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GIA revamps Board structure and infrastructure
Welcomes four new governors, selects new BOG chair and vice chair, and thanks five departing governors, and names new GIA chairman emeritus
By: Diamond World News Service
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Nov 22 2008 4:10PM
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Reference: 3262  

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The Board of Governors of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) recently concluded its second 2008 meeting, where the Board decided on naming a new Board chair and vice chair, seating four new governors and expanding the office of the GIA president. The Board also honored five departing Board members who have reached the end of their terms. GIA also named retiring GIA Chairman Ralph Destino as GIA chairman emeritus.

Susan M. Jacques has been elected as the new Board of Governors’ chair. She is the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Borsheim’s Jewelry Company Inc., based in Omaha, Nebraska. Borsheim’s is one of America’s largest independent retail jewelry stores and a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. company. Jacques is on the board of several civic and charitable organizations, including Creighton University and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and member of Young Presidents’ Organization. She serves on the boards of Jewelers for Children and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, and Women’s Jewelry Association Advisory Board.

She said “In spite of the challenges of a difficult worldwide economy, the Institute is making some exciting and positive moves on behalf of the gem and jewellery industry, its students, and the general public, to improve and expand its services.”

The Board also elected as its vice chair Anna Martin, managing director, head global marketing, diamonds and jewellery for Standard Chartered Bank. Prior to this position, Martin was senior vice president and regional manager of ABN AMRO international diamond and jewellery group in New York for more than 42 years. Martin was inducted into the Diamond Hall of Fame by the U.S. Diamond Industry Steering Committee. She is a member of the Women’s Jewelry Association Board and its past president, and a board member for the Jewelers Board of Trade, the JCK Advisory Board and Jewelers for Children.

The four new governors seated by GIA are John A. Green, Hank B. Siegel, Aron Suna and Ephraim Zion. Green is president and CEO of jewellery store chain Lux Bond & Green, He acts as chairman for Jewelers of America, and is a board member for Jewelers for Children and the Jewelry Information Center’s Gem Awards committee and director for Ballou Findings of Providence, Rhode Island.

Siegel is president and CEO of Hamilton Jewelers, based in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Siegel recently completed a two-year term as president of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee and is on the boards of Jewelers of America and the Jewelry Information Center, on the advisory board for the JCK Show and editorial advisory board for National Jeweler Magazine.

Suna is president of Suna Bros. Inc. and is the third generation of this specialized high-end jewellery manufacturing company in New York and a member of the 24 Karat Club since 1979. He has also been active in the Jewelers Vigilance Committee and the National Council for Community Justice. Zion is the managing director for Dehres Ltd., one of Asia’s leading dealers of large diamonds and fancy colored diamonds.

Donna Baker, GIA president, said, “We are very excited to have four persons of such stature in the industry coming onto our Board. We look forward to tapping into their wisdom, experience and enthusiasm to accomplish the strategic plans GIA has laid out for itself to meet the needs of the public and the trade.”

The Board also expanded the office of the GIA president to include that of chief executive officer (CEO). GIA President Donna Baker will now be further responsible for carrying out the strategic plans and policies established by the Board in her duties as CEO. As president, she continues to be responsible for operations, tactics, and attending to the daily business of the organisation.

An announcement of importance was by Ralph Destino, GIA chairman, as he announced his retirement effective January 1, 2009. Destino served GIA in various capacities for more than 16 years. In honor of his exemplary service, the Board named him GIA chairman emeritus. Also, departing will be five governors from the Board, as having reached the end of their terms of service. These include - Helene Fortunoff as GIA Board chair after eight years on the Board. Gordon E. Brown, Jr., with 20 years on GIA Board, William B. Cottingham, on Board for six years; Eli Haas, on GIA Board for for 20 years; and Sheldon Kwiat, on Board for 12 years. Baker said, “These wonderful people are visionaries who have demonstrated throughout the years their commitment to achieving excellence in all things, top-notch professionalism, and a deep dedication toward helping GIA achieve its goals. We will miss their insightful counsel.”

The restructured GIA Board now includes: Donna Baker, president and CEO of GIA; Rodney C. Ewing, Ph.D., Donald R. Peacor Collegiate Professor at the University of Michigan; Jeffrey H. Fischer, president of Fischer Diamonds Inc.; John A. Green, president and CEO of Lux Bond & Green; Susan M. Jacques, GIA chair, and president and CEO of Borsheim’s Jewelry Company Inc.; Dione D. Kenyon, president of the Jewelers Board of Trade; Frederick N. Levinger, president and CEO of Nobadeer Enterprises Inc.; Anna Martin, GIA Board vice chair, and managing director, head global marketing, diamonds and jewelry for Standard Chartered Bank; Dilip Mehta, CEO of Rosy Blue Group; Roland Naftule, president of Nafco Gems Ltd.; Glenn R. Nord, GIA governor for life; James P. Shinehouse, managing director of Kroll Talbot Hughes; Hank B. Siegel, president and CEO of Hamilton Jewelers; Timothy J. Stripe, co-president of Grand Pacific Resorts; Matthew G. Stuller, chairman and CEO of Stuller Inc.; Aron Suna, president of Suna Bros. Inc.; and Ephraim Zion, managing director for Dehres Ltd.

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