top of page


*all sessions are in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

Monday, July 19
12:05PM - 12:50PM
New Future
KEYNOTE | Back to the New Future: Front-Row Strategies for Success 

Marilyn Sherman, Owner, UpFront Presentations


There is nothing normal about what we've been through lately, so it's the perfect time to go from waiting to go back to normal, to creating a new future! Your front-row seat is how you choose to design it from here on out. In this session, nationally renowned speaker Marilyn Sherman will motivate you to take charge of your career and personal life by focusing on what is right in the world and what you can do to make a difference. Now is not the time to take a back seat! Marilyn will share stories to ignite your passion for what you do, offer strategies to take your success to the next level and teach you how to focus on energy management, not time management.


Learn how you too can create front-row moments for you, your team, and your customers by knowing what it takes to have your SEAT of Success!

12:55PM - 1:40PM
Breakout 1
Re-Thinking Retail in a Changing World
Re-Think Retail

Ray Ehscheid, Retail Design Institute, Principal and Director of Client Services, IA Interior Architects


For a peak at how global retailers are launching new consumer-facing concepts, New York serves as a microcosm of influences from around the world. Join Ray Ehscheid, RDI Chairman, as he takes us on a virtual tour of some of the most remarkable retail environments in New York City and learn how retail is adapting to both shifting consumer behaviors and the impacts of the pandemic. 

Uncomfortable Conversations About Diversity in the Workplace

Stacey Gordon, CEO and Chief Diversity Strategist, Rework Work


Confronting topics like race, diversity and inclusion in the workplace can be uncomfortable, but it’s critical for businesses to embrace them and learn how to discuss them.  No one likes conflict. We naturally avoid "ruffling feathers" and having the necessary tough conversations. However, when you’re at work, how do you facilitate or participate in uncomfortable conversations? In this session, Stacey Gordon, who coaches and counsels business leaders on diversity, equity and inclusion strategies, will share tools to proactively address tough issues and help you recognize how unconscious bias can hinder your success.

Omni-Channel Retailing in Jewelry

Robert Amster, Principal, The Retail Technology Group


By now, jewelers understand that they need to be where their customers are at, regardless of the channel. The question is how do they get there? Retail technology expert Robert Amster will share key insights to help successfully answer that question including:

  • How to differentiate between multi-channel and omni-channel retailing

  • The number of different modules required to support omni-channel retailing

  • An understanding of the entry level and mid-level, characteristics of IT solutions for their businesses, along with a peak at more advanced technology options

  • Tips for finding the right jewelry retail software package for your business, looking at varying degrees of sophistication

1:50PM - 2:40PM
KEYNOTE | US Public Policy: Geopolitical Risk Playbook

Michael Zezas, Managing Director, Head of U.S. Public Policy Research & Municipal Credit Strategy, Morgan Stanley

Hear directly from Morgan Stanley Managing Director Michael Zezas, who regularly provides expert commentary on CNBC and Bloomberg Television, and is often cited by the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Economist, and The Bond Buyer. Zezas will share actionable ideas from the interaction between key events in the political economy and public markets. This unique, live discussion will offer his informed take on current news and policy actions to watch. Topics may include trade, climate change, infrastructure, regulation and other issues of the day.

*This session recording is not available

2:45PM - 3:30PM
Breakout 2
Curing Chaos with Communication: Adjusting Our Attitudes for the New Normal
Curing Chaos

Vincent Phipps, CEO/Owner, Communication VIP Training and Coaching


Learning how to adapt what we say based on who we say it to is one of the best methods for reducing conflict. Vincent Phipps, known as the “Attitude Amplifier,” will teach you how to recognize five types of responses and the impact each has on others. Phipps speaks with humor and style as he shares tips on how to listen, respond better, avoid defensive language, separate facts from feelings and correct with clarity and accountability.

Classic and Complex: A Deep Dive Into the Fascinating World of Pearls
Classic Complex

Ivette Nersesyan-Stephanopoulos, Director of Global Business Development, Gemological Institute of America


Pearls could be the post-pandemic breakout gem, with some estimating 13 percent market growth through 2025. These beloved gems have 4,000 years of history, an incredible palette of colors and many stories to tell. This session will touch on pearl history, lore, market developments and how GIA is meeting industry and consumer demand for innovative pearl services.

Retail Panel
Retail Check-In: Moving Beyond COVID-19

Moderated by Michelle Graff, Editor-in-Chief, National Jeweler

Chad Berg, President, Lee Michaels Fine Jewelers

Elise Greenberg, CEO, Greenberg’s Jewelers

Holly Wesche, Owner of Wesche Jewelers & Board Chair for JA


Join National Jeweler’s Editor-in-Chief Michelle Graff as she catches up with retailers Holly Wesche, Chad Berg and Elise Greenberg, whom she interviewed at the JA Virtual National Convention in May 2020. That discussion took place just as their stores were reopening after the first COVID-19 lockdowns. Following a year of ups, downs and uncertainty, they’ll share how their businesses have fared and evolved.

Breakout 3
3:45PM - 4:30PM

Michael Hanson, Sr. EVP Public Affairs, Retail Industry Leaders Association, RILA


The November election altered the power structure in Washington.  With that, the legislative priorities have shifted, and the threat of higher business taxes is real.  Learn about the proposals, the political posturing and how the tax landscape may look in 2022.

Washington Update: The Threat of Higher Taxes and Its Impact on Retailers
Supply, Demand and Disruption in the Diamond Market
Supply Demand

Paul Zimnisky, Analyst and Consultant, Paul Zimnisky Diamond Analytics

With the natural diamond supply expected to contract and lab-grown emerging as a viable category, the diamond industry is facing a major period of transition. Where things go will depend on key factors including supply, marketing to drive demand and consumer attitudes. Expert analyst Paul Zimnisky offers this high-level look at global diamond supply and demand dynamics, diamond price trends and the impact of man-made diamonds.

Consumer Behavior During COVID and Beyond

Moderated by Amanda Gizzi, Director of Public Relations & Events, Jewelers of America

Greg Davis, SVP, Payment Solutions Chief Credit Officer, Synchrony

Ronda Slaven, VP, Market Insights, Synchrony

A conversation on trends in consumer behavior that Synchrony experts have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and how these trends will shape the future of retail.

Tuesday, July 20
1:05PM - 1:50PM
KEYNOTE | 90 Years and Beyond: How GIA is Driving Its Mission and the Industry Forward

Cathryn Ramirez, GIA GG, Executive Director, Alumni Development and Continuing Education, Gemological Institute of America


For 90 years, GIA’s consumer protection mission has driven research discoveries, built education programs to prepare gem and jewelry professionals, and developed laboratory services to ensure consumer trust and serve all parts of our industry. Find out what GIA sees ahead in the developing digital future for the global gem and jewelry industry.

Keynote Sponsored by Gemological Institute of America

1:55PM - 2:40PM
Breakout 4
Personal Security
Personal Security & Situational Awareness

Sam Rosenberg, Founder & CEO, GPS – Global Protective Services Inc.

Situational awareness is the foundation of personal security. It goes far beyond merely “paying attention to one’s surroundings.” True situational awareness involves not just seeing but knowing what to look for. How do you really see and tune your senses? How do you discern what’s important from the irrelevant? And how do you make these techniques second nature? In this session, personal security expert Sam Rosenberg will teach RADAR, which looks at how our minds work and will help you to recognize danger even when you’re not actively paying attention.

How De Beers is Building Forever
De Beers

Stacy Nordlund, Director of Education, De Beers Forevermark, North America

Katie Fergusson, Senior Vice President, Sustainable Impact, De Beers Group

Every De Beers diamond has been on an incredible journey. Forged over billions of years, and discovered in one of four countries, it passes from explorers to artisans before finding its way to you. As the world’s leading diamond company, and in partnership with the countries where we operate, it is our responsibility to protect the natural world and improve the lives of people along a diamond’s journey. This is why ‘Building Forever’ – our blueprint for creating a positive and sustainable impact that will endure well beyond the discovery of our last diamond – is at the heart of everything we do.

The Amazon Opportunity

Kristin Cherry Jackson and Rosemary Mazza, Managing Partners at 21C Jewelry Solutions


In this seminar, Kristin and Rosemary will cover the ABCs of ecommerce - that is, how to Always Be Selling by using Amazon to sell 24/7 to customers from coast to coast. They will highlight the features and benefits Amazon offers independent jewelers, describe the merchandise categories that will be successful on Amazon, and discuss key strategies for building a profitable Amazon third-party Marketplace store.

2:50PM - 3:40PM
KEYNOTE | The Road to Responsibility: A Framework (Panel)

Moderated by Jewelers of America

Panelist: Feriel Zerouki, Senior Vice President of International Relations and Ethical Initiatives, De Beers Group

Panelist: Pamela Fierst-Walsh, U.S. Department of State Senior Advisor for Conflict & Critical Minerals and the U.S. Representative to the Kimberley Process

Panelist: Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director, Responsible Jewellery Council

Panelist: Tyler Gillard, Head of Sector Projects, OECD


The jewelry industry has made great strides in driving responsible sourcing, pushing towards supply chain due diligence and greater transparency and accountability. This session will provide an insight on where we are and where we need to go from those leading the change, both inside and outside of the jewelry industry, as well as offer concrete examples and tools that support a framework for responsibility.

3:45PM - 4:30PM
Breakout 5
Time to Get Your House in Order - Avoid These Employment Law Mistakes
Employment Law

Benjamin M. Ebbink, Partner, Fisher Phillips


As things begin to get back to "normal," following the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a good opportunity to review your practices for compliance with labor and employment law requirements.  Some time and effort now will avoid lawsuits and other problems down the road.  This session will also provide an update on federal employment law developments under the Biden Administration.

Fine Watch

Vincent Robert, Watchmaker and FHH Academy Certified Trainer, Fondation Haute Horlogerie​

Pascal O. Ravessoud, External Affairs Director & Watchmaking Expert at Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, and Secretary-General of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie Cultural Council

In this session you’ll hear from the FHH Academy at the Fondation Haute Horlogerie, which provides training and certification to the fine watch market.  Experts from FHH will provide an overview of the Academy, which offers insight on the fine watch market, key brands and trends, tips for selling to the fine watch customers and information on how to increase the confidence of your staff through knowledge and certification.

How FHH Academy Raises the Industry’s Fine Watch IQ
How to Use Social Media to Drive Business
Social Media

Andre’ Savoie, Owner, High Level Thinkers Digital Marketing


Struggling to see the results you want from your social media campaigns? You are not alone. Find out why a "one-size-fits-all" social media strategy doesn't work for jewelers anymore. In this session, we'll show you how to more effectively use social media to reach specific age demographics as well as capitalize on changing consumer behavior in the post-COVID environment, all without spending more time than you're already investing into social media.

4:35PM - 5:00PM

Join Keynote Speaker Marilyn Sherman as she closes out the Jewelers of America National Convention.

bottom of page