Press Release

GIA Jewelry Career Fair & Open House Draws More than 800


Photo by Kevin Schumacher; © GIA
The recruiting area at GIA Jewelry Career Fair & Open House drew hundreds of job seekers and 32 companies.

Success of 25th annual event is due to the generous mentorship of career coaches, expertise of panelists and participation of recruiters

CARLSBAD, Calif. – Oct. 12, 2016 – GIA celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Career Fair on Oct. 7 in Carlsbad. The event drew more than 800 gem and jewelry enthusiasts to the Institute’s coastal headquarters for a day full of inspiring panels, one-on-one career coaching, education demonstrations and networking. Job seekers also had a chance to meet with 32 companies looking to fill hundreds of positions at experience levels across the value chain.

The opening panel, “Job Success in Today’s Market.” L to R: Susan Jacques, GIA’s president and CEO; Martin Katz, founder and CEO of Martin Katz, Ltd.; Mark Smelzer, publisher of JCK magazine and JCKonline.com; Melanie Goldfiner of Rahaminov Diamonds Inc.; and Mary Todd-McGinnis, vice president of sales for Ben Bridge Jeweler. Photo by Kevin Schumacher; © GIA

The opening panel, “Job Success in Today’s Market.” L to R: Susan Jacques, GIA’s president and CEO;  Martin Katz, founder and CEO of Martin Katz, Ltd.; Mark Smelzer, publisher of JCK magazine and JCKonline.com; Melanie Goldfiner of Rahaminov Diamonds Inc.; and Mary Todd-McGinnis, vice president of sales for Ben Bridge Jeweler. Photo by Kevin Schumacher; © GIA

The event began bright and early with “Job Success in Today’s Market,” a panel moderated by GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques. “It’s important not only to own the piece, but to own the story as well,” Mary Todd-McGinnis, vice president of sales for Ben Bridge Jeweler, told a rapt audience. “Be smart, be aware, be educated and be nimble,” advised Mark Smelzer, publisher of JCK magazine and JCKonline.com. “Introduce yourself to people who don’t know you exist,” added recent GIA graduate Melanie Goldfiner, who now works for Rahaminov Diamonds Inc. Celebrity designer Martin Katz rounded out the panel with the inspiring story of his journey to success. “I did everything against the rules, and yet I built a business,” he said.

Victoria Gomelsky, editor-in-chief of JCK magazine, moderated the “Creative Careers” panel. Pictured L to R: Jordan Tabach-Bank, owner and CEO of Beverly Loan Company and New York Loan Company; Jen Cullen-Williams, managing director of the Luxury Brand Group; Danielle Miele, jewelry blogger and creator of Gem Gossip; and Mark Schneider, designer and owner of Mark Schneider Design. Photo by Eric Welch; © GIA

Later in the day, JCK magazine’s editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky moderated a lively panel on “Creative Careers.” Jordan Tabach-Bank, owner and CEO of Beverly Loan Company and New York Loan Company, said that he only hires GIA graduates for gemology-related positions, while jewelry blogger Danielle Miele of Gem Gossip said that her passion for the industry really ignited after visiting GIA’s Carlsbad campus for her birthday eight years ago. Jen Cullen-Williams, managing director of the Luxury Brand Group, who was honored with the 24 Karat Club of Southern California’s Rising Star Award the following day, told the audience that what started out as a passion for fashion PR evolved into a nearly-decade long career in the jewelry industry. Designer Mark Schneider told the audience that “Art got me through college.”

Job seekers participated in one-on-one career coaching with industry veterans specializing in their field of interest. Photo by Kevin Schumacher; © GIA

The success of GIA’s Jewelry Career Fair over the past 25 years is due to the generous mentorship of career coaches, expertise of panelists and participation of recruiters. The next event will take place in New York on Monday, July 24, 2017. For more details, visit gia.edu/career-fair or email careerfair@gia.edu. Follow @GIANews #JewelryJobs for updates.


About GIA

An independent nonprofit organization, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognized as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight in the early 1950s and in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™ which, today, is recognized by virtually every professional jeweler in the world.

Through research, education, gemological laboratory services, and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism.