Outgoing Jewelers of America board Chair John Henne (left) passes the gavel to newly elected board Chair Holly Wesche.
New York—Jewelers of America has elected Holly Wesche as its board chair, the trade association announced earlier this week.

Wesche, a third-generation jeweler and owner of Wesche Jewelers in Melbourne, Florida, was elected Tuesday during a Jewelers of America board meeting.

She succeeds John Henne of Henne Jewelers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“Being involved with Jewelers of America has been a priority for my family for generations,” she said in a press release.

Her great-uncle, Herb Underwood, was the president of the Retail Jewelers of America, now known as JA. Her father, Jim Wesche, was the president of the Florida Jewelers Association.

“I am honored to be part of the JA board and to serve as chair during this exciting time of change for our industry,” she said.

Wesche is a graduate of the Gemological Institute of America and also holds the title of certified gemologist from the American Gem Society.

Previously, she served as president of the Florida Jewelers Association, a speaker for Jewelers Education Foundation, and vice chair of Leading Jewelers of the World.

Wesche is also an active member of her community, serving as a Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce board member for more than 10 years.

“Holly Wesche has already made tremendous contributions to our board,” JA President and CEO David Bonaparte said. “She is a brilliant businesswoman whose passion for Jewelers of America runs deep.

“We look forward to her leadership as she helps to guide Jewelers of America forward.”

JA also added the following new faces to its board of directors, each of whom has been elected to a three-year term:

Lawrence Bock, president and owner of Bachendorf’s, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas;
Caryl Capeci, president of Chow Tai Fook, North America;
Tobey Ritchie, vice president, Harry Ritchie, Eugene, Oregon;
Lenny Kramer, EVP sales, Leo Schachter, New York; and
Stan Razny, owner, Razny Jewelers, Chicago.

Outgoing directors include Cathy Calhoun of Calhoun Jewelers, Jenny Caro of Jewelry By Designs and Cathy Tivol of Tivol.

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