By Whitney Sielaff

Lorraine Garvey embodied many of the personal attributes and characteristics I admire most.

!!!NJ Headshot President of the Women's Jewelry Association's chapter in her home base of New England, Lorraine represented the model of gender equality—someone to be respected and looked up to purely for her deeds and accomplishments.

Lorraine was a powerful executive and marketer par excellence with gritty New Englander dedication and an intense work ethic. Her broad vision, creativity and commitment enabled her to discover and develop business opportunities, such as opening the U.S. market for German design firm Fredrich Stahl.

It was while she was in this capacity that I first met Lorraine. And, like others who knew her, I quickly recognized her as the natural leader she was, at once commanding and genial. She was the type of boss people like to work for, issuing an air of stalwart resolution and correlative achievement while unaffectedly and authentically caring for her friends and colleagues. She was a motivator who demanded excellence from her colleagues more for their benefit than her own.

She was one of the most pleasant people in the business and among the first I was always most happy to catch up with at trade shows and events. Her grandchildren came along at the same time as my children, and each time we met we shared thoughts on our love for our families.

It was deeply grieving when we first learned that she had cancer. But as worried as she must have been, she characteristically maintained her sense of humor and perspective. I'm glad and proud to say I learned a lot about personal character from Lorraine. You'll find many others who will say the same.

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.