JA in the News
January 24, 2024
New York, NY – Black in Jewelry Coalition (BIJC) and Jewelers of America (JA) have announced the selected participants for the first cohort in their jointly developed Emerging Jewelers Accelerator Program (EJAP), a series of interactive workshops designed to provide selected new retail jewelry entrepreneurs with a deeper understanding of how to build and maintain a successful business in the jewelry industry.

The cohort will feature the following six jewelers from five jewelry businesses: Patricia Carruth, Your Personal Jeweler, Royal Oak, MI; Cloyette Harris-Stoute, Twin Elegance Jewelry, St. Albans, NY; Soojin Kim, Suu Atelier, Los Angeles, CA; Madeline & Karen Ormaza, Armonia Jewelry, Lawrence, MA; and Ashley Perryman, Jewelry Lady, Indianapolis, IN.

The EJAP program, which is supported by the JCK Industry Fund, will kick off in February with interactive workshops conducted in the following core business topics by the following subject matter experts:

  • Business Strategy
    Valerie Madison, Owner, Creative Director & Designer at Madison Jewelers
  • Accounting
    Mariel Diaz, Founder & Director at Accounting for Jewelers LLC 
  • HR/Operations
    Annie Doresca, Chief Financial Officer at Jewelers of America
    Lisa Jones, Vice President, Human Resources at Gemological Institute of America
  • Legal
    Cecilia Gardner, Attorney at Cecilia L. Gardner, Esq. 
  • Product Development/Jewelry Forensics
    Emily Phillippy, Owner & Founder of Emily Chelsea Jewelry Inc. 
    Adrianne Sanogo, GIA GG, Co-founding Board Member and Education Chair at Black in Jewelry Coalition 
  • Ethical Sourcing
    Christine Malle, Owner of Christina Malle Designs 
  • Sales
    Manos Phoundoulakis, Co-Founder & Director of Happiness at Select Source, Inc.
  • Marketing 
    Deanna Thornton, Founder of Thornton Digital Consulting, LLC
  • Security
    John Kennedy, President of Jewelers’ Security Alliance 
  • Insurance
    Tina Olm, Vice President, Shipping Solutions at Jewelers Mutual Group

“BIJC and Jewelers of America are excited to welcome this first cohort of our Emerging Jewelers Accelerator Program. These jewelers have tremendous business acumen, and we know that they will come away with even deeper knowledge in the jewelry industry which will result in businesses that will be successful for years and years to come,” says Black in Jewelry Coalition President Malyia McNaughton.

After the workshops are complete, participants will provide a presentation encapsulating the program’s educational content and how it would be utilized in their business. One of the participants will be eligible to receive a $5,000 grant. The remaining four jewelry businesses will be awarded $1,250 each. Following the completion of the EJAP program, the cohort will continue to have access to periodic check-in calls, quarterly workshops, and invitations to industry events.

The EJAP Committee is made up of: Regina Ciarleglio, Jewelers of America; Annie Doresca, Jewelers of America; Molly Fallon, Jewelers of America; Sharie Fogarty, Jewelers of America;  
Dahlia Fyffe, Jewelers of America; Amanda Gizzi, Jewelers of America; Lisa Jones, Gemological Institute of America; Malyia McNaughton, Made by Malyia; Susan Posnock, Jewelers of America;  
Adrianne Sanogo; Black in Jewelry Coalition.

Information on the EJAP can be found on the Black in Jewelry Coalition’s website and Jewelers of America’s website.

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Jewelers of America

In 1906, Jewelers of America was founded by jewelers for jewelers, with a desire to advance the professionalism and ethics of the jewelry industry.

Today, we continue that mission and Jewelers of America Members stand as the most trustworthy, informed and professional jewelry businesses within the United States.