By Michelle Graff
From left, Fred Weber along with Matthew Rosenheim, Craig Rottenberg, Simon Katz, new board Chairman Ryan Berg and Efraim Grinberg
New York--Jewelers of America elected Ryan Berg of Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry as its new board chairman at a meeting held Saturday in New York. 

Berg, who serves as market president in Texas for his family’s multi-state jewelry business, succeeds Lexington, Ky. retailer Bill Farmer Jr. 

JA President and CEO David J. Bonaparte said it is an honor for the association to have Berg at the helm of its board. “Ryan has the right combination of experience that will make him an effective board chairman. Like so many others in the jewelry industry, Ryan is helping his family-run jewelry business adapt, grow and evolve,” Bonaparte said. “He brings a fresh perspective that focuses on growing Jewelers of America and all our members’ stores’ bottom line.” 

Berg’s father Lee Michael Berg founded Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry in Baton Rouge, La. in 1978. Over the years, the family-run store has expanded to eight locations covering six markets in three states--Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. 

In addition to helping run his family business, Berg is active in the community where he lives, serving on the board of directors for Junior Achievement of San Antonio and the advisory board of the San Antonio Junior League, and is a member of the Downtown San Antonio Rotary Club, a trustee for the Witte Museum of Natural History, on the board of the Young Presidents’ Organization and a member of the FBI Citizens Organization. 

Berg’s involvement in the jewelry industry includes serving as president of the Jewelers of Louisiana, on the advisory committee for Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co. and on the board of directors for the Jewelry Information Center. 

As chairman, Berg will lead an executive committee of the following elected officers: Chair-elect John Henne of Henne Jewelers in Pittsburgh; Vice Chair Mark Light, CEO of Signet Jewelers; Vice Chair Holly Wesche of Wesche Jewelers in Melbourne, Fla.; Treasurer Coleman Clark of B.C. Clark Jewelers in Oklahoma City; and Cathy Tivol of Tivol Inc. in Kansas City, Mo. 

In addition at Saturday’s meeting, the following directors were elected to begin terms on the board: Simon Katz of Simons Jewelers in St. Louis; Craig Rottenberg of Long’s Jewelers in Massachusetts; Joe Molfese of Bella Cosa Jewelers in Willowbrook, Ill.; Movado Group Inc. Chairman and CEO Efraim Grinberg and Matthew Rosenheim of Tiny Jewel Box in Washington, D.C.

Rosenheim’s father, Jim Rosenheim, is one of the outgoing directors, along with Jeff Hamra of Hamra Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz. and Bill Farmer. 

National Jeweler is a for-profit subsidiary of Jewelers of America, though the organizations act independently of one another. JA acquired National Jeweler from Emerald Expositions in February 2015.

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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.