CJA honours industry leaders at AGM


On July 24, the Canadian Jewellers’ Association (CJA) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Awards Ceremony at Toronto’s Cambridge Suites Hotel. At this year’s AGM, the organization announced the election of new board members and celebrated the successes of various industry leaders.


For the 2017–2018 term, Umesh Shah of RJB Diamonds and Stephen Cole of Spicer Cole Fine Jewellers Ltd. will be co-chairing the CJA.


Shah has been on the Board of the CJA for eight years. Over 20 years ago, he immigrated from India with a degree in accounting and business management from the University of Guarat. After coming to Canada in order to pursue a career in accounting, Umesh found a new passion for diamonds and jewellery. In 2014, he founded RJB Diamonds.


Since 2012, Cole has been on the Board of the CJA. After nearly a decade of work in the jewellery industry, Cole launched Spicer Cole Fine Jewellers in 2002 with the aim to deliver quality diamond and fine jewellery products to customers in Fredericton, NB. Stephen has acquired the designations of Accredited Jewellery Professional and Diamonds Graduate form the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Registered Jeweller form the American Gem Society (AGS) and Accredited Appraiser from the Canadian Jewellers Association (CJA). As of now, Spicer Cole is the most accredited diamond store in Atlantic Canada and the only remaining AGS jewellery store.


“We look forward to helping the CJA in the 2017–2018 year and in the celebration of 100 years as an association,” said Cole at the AGM. “We want to take this opportunity to ensure you that we are here to serve the needs of our members.”


The Board of Directors for 2017–2018 was also announced at this time. Board members include the following:


Co-Chairman                       Shah Umesh            RJB Diamonds


Co-Chairman                       Cole Stephen           Spicer Cole Fine Jewellers Ltd.



Past Chairman         Dubrovsky Darren   Empress



1st Vice-Chairman  Miserendino Marco Bijouterie Italienne P.M. Inc.


2nd Vice Chairman Kaye Kevin               Citizen Watch Co. of Canada


Treasurer                  Golberg Gail             Beverly Hills Jewellers Mgf. Ltd.




Betteridge Angela               Angela Betteridge Jewellery Inc.


DeVuono Gino                     DeVuono Group


Epp Jeremy                          Independent Jewellers


Nazzaro Lena                      Gucci Watch & Jewellery


Parker Duncan                     Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers


Sanders Sonja                     Jewellery By Sanders


Sexton David                                    Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group


Jon Phillips                           Corona Jewellery


CJA OFFICE ADMIN:                                                        


Executive Coordinator        Carla Adams


Project Manager                  Gerasil Coria


Acting Gen. Manager Parrish Tanya       Canadian Jewellers Association


It was also announced that Yakup Tecimer of Tecimer Fine Jewellery and Anne Neumann of Harold Weinstein Ltd. would be retiring from the Board this year.


The AGM culminated in an Awards Ceremony, where the winners of the Erol Paylan Award and the Chairman’s Award were announced.


The Erol Paylan award was created to honour the memory of Erol Paylan, who passed away suddenly while serving on the CJA board. This award recognizes a person or company who has made a significant contribution to the Canadian jewellery industry and who is especially deserving of recognition. This year, the honour was bestowed upon John Lamont, the Director of Loss Prevention for the Jewellers Vigilance Canada (JVC) Crime Prevention Program.


After serving a short term in the U.S. military, Lamont worked with the Toronto Police for 20 years. Then, in 1987, he joined Peoples Jewellers Corporation as Assistant Security Manager, eventually becoming the Head of Security. After noticing a lack of loss prevention programming in Canada, he approached the head of JVC, Brian Land, to create one. In 2000, the program was instated, through which Lamont has educated jewellers and law enforcement about jewellery crime in Canada.

“John’s dedication to each and every project has been a boon to our industry,” said Dubrovsky. “This award demonstrates our recognition of his outstanding efforts in support of the Canadian Jewellery Industry.”


Mariam Paylan Song, daughter of Erol Paylan, presented the award to Lamont.


The Chairman’s Award was also presented at the AGM. This accolade was established in 2000 as a way to recognize those members of the Canadian jewellery industry who have gone above and beyond to enhance the industry’s profile. This year’s recipient was Ernest Epp of Independent Jewellers of Winnipeg.


Although Ernest’s father started Independent Jewellers in 1937, Ernest himself started his jewellery career as a sales rep for Telep Distributors in 1966. This helped put him through university, and in 1970, he began his career in the family business full time.

Over the years, he completed the jets certificate from CJI, the Graduate Gemmologist Program from the GIA, the Certified Gemmologist Program from AGS, and the Certified Appraiser Program from the CJI. Independent Jewellers has been a CJA member since 1942, and Ernest is a past president of the association, as well.


“These special awards are symbols of recognition by the Canadian jewellery industry for unique contributions by members of our industry,” added Dubrovsky. “These awards are held in the highest esteem across the industry and are treasured by those who receive them.”


This year is sure to be an exciting one for the CJA, with its 100th Anniversary Ball, 100th Anniversary Design Contest, and new JVC merger all on the docket. For more information, visit canadianjewellers.com.