About Southern Jewelry News
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About Mid-America Jewelry News
Mid-America Jewelry News was started in 2002 after repeated requests from our advertisers and readers to bring the regional, down-home news format of Southern Jewelry News to other parts of the country. Now in it's 8th full year of publication, over 8,000 readers look forward to receiving Mid-America Jewelry News every month.
Bill began working in the jewelry industry in 1987 for a manufacturer of colored stone and diamond jewelry and engravable giftware. In 1992 he was promoted to national sales manager of that organization.
In February 2000 Bill and his partner, Chris Smith, purchased Southern Jewelry News from Elizabeth Curtis. In October 2001 the pair started Mid-America Jewelry News to make their style of down-home jewelry news available to jewelers in America's Heartland.
Bill is a member of the Southern Jewelry Travelers Association, several state jewelry associations in the southeast and the 24 Karat Club Southeastern United States in which he has held several officer positions including president.
Chris Smith is the President and publisher of Southern Jewelry News and Mid-America Jewelry News. He graduated from the University of North Carolina - Greensboro with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science.
Chris' background in the industry includes employment as purchasing manager for a jewelry and giftware manufacturing firm. In February 2000 Chris and his partner, Bill Newnam, purchased Southern Jewelry News from Elizabeth Curtis. In October 2001 the pair started Mid-America Jewelry News to make their style of down-home jewelry news available to jewelers in America's Heartland. Chris is a member of the North Carolina and Georgia Jewelers Association.
Chris and his wife, Carol, have been married since 1994. They have two children, Nate and Katie, and an Australian Shepard named Copper. Chris spends his spare time with his family traveling, exercising, and getting outdoors.
Elesa has been in the jewelry industry for over 25 years and her experience includes working in retail, and with a manufacturer/wholesaler, where she was involved in virtually every aspect of the business. She received a Lifetime Achievement award in 2010 from The Mid-America Jewelry Association.
She is a member of the Southern Jewelry Travelers Association, Several State Jewelers Association. She has served on the vendor advisory committee with the Retail Jewelers Organization. Elesa also serves on the Board of The Atlanta Jewelry Show.
Elesa is a second-generation jewelry professional, and owes her passion for the industry to her mentor; her late father Paul Brandenburg.
Elesa's personal time revolves around her husband and two boys. Elesa enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling and volunteering.
Martha Osswald Martha Osswald is the office manager and heads up the classified sales department for Southern Jewelry News and Mid-America Jewelry News. She is a native of Greensboro, North Carolina. She graduated from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in 2005.
Martha's personal time involves spending time with her family, and friends. She joined in the company in December of 2009.