On April 4, following the first day of its gold conference, Initiatives in Art and Culture will hold a champagne reception and a conversation with jewelry designer Mimi So. Pictured here is So’s Wonderland Bunny ring with sapphires and hand-carved opal in 18-karat yellow gold.
New York—Initiatives in Art and Culture’s ninth annual conference around the topic of gold is returning to New York next month.

The two-day event will bring together experts, from across various fields related to the precious metal, from journalists and jewelry designers to environmentalists and government regulators, to discuss the current challenges faced by gold and its surrounding industries.

“Gold: Legacy, Leadership, Luminescence” is slated for Thursday, April 4 and Friday, April 5 at the Bohemian National Hall in New York City.

The event will feature opening remarks from Richline Group Chief Marketing Officer Mark Hanna. Jewelry designer Stephen Webster also will speak about his admiration for gold in “Goldstruck,” discussing his design process and career.

Representing the manufacturing end will be Ted Doudak, founder and CEO of Riva Precision Manufacturing, who will share his vision for the company as a leader in fine jewelry product development.

IAC also will highlight Brooklyn jewelers in a panel called “Made and Makers in Brooklyn, and the Parallel Consumer and Creator Paradigm Shift,” offering various perspectives for creating and marketing to an audience that is “following the borough’s signature aesthetic.”

It will feature Alisha Blechman, head of studio operations for Catbird; Beth Bugdaycay, co-founder and creative director of Foundrae; Riva’s Doudak; Leigh Plessner, co-creative director, of Catbird; Ronny Vardi, owner of Catbird; and Elle Hill, CEO of Hill & Co. Fine Jewelry Launch and Growth Experts.

Another panel titled “Washington Update” will delve into regulations and legislation relating to gold.

It will be moderated by Andrea Hill of Hill Management Group. Panelists are Richlines’ Hanna; Linus Drogs, owner and president of Au Enterprises; Elizabeth Orlando, economic officer in the Bureau of Economic Affairs, Office of Threat Finance and Countermeasures at the U.S. Department of State; and Tiffany Stevens, president and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.

The event also will address one of the industry’s hottest topics—sustainability—through a sourcing panel called “Building Blocks for our Future: The Foundations of Ethical Sourcing, Transparency, and Responsible Practice.”

It will be moderated by JCK News Editor Rob Bates. Panelists include Brad Brooks-Rubin, managing Director of The Sentry/Enough Project; Lara Koritzke, Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA); and Joanne Lebert, executive director of Impact; among a few others.

On Thursday evening, following the first day of the conference, IAC will host a champagne reception followed by a conversation with Mimi So about being an American jewelry designer and the luxury segment today.

For the gold conference’s full schedule, visit

“We often equate gold to wealth,” Richline’s Hanna said. “The Gold Conference always has and always will provide the wealth of information important to gold, in every dimension—from resource to responsible.”

Tickets for the gold conference are priced at $350, or $100 for students with a valid ID. Single-day tickets also are available by contacting the IAC.

To register, visit the conference’s Eventbrite page.

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