Jewelers for Children (JFC) will honor Pamela S. Mortensen, Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager of Fine Jewelry, Fashion Jewelry and Watches at jcpenney and Ruth Batson, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer at the American Gem Society at the annual Facets of Hope celebration. The event will be held on Sunday, June 3, 2012 at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and will culminate JFC’s fund raising efforts for the year. In 2011, more than 1,500 industry guests attended during the Las Vegas market events. Mortensen and Batson have generously agreed to serve as guests of honor at the event with the responsibility of assisting JFC in raising funds to benefit children who are the victims of catastrophic illness or life-threatening abuse and neglect. Each year, prominent industry leaders are honored by the charity.
“Pam and Ruth are two very outstanding ladies who are extremely successful in their respective roles in the industry and I know they will attract major success for the Facets of Hope event,” said Peter Engel of Fred Meyer Jewelers, JFC Chairman. “Both are dedicated board members and I know how committed they are to Jewelers for Children.”
In addition to being jcpenney’s Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager of Fine Jewelry, Fashion Jewelry and Watches, Mortensen is also a member of the jcpenney executive board. Prior to joining the company in 2009, she served in leadership roles as Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager for the Fine Jewelry and Watch Division at Wal-Mart; and Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager for Service Merchandise. Pam started her jewelry career at Zale Corporation and began her retail career at Federated Department stores.
Pam has been integral in implementing innovative initiatives to help establish jcpenney as a style authority and drive sales growth in the company’s Fine Jewelry, Fashion Jewelry and Watches Division. With a focus on making jcpenney a key destination for bridal customers, Pam led the launch of the company’s new Modern Bride® initiative as well as the implementation of new in-store fine jewelry bridal boutiques. With the growing popularity of mobile devices and social networking, Pam also implemented digital strategies in fine jewelry that helped build deeper, more enduring relationships with customers both in stores and online at jcp.com.
During her tenure at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the largest jewelry retailer in the United States, with over 4,000 stores nationwide, she built a direct import infrastructure that set a standard for the jewelry industry and was instrumental in developing Wal-Mart’s standards and criteria for responsible jewelry sourcing, launching the Love, Earth® jewelry collection which gave customers the ability to trace the path of their jewelry from mine to market.
Born and raised in Bentonville, Arkansas, Pam earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Arkansas. She presently serves on the Board of Directors for Jewelers Vigilance Committee and Jewelers for Children. Pam has two sons, Jonathan and Jeremy.
Ruth Batson is the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the American Gem Society (AGS), where she manages the Society’s daily operations to meet strategic goals and initiatives. Ms. Batson brings to the AGS years of experience in association management, business development, strategic planning, leadership, and finance. An integral force in the American Gem Society’s growth and development since joining the organization in 1993, Ms. Batson previously held the position of Controller and Chief Financial Officer, and was responsible for the financing, design, and construction of the American Gem Society’s Robert M. Shipley complex. In addition, Ms. Batson was instrumental in the development, startup, and management of the American Gem Society Laboratories. She has earned the AGS title of Registered Jeweler.
A graduate of the University of Phoenix, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Accounting, Ms. Batson has served on numerous boards in the jewelry industry. She is a past member of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee Board, where she served for six years. She currently serves on the Women’s Jewelry Association Board, the JCK Show Advisory Board, and is a member of the Executive Committee for the Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices. She is most proud, however, of her efforts for the Jewelers for Children, where she has served on the board for the last nine years, and is most recently a member of the Executive Committee.
Ms. Batson resides in Las Vegas with her husband Chuck, and her son, Tyler.
Jewelers for Children was founded in 1999 by the U.S. jewelry industry with the mission of helping children in need. Since its inception, JFC has donated more than $37 million to programs benefiting children whose lives have been affected by illness, abuse or neglect through charity partners St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation ® of America, and the National CASA Association. JFC also provides support to the Make-A-Wish Foundation International, and the Santa-America Fund. This nationwide success is due to the continuing generosity of jewelry trade organizations, jewelry and watch manufacturing companies, jewelry retail stores, individual jewelry professionals and jewelry consumers.