Last updateTue, 17 Jul 2018 10pm

Leading Jewelers Guild embraces new mission statement at July Meeting & Show


Stakeholders meet to discuss changes in the organization’s role in their future success

(NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.) — Members of Leading Jewelers Guild (LJG), a prestigious member-owned jewelry organization of independent retailers, assembled at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach, CA for their 52nd annual July Meeting and Show from July 10th to 14th.

“Our new mission statement is really very simple,” said LJG president, Elise Kreisberg (Greenberg Jewelers, Sioux City, IA), “Leading Jewelers Guild is a strategic alliance of independent jewelers that develops competitive advantages for its members. That’s it!”

Facilitator Marilyn Snider (Snider and Associates, Oakland, CA) was retained to lead the group in an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and begin a process of long term planning. A number of ad hoc teams were created to address various 3-year goals. “The beauty of this process is that everyone is involved; every voice is heard,” said vice president Tony Prater (Jensen Jewelers, Twin Falls, ID), “and now we have teams at work to facilitate change.”


Leading Jewelers Guild President, Elise Kreisberg (right) and Executive Director James “Jimmy” West (left) present the Leader of the Year Award to Gene Thompson (Thompson Jewelers, Orlando, FL) in recognition of his service to the Guild as a member of the Buyers’ Committee and Board of Directors. Photo: Tony Prater

The meeting’s keynote address was presented by Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender who are widely referred to as retail anthropologists. “We personally research and custom tailor each of our keynotes & seminars so that they exceed the individual needs of our clients,” said Bender, “Attendees will leave with more ideas than they will be able to implement. And if they have questions afterward, or just want to brainstorm, we are always just a telephone call away.”

The group’s own brand, Love Story® Diamonds was enlarged to include “Custom Design Models,” an alloy sample line of 250 styles selected from five licensed manufacturers. “Now our members can show a vastly expanded selection of Love Story® without a giant inventory commitment,” said Leading Jewelers Guild’s Executive Director Jimmy West. “It’s a turnkey system, complete with displays, training, everything the jeweler needs!”

After two days of presentations and member sharing, about 50 select vendors were invited to exhibit their lines and services. These included key Leading Jewelers Guild suppliers for the group’s upcoming fall catalog program, as well as a number of new vendors including Chamilia, Quality Gold, Uneek Designs, World Trade Jewelers, GN Diamond, Diaco, Demika and Trax Sales.


Leading Jewelers Guild President, Elise Kreisberg (right) and Executive Director Jimmy West (left) present the Vendor of the Year Award to Joseph Toobi of Luminar Creations in recognition of outstanding performance as a manufacturer of Love Story® Diamonds. Photo: Tony Prater

Members, vendors, staff and their families relaxed together at a poolside cocktail party, held in the hotel’s lush outdoor spaces, which included Leading Jewelers Guild’s annual awards presentation. Joseph Toobi of Luminar received the 2009 Vendor of the Year award for his participation as top vendor of Love Story® Diamonds. Gene Thompson received the 2009 Leader of the Year award for his years of service on the Buyers’ Committee as well as the Board of Directors. He served as president of LJG during 2008-09. The awards are commemorative plaques signed by all the members and their families; often the awards have dozens of signatures and inscriptions.

New associate members welcomed into the group at the meeting: John and Jenny Caro from Jewelry By Design (Woodbridge, VA), Stephen Henderson from Stephen Henderson The Jeweller (Dundee, Scotland UK), Paul Petro from Paul’s Diamond Center (Pelham, AL), and Larry Schlager and David Austin from Lawrence Jewelers (Ft. Gratiot, MI).

Leading Jewelers Guild, an organization completely owned by its member jewelers, through its collective intelligence and buying power, offers membership the opportunity to lower overall operating costs in a strong, sharing and relationship driven environment. Leading Jewelers Guild is an invaluable merchandising, marketing, catalog advertising and production resource dedicated to the overall business needs of their member companies. For more information contact Jimmy West at 310-820-3386.