When: Monday, July 29 | 10:45 - 11:45 AM

Does blockchain hold the key to enhanced trust and transparency in the jewelry supply chain? Leading experts in blockchain explain how it works and what it means for the future of the jewelry industry and retail at large.

  • David Bouffard, VP, Corporate Affairs, Signet Jewelers Ltd.
  • Oli Cooper, COO, Tracr
  • Mark Hanna, Chief Marketing Officer, Richline Group, Inc.
  • Catherine Malkova, Partner, Cognitive Process Transformation, IBM

About the Presenters

David Bouffard began his career in Signet Jewelers Ltd. nearly 37 years ago. Beginning in Field Operations in Philadelphia in 1981, promoted to Director of Sales in NYC in 1986 and General Merchandise Manager in 1990, Bouffard relocated to Akron as Marketing Manager, Corporate Store Promotions in 1994 and was promoted to Marketing Director of Store Promotions in 1996; Marketing Director of Public Relations and Promotions in 2004; and Vice President, Public Relations in 2007. Since 2012 as Vice President, Signet Corporate Affairs, Bouffard has been responsible for developing and implementing the Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability initiatives, managing Signet’s international Government Civil Society and Industry relationships, and oversees Signet’s Strategic Corporate Communications Planning and Corporate Giving initiatives. Bouffard serves on Signet’s Corporate Giving, Corporate Social Responsibility and Strategic Corporate Communications Planning Committees. Bouffard has held the role of the Company’s spokesperson since 2004. Serving the retail and jewelry sector for decades, Bouffard is active in the Responsible Jewellery Council since 2005, serving on the Executive Committee as Co-Chair of the Standards Committee from 2012 - 2014 and Chair of its Communications Committee since 2015, culminating in his election as RJC Chairman in 2018. Bouffard also serves on the OECD Multi-Stakeholder Working Group since 2011, the World Diamond Council Board and Kimberley Process Task Force, as well as its Communications, Membership and Strategic Planning Committees. Bouffard is actively involved with other industry organizations such as serving on the Jewelers of America Board, where he is an active member on its Ethical Initiatives Committee; and was Chair of JA’s Jewelry Information Center from 2008 – 2009. In 2015, Jewelers Vigilance Committee honored Bouffard with the Stanley Schechter Award for his leadership abilities, integrity and passion to elevate the reputation and success of the jewelry industry in the U.S. and around the world. In July, 2018, The American Gem Society honored David with the AGS Triple Zero Award, which recognizes members of the jewelry industry for their accomplishments and contributions, a record of service to the industry, and must uphold the professional excellence and ethical standards of the Society. In addition to corporate matters, David serves as the voice on Signet’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. Bouffard received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Widener University. He attended the Gemological Institute of America where he received his Graduate Gemologist (GG) accreditation in 1990. His MBA in Marketing and Finance was conferred by Case Western Reserve University in 1998. Bouffard earned his Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America in 2008. He resides in Fairlawn, OH with his wife of 35 years, Barbara, and daughter Amanda.

Oli Cooper, COO of Tracr, operates across Tracr’s commercial, technical and operational teams to help drive the growth of the industry-grade traceability platform built for and by the diamond industry.

Mark Hanna is Chief Marketing Officer of Richline Group, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway Company. Mark graduated from NYU Stern with an MBA in Marketing and began his 46 years in the jewelry industry. He has had experience in all facets of management, manufacturing, marketing, sales and compliance. Prior to this position, he has served as EVP Sales and Marketing for both Bel-Oro and Michael Anthony Jewelers. In 2012, he was honored as one of US’s top 200 CMOs and again in 2015 and 2018 as CMO of Year, Corporate Social Responsibility, by the CMO Club. Mark is an active speaker and advocate on responsible issues including UL Responsible summit, JIS Responsible panels, US Wildlife Council, Pure Earth and the Responsible Artisanal Gold Forum. He, additionally, serves as a board member of Special Olympics, USWTA and the Responsible Jewellery Council plus is an active member and contributor to Manufacturing Jewelers Association and the CMO Club.

Catherine Malkova is a Partner within Cognitive Process Transformation growth platform of IBM’s Global Business Services (GBS). Catherine has over 16 years of professional experience, working with clients in Life Science, Consumer Products, Retail, and Media industries. Most recently, Catherine served as a leader of GBS Innovation Lab bhelping her clients drive digital reinvention agenda and create a digital first culture, leveraging User Experience, Blockchain, Cognitive, and Big Data technologies.
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