem Society’s highest distinction.
In addition to Bill Farmer, Jr., outgoing directors include: Jeff Hamra, Hamra Jewelers and Jim Rosenheim, Tiny Jewel Box.
For the complete list of JA’s 2015-2016 Board of Directors, visit www.jewelers.org/aboutJA/board.html.