John Henne, left, of Henne Jewelers in Pittsburgh, taking the gavel from outgoing Jewelers of America board Chairman Ryan Berg.
New York--Jewelers of America has elected Pittsburgh jeweler John Henne as its next board chairman, succeeding Ryan Berg, market president of Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry.

Henne has managed Henne Jewelers, which his great-grandfather opened in 1887, since 1998. He oversees all aspects of the business, including diamond procurement, accounting, sales and marketing.

Under his leadership, the Pittsburgh store has grown and won numerous local business and retail jewelry awards.

In addition, he was inducted into National Jeweler’s Retailer Hall of Fame this year in the Single-Store Independent category.

JA President and CEO David J. Bonaparte called Henne a “natural leader,” and said: “Under John’s leadership, I know that Jewelers of America is poised to grow, better serve our members in this ever-changing retail environment and enhance our customer outreach to benefit the jewelry industry as a whole.”

In his new role as JA board chairman, he will lead an executive committee of the following elected officers: Chair-Elect Holly Wesche of Wesche Jewelers; Vice Chair Cathy Tivol of Tivol Inc.; Vice Chair Marc Bridge of Ben Bridge Jeweler; Treasurer Robert F. Moeller II, R.F. Moeller Jeweler; and Secretary Coleman Clark, B.C. Clark Jewelers.

Henne was elected to the post Monday, at the JA board meeting that also welcomed a slate of new directors and the re-election of two directors for a three-year term: Mercedes Abramo of Cartier and Karen Goracke of Borsheims.

The new directors are:
Peter Engel, president of Fred Meyer Jewelers;
Elise Greenberg, CEO of Greenberg’s Jewelers in Sioux City, Iowa;
Chuck Kuba, president and owner of Iowa Diamond in Des Moines;
Steve Padis of Padis Jewelry in San Francisco; and
Steve Velasquez, CEO of Bailey, Banks & Biddle.

In addition to Berg, the outgoing directors are Larry Pelzel, who heads fine jewelry at Neiman Marcus, and Michael Pollak of Hyde Park Jewelers.

A complete list of JA’s 2017-2018 board of directors is available on the JA website.

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