Commenting on the announcement, Michael DiRienzo, Executive Director of the Silver Institute, said, "The consensus of our Executive Committee is that the time is right to introduce an industry-supported marketing program in the U.S., with the initial focus being on silver jewelry." He went on to add, "We are very pleased about appointing Michael Barlerin Associates as the consultant to the Silver Institute in the development and roll-out of the SMI."
Barlerin commented: "I could not be more enthusiastic about this opportunity. In light of what has been happening to the price of the other noble metals, now is definitely the time for silver jewelry. I am also gratified by the response I have already received from key members of the jewelry trade when I told them that the SMI was to be launched."
The Silver Institute is an international industry association, which serves as the silver industry's voice in increasing public understanding of the many uses and value of silver. The Institute publishes the widely read World Silver Survey, an annual publication on the global silver industry. The Institute also works to increase global silver demand through a host of programs, and for years operated Silver Trust International, a program similar in mission to the SMI.
Michael Barlerin Associates, LLC was formed in 2005, with the objective of providing marketing and management services to the jewelry industry. Prior to forming the Company, Barlerin had been CEO, Americas for World Gold Council, a position he held for 15 years. He had previously held several senior marketing positions with Zale Corporation.