By Michelle Graff
Karen Goracke, CEO and president of Borsheims, and Mercedes Abramo, CEO and president of Cartier North America, have been elected to Jewelers of America’s board of directors through 2017.
New York--Jewelers of America has elected Karen Goracke of Borsheims and Cartier North America’s Mercedes Abramo to its board of directors.

Both of the new directors, who have more than 45 years of experience in fine jewelry and luxury goods between them, will serve through 2017.

Goracke is the president and CEO of Borsheims Fine Jewelry and Gifts, a position she was appointed to in 2013 by Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett following the departure of Susan Jacques to lead the GIA. She initially joined the company in 1988 and has held a variety of roles across the company to give her a broad retail background.

She also is active with the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, Jewelers for Children, and the Women’s Jewelry Association.

Abramo was named as president and CEO of Cartier North America in June, where she oversees the strategy and operations for the company across the market including 35 boutiques, an e-commerce boutique and more than 150 specialty retailers. She has been with the company since 2008.

Prior to joining Cartier, she also held management positions with Tiffany & Co., Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Loews Miami Beach.

Abramo also serves on the advisory board of the Luxury Education Foundation.


The Women’s Jewelry Association has appointed Bernadette McGovern Mack as its new executive director. She replaces Teresa Stohs, who left for another position closer to her home in Florida.

McGovern previously served as WJA’s administrative coordinator for two years, and will continue to be based at the organization’s main office in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

She also serves as a secretary of the board directors of Abilities First Inc. and is the past president of the Junior League of Poughkeepsie. 

McGovern previously has held communications and fundraising positions at hospitals and universities, and also was the owner of a private skincare practice as a licensed aesthetician.

The WJA also announced that is has hired Kimberly Galvin as its new office manager in Poughkeepsie, working closely with Mack on all WJA endeavors.


Belk Inc. President and Chief Merchandising Officer Kathryn Bufano has left the company to join The Bon-Ton Stores as president and CEO, effective Aug. 25. She also will be elected to the Bon-Ton board of directors.

Bufano replaces Brendan Hoffman, who elected not to renew his three-year employment agreement and will resign as president and CEO as well as a member of the board.

Hoffman will have a role in working through the transition period, according to the company.

Bufano has served as president and chief marketing officer of Belk since August 2010 and was president of the company’s merchandising and marketing for two years before that.

Before joining Belk, she also had stints at Vanity Shops Inc., Sears Roebuck & Co., Dress Barn, Macy’s, and Lord & Taylor.


The Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) is aiming to increase member awareness of humanitarian issues in diamond and gemstone supply chains with the appointment of Vivien Johnston as its ethics and corporate social responsibility manager.

The appointment is a move toward following CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation’s message of “sustainability, transparency and disclosure,” according to Gem-A.

The organization has been working with Johnston since 2009 as part of the U.K.’s Jewellery Ethics Committee to assess the feasibility of a system of auditable supply chains and ethical standards, and has hired her on to help with the improvement needed in lobbying and policymaking. 

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