Georgia Jewelers Convention a hit

If you missed the Georgia Jewelers Association (GJA) State Convention this fall you missed a great event. Held at beautiful Brasstown Valley Resort in the north Georgia Mountains Sept. 19-21, the weather could not have been more perfect. The event had great turn out, wonderful speakers and fabulous jewelry entered in the 2008 Design Contest. The release of GJA’s 2008-2009 yearbook was timed to coincide with the meeting. A golf tournament in the most splendid of surroundings, and great barbecue cooked and served by the GJA board members rounded out a great opportunity to be inspired, and refresh and renew friendships.

gja-trio-novSpeakers at the event included Doug Johnson of Gemvision and GJA’s own Jan Fergerson of Ford, Gittings and Kane in Rome, GA. Fergerson inspired the group to “Make a Game of It” as she told how to be prepared for the sales game and help your business by helping your “team mates” be better prepared by working smarter and harder. Fergerson showed how through education, community involvement and outreach, combined with industry participation, their business has grown. (Left: Georgia Jewelers Association President Sandra Brown chats with Raymond Wilson, Davis Jewelers, Donalsonville, GA and Terry Phillips, JC Grant Co., Milledgeville, GA.)

Johnson, of Gemvision presented current information about CAD/CAM - how it works, and how to implement it to market your designs along with a brief history of CAD/CAM in the jewelry business.

Sunday morning’s keynote address was delivered by author and sales manager Dale Brakhage. Dale’s “A,B,C’s of Selling: Discover how you can immediately become more persuasive at work, at home, with friends or anywhere!” entertained and enlightened the group as participants jumped from their seats to become a part of the presentation. Brakhage is author of “Alphabetical Basic Concepts of Selling.”

Nine past presidents of GJA attended Sunday’s Past Presidents lunch meeting along with the outgoing president Sandra Brown, Tena’s Jewelry, Elberton and incoming president Eddie Knox, Knox Jewelers, Atlanta. New officers and directors were installed during the annual membership luncheon

GJA raised $245.19 for Jewelers for Children in their “empty canister campaign” and the money will be sent to JFC on behalf of GJA. Jewelers and sales people from around the state enjoyed rocking on the porches of the hospitality cottage, winery and spa tours and victory at the UGA “Dawg” party held Saturday evening after cocktails and dinner in the resort’s glass and stone Creekside Pavilion.

The GJA would like to send big thank yous to barbecue kings Eddie Knox and Raymond Wilson, hospitality hosts and hostesses, speakers, sponsors and everyone who helped make the weekend a success.

gja-dawgs-nov
At Saturday evening’s “Dawgs” tailgate party, University of Georgia Bulldog fans cheer on their team to victory over Arizona.

If you missed this great weekend of networking, education and relaxing fun, do not despair. You don’t have to wait another year! Plan to join the Georgia Jewelers Association April 17-19, 2009 as GJA and Alabama Jewelers Association join forces and host jewelers from both states at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA. AJA - GJA’s convention will feature many favorites and some new things too.

Visit www.georgiajewelers.org soon for details.
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