Last updateTue, 17 Apr 2018 11pm

JA announces Board elections & new Chairman

Bill Farmer Jr., of Farmer’s Jewelry, elected Chairman

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, has elected Bill Farmer Jr., partner of Farmer’s Jewelry in Lexington, KY, as JA’s new Board Chairman. He succeeds Georgie Gleim, President of Gleim the Jeweler. Farmer was elected in July at JA’s Board meeting that also welcomed many new Directors.

“Bill’s professionalism and passion for the jewelry industry has contributed greatly to Jewelers of America’s mission for nearly a decade. We are privileged to have him lead our Board of Directors during his term as Jewelers of America Board Chairman,” says JA President & CEO David J. Bonaparte.

Bill Farmer Jr. is second-generation partner of Farmer’s Jewelry along with his mother, Jean, and sister, Kristi Farmer Lykins. His father, Bill Farmer Sr., opened the business in 1950, and his legacy lives on through his family’s commitment to the jewelry community. Bill Farmer Jr. has been a great supporter of Jewelers of America, serving eight years on JA’s Board of Directors. During that time, he helped raise awareness of Jewelers of America’s Political Action Committee, serving on and chairing the JAPAC Board. Bill served two terms as President of the Kentucky Jewelers Association and was Board Chair of the American Gem Society from 2002-2004. Bill was also inducted in the National Jeweler Retailer Hall of Fame in 1993.

“My work as a Jewelers of America Board Director and leading the JAPAC Board has given me a deep respect for Jewelers of America and the important work it does for the industry,” says Farmer. “I look forward to continuing my work with the Board of Directors and Jewelers of America staff to maintain consumer confidence in the fine jewelry marketplace.”

Board Executive Committee Elections

As Chairman, Farmer will lead an Executive Committee of the following elected officers: Chairman-Elect - Ryan Berg, Lee Michael’s Fine Jewelry; Vice Chairman - Scot Congress, Congress Jewelers; Vice Chairman - Mark Light, Sterling Jewelers Inc.; Treasurer - John Henne, Henne Jewelers; Secretary - Holly Wesche, Wesche Jewelers.


Jean-Christophe Bédos is President and CEO of Birks & Mayors Inc., the 134-year-old luxury jewelry retailer and manufacturer. Bédos has more than two decades of experience within the luxury jewelry and watch industry with positions at Cartier, the Richemont Group and as President & CEO of Boucheron. In 2011, Bédos was honored for his outstanding performance at the helm of Boucheron with the “Talent d’Or du Luxe et de la Création.”

Cathy Calhoun is owner of Calhoun Jewelers in Royersford, PA. She is a self-proclaimed “Gem Hunter,” which is supported by her education as a GIA Graduate Gemologist and AGS Certified Gemologist Appraiser. Her support of jewelry associations is vast. In addition to JA, she currently serves on the boards of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, Jewelers for Children and Diamond Empowerment Fund. She also participates in the American Gem Society, acting as Board President from 2010-12.

Jenny Caro is owner, along with husband, John, of Jewelry By Design in Woodbridge, VA. The couple opened Jewelry By Design in 1989 to specialize in custom creations of their own making and have expanded the store several times in the last few years. Caro traces her love affair with jewelry to a high school jewelry making course. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts/Jewelry and teach jewelry making at the high school level prior to starting her own jewelry business.

Darwin Copeman, the first JA Board Director elected from a Supplier Member company, is President and CEO of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company in Neenah, WI. Jewelers Mutual is the only insurance company in North America that specializes exclusively in jewelry insurance. Copeman is well respected in the jewelry industry; in July he received the Women’s Jewelry Association’s Ben Kaiser Lifetime Achievement Award. Copeman is also a recipient of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies’ Service Award.

Emmanuel Perrin is President and CEO of Cartier North America Inc. in New York, NY. Perrin currently oversees 35 Cartier boutiques, the brand’s e-commerce boutique and more than 150 Cartier specialty retailers. He also manages operations for Cartier Mexico and serves on the International Executive Committee and Regional Directional Committee for Cartier International. Perrin serves on the Board of Directors for Jewelers Vigilance Committee, and he is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization.

In addition to Georgie Gleim, outgoing directors include Peter Engel, Fred Meyer Jewelers; Michael Kowalski, Tiffany & Co.; and Ray Stuart, Helzberg Diamonds.

For the complete list of JA’s 2013-2014 Board of Directors, visit www.jewelers.org/aboutJA/board.html.