The number of activities led by our chapters has been astounding, new alumni chapters were introduced and the 2017 GIA Continuing Education Program released its final assignment for the year.
The association has also been working diligently to introduce new materials and programs to strengthen and support the global GIA alumni community.
I hope this fall wrap-up report inspires you to make an effort to grow your involvement with GIA Alumni. As with any organization and its membership, those who benefit most are the people who participate. We encourage you to: Stay Connected. Stay informed.
The alumni office is pleased to report
Big Alumni News: GIA is excited to share a new look and logo for the GIA Alumni Association and its members worldwide. Available to all qualified alumni members, the new logo and support materials proudly communicate your GIA education. Additionally, our alumni chapters will also be provided with new customized logo identities and artwork to recognize each chapter’s link to the global GIA alumni community.
GIA Alumni Member Support Materials – Promote your GIA education and alumni status publicly with the newly designed alumni materials for members. These include: a personalized membership card; a GIA Alumni Member double-sided window cling; and a business card holder. Alumni across the world can order these new materials for the first time or to replace previous materials by ordering online.
Big Alumni Numbers:
- Global alumni qualified members recognized by GIA exceeds 120,000 individuals.
- Global chapters are at 70 and demand for new chapters continues to grow.
Global events - Our chapters hosted 40 events in just three months. This reflects the commitment to professionalism undertaken by our volunteer alumni chapter leadership across the globe. Each event is led by individuals who are dedicated to serving and strengthening their alumni and industry communities; growing relationships and expertise; and providing continuing education opportunities.
- GIA at the Munich Show – GIA participated as an exhibitor for the first time and presented three lectures. The weekend included a global meet-up of multi-continental alumni in attendance and a social organized by the German chapter.
GIA Japan Grand Opening – The new education facility in Tokyo was celebrated by Japan chapter alumni at a reception hosted by GIA. Alumni, industry members and select GIA executives attended to partake in the special ribbon cutting ceremony.
Alumni at GIA Career Fair in Carlsbad – A significant representation of new and seasoned alumni participated in GIA’s Career Fair in October. Alumni attendees included those seeking career opportunities, individuals recruiting talent for their respective companies and participants who volunteered their time and knowledge as Career Coaches and Industry Panelists.
GIA speakers – Dr. James Shigley, distinguished research fellow, provided an update on synthetic diamonds to New Orleans; Robert Weldon, director of the Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center, shared a journey to the Chivor Emerald Mines in Seattle; Russell Shor, senior industry analyst, provided insights to auction house headline making sales over the last decade, to London; GIA provided an update on treated and synthetic diamonds for alumni in Johannesburg and Wisconsin; and Kate Donovan, Global Alumni Relations Manager, delivered a GIA update to Washington, D.C.
Here’s some of the chapter news and events that have occurred in the last three months.
- Welcome to our newest chapter – Tucson – which hosted its first event: a social gathering.
- Hong Kong Chapter celebrates 35 years – Chapter members celebrated this milestone with the GIA executive team during the Hong Kong Fair in September.
- A global meet up in Munich was organized by the German chapter and alumni from Europe, U.S. and Asia attended.
- Social gatherings brought Cincinnati, Jaipur, Mumbai and Toronto alumni, students and industry friends together.
- A strategic planning session in Vancouver was held to determine participation (as host city) in the Canadian Gemmological Conference, which is scheduled for 2018.
- Online Information Pioneer, Jolyon Ralph - presented the history, information resources and navigation of Gemdat.org and Mindat.org - the nonprofit gemological and mineralogical online information resources founded by Ralph, are used by researchers and collectors worldwide, to Mile High – Colorado.
- Gemology and industry reports - Jeffrey Fisher (a former GIA Governor) presented the “Diamond Market Today” to Manhattan and Doug Hucker, CEO of American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), to St. Louis on the “Road Back to Burma,” a report on a recent excursion to the famed land of gems that included various delegates from the gem and jewelry trade, including GIA’s Dr. James Shigley.
- The Future of Retail Jewelry – was discussed by Peter Smith, industry veteran and author, at Michigan and New England.
- Clasps: 4,000 Years of Fasteners in Jewelry was presented by Madame Anna Tabakhova, along with her newly released book, to Switzerland.
- Topaz Mining in Colorado was presented by local miner and TV personality Rich Frettered – seen on television show Prospectors - to Colorado-Mile High.
- Jewelry illustration, wax modeling and design technique lectures were presented in London and Monterrey – Mexico.
- Signatures and Trademarks of the Masters with Bill Whetstone and Danusia Niklewicz, of the World Hallmark Institute, shared topics from their long-sought and second book on the topic to the Golden Gate chapter.
- Award winning lapidaries and jewelry designers - Nicolai Medvedev and Susan Helmich, presented to Metro-Phoenix and Sherris Cottier Shank shared her award-winning lapidary expertise with Ohio.
- A live diamond cutting demonstration by Philip Van Emmenis included the opportunity for attendees in Georgia to sit at the wheel and cut.
- Gemology tours and marketplace excursions took Mexico City members to Brazil and Hong Kong members experienced diamond cutting and jewelry manufacturing facilities and the jade markets in Shunde and Ping Zhou, China.
- A screening of a mining documentary “Follow the Zebra” was enjoyed by Metro-Phoenix.
- Jade was a popular topic for Manhattan and Greater Cincinnati.
- Pearl classifications, treatments and jewelry styles were the focus at Golden Gate – California.
- Museum visits took place in Colorado - Mile High and Michigan.
- Auction and jewelry history were topics featuring notable speakers, including Gina D’Onofrio from Heritage Auctions in Los Angeles, and fellow GIA alumni giving back: auctioneers - Joe DuMouchelle and Lindy Aducci, in Michigan, and Martin Bowen, from M.J. Bohan Co., who shared his knowledge and extraordinary collection of live jewels to Orange County – California.
- Treasures of royals and museum vaults prompted three presentations: “Jewels of England’s Monarchy” in Monterrey – Mexico; and “18th Century Jewels and Masterpieces from the Treasury in Dresden” by Stefanie Walker, Ph.D. and “The Smithsonian Gems,” by Dr. Jeffrey E. Post, curator in charge of the national gem collection, to Washington, D.C.
Alumni News – Take Note
The 2017 Continuing Education Program – The eighth and final assignment for the year was released in September, completing a year of notable lessons on mining, lapidary, jewelry manufacturing and more. Participants are reminded to complete all assignments before Dec. 31 to receive their 2017 credential. Register now.
Mark your calendars! We hope to see you at:
GIA Symposium in 2018
Registration is open for the GIA International Gemological Symposium, to be hosted in Carlsbad, California from Oct. 7-9, 2018. Join industry members from around the globe at GIA’s sixth-ever symposium and participate in this historical event.
Alumni Party Tucson 2018 – Save the Date!
The 2018 “Party at the GIA Gem Mine” will celebrate Richard T. Liddicoat, the Father of Modern Gemology, to recognize the centennial year of his birth. This annual reunion, dinner dance and auction is organized by the GIA Alumni Association and is held during the gem and mineral fairs in Tucson, Arizona.
Purchase tickets to attend the Art Deco-themed party on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018.
Calling all alumni…….you can help us make the celebration even better:
Share Your Photo or Story: Please share your personal photo or story with Mr. Liddicoat for potential use at the event or in additional celebrations.
Consider an Auction Donation: The alumni office is encouraging alumni and industry friends worldwide to consider early donations for the “Party at the GIA Gem Mine’s” silent or live auctions. All auction proceeds support the alumni endowment fund and provide scholarships and education opportunities across the globe.
For more information, on sharing a photo or story, or for information about auction donations (to be received at GIA before Dec. 31 deadline) please contact the alumni office.
I have a feeling, a busy 2017 will continue!
The actions and involvement of GIA graduates and loyal alumni worldwide continue to impress me every time I prepare this report. I thank each individual who extends themselves as a volunteer to support chapters or as alumni leaders, members who act as GIA ambassadors to their community, and those who mentor the future alumni leaders in our industry. This large, but tight knit, family of the GIA Alumni Association may cross continents, but the common bond is our dedication to the gem and jewelry trade and the belief that GIA education (and continuing education) serves the individual and the industry.
Personally, I am proud to say I have benefited from involvement in the GIA Alumni Association since 1986. I hope all of you see and receive the value of participation as much as I have.