Last updateTue, 19 Jun 2018 9pm

Jewelers of America announces Board elections & new Chair


Georgie Gleim elected Chair of JA Board of Directors

(NEW YORK) – Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry retail marketplace, has elected Georgie Gleim, President of Gleim The Jeweler in Palo Alto, CA, as JA’s new Board Chair. She succeeds Terry Burman, former Group CEO of Signet Jewelers Limited and Chairman of Sterling Jewelers, Inc. Gleim was elected in July, at a Board meeting that also welcomed many new Directors.

“Georgie is an exceptional industry leader and we look forward to her insight into the professional needs of our members during her service as Jewelers of America Board Chair,” says President & CEO Matthew A. Runci.

New Chair & her family have long history in jewelry community

Gleim is the third generation of her family to lead Gleim The Jeweler, the independent jewelry store that this year celebrates 80 years of continuous service in Palo Alto, CA. Gleim The Jeweler was founded in 1931 by her grandfather, Frederick. The Gleim family has a deep commitment to community activism and industry support. In fact, as JA Board Chair, Gleim is following in the footsteps of her father, Arthur, who served as JA President from 1981-83. Father and daughter have also both received the Robert M. Shipley Award and are both former Presidents of the American Gem Society.

“It is an honor to serve as Chair of the Jewelers of America Board,” says Gleim. “With the talented leadership of our Board and the staff in New York, I look forward to continuing my work with the association to advance the important work JA undertakes to maintain consumer confidence in the fine jewelry marketplace.”

Board Executive

Committee Elections

As Chair, Gleim will lead an Executive Committee of these newly elected officers: Chair-Elect - William Farmer, Jr., Farmer’s Jewelry; Vice Chairman - Ryan Berg, Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry; Vice Chairman - Scot Congress, Congress Jewelers;  Vice Chairman - Peter Engel, Fred Meyer/Littman Jewelers; Treasurer -  Thomas Andruskevich, Birks & Mayors, Inc.; Secretary - Michael J. Kowalski, Tiffany & Co.

Incoming & Outgoing


The following directors will serve on the board through 2013:

Marc Bridge is a member of the fifth-generation of Seattle-based Ben Bridge Jeweler, in Seattle, WA.  Family-run since 1912, Ben Bridge has cultivated a reputation for quality, integrity, and personal service across nearly 70 stores in 11 western states. Marc has led the company’s foray into digital marketing, social media and e-commerce.

Mark Light is President and Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Jewelers, Inc., Akron, OH – the largest specialty retail jewelry chain in the United States. Light began his career with Sterling Jewelers, Inc. in 1978. He has been honored for his tireless work on behalf of Jewelers for Children, and currently serves on its Board as well as that of the Jewelers Security Alliance.

Robert F. Moeller, II is President and Director of Sales at R.F. Moeller Jeweler, St. Paul, MN – the store his father founded. Having grown up in the jewelry industry, Moeller has extensive gemology experience - earning the prestigious title of American Gem Society - Certified Gemologist Appraiser and a Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America.

Larry Pelzel is the Vice President of Precious Jewelry of Neiman Marcus, Dallas, TX – where he has worked for 32 years. In this role, he oversees all buying, selling and marketing aspects of the division and manages a design studio that consists of 10 goldsmiths. On working in the jewelry industry, Pelzel says: “I am very proud of the industry that has enabled me to be involved in something that I truly love and have a great deal of appreciation for.”

Michael Pollak is co-founder of Hyde Park Jewelers, in Denver, CO. He has more than 35 years experience in retail management and has developed three luxury jewelry stores. Pollak has received numerous industry awards, including an induction into the National Jeweler Retailer Hall of Fame. He is currently a board member of the National Jeweler Advisory Board, Natural Color Diamond Association and has served as President of Luxury Jewelers Resource Group.

Howard Tapper founded Tapper’s Jewelry, in West Bloomfield, MI, 34 years ago and has since grown the 1,000-square-foot space into a three-location, premier destination for gifts of diamonds and fine jewelry. Tapper says his main source of personal satisfaction is celebrating the happy occasions of his customers’ lives: “We mark the most special moments... and help to bring joy into the lives of others. What job could be better than that?”

William Farmer, Jr. and his sister, Kristi Farmer Lykins, are second-generation owners of Farmer’s Jewelry, in Lexington, KY. He has a Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America and is an American Gem Society Certified Gemologist and Certified Gemologist Appraiser. Farmer has a long history of industry association support and leadership.  He is a previous JA Board Director and serves as the Chair of JA’s Political Action Committee. He also served two terms as President of the Kentucky Jewelers Association and was president of the American Gem Society from 2002-04.

In addition to Terry Burman, outgoing directors include Jeff Corey, Day’s Jewelers; Vicki Cunningham, Cunningham Fine Jewelry; John Hayes, Goodman’s Jewelers; and Woody Justice, Justice Jewelers.

For the complete list of JA’s 2011-2012 Board of Directors, visit www.jewelers.org/aboutJA/board.html.