By Lenore Fedow
The Jewelers Vigilance Committee held its annual luncheon virtually last week, inviting industry executives to share how they spend their free time.
New York—The Jewelers Vigilance Committee held its annual luncheon virtually last Thursday.

The event kicked off with Charles Stanley of Forevermark presenting the Stanley Schechter Award to John Kennedy, president of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, “in recognition of his tireless dedication, hard work and support of JVC’s mission to maintain ethics and integrity through legal compliance.”

Kennedy looked back on his connection to the late Stanley Schechter and his family as well as the link between JVC and JSA.

“We’re both protecting the industry,” said Kennedy. “Both are absolutely essential for the long-term health of the industry.”

Five industry leaders and JVC board directors—Charles Stanley of Forevermark, Susan Jacques of GIA, Greg Kwiat of Kwiat and Fred Leighton, Nathalie Diamantis of Pomellato, and Dave Bindra of B&B Fine Gems—shared some personal anecdotes in lieu of the typical in-person luncheon agenda.

Here’s how the five industry executives spend their free time.

Charles Stanley, Beekeeper Extraordinaire

Stanley’s beekeeping began when he was a child.

He inherited the hobby from his grandmother, who kept bees on her estate in England.

He showed off his beekeeping equipment and talked about the life of a worker bee and shared other fun facts.

His breakout session included how to conduct a hive inspection and how to properly introduce a queen bee to the colony.

Susan Jacques, Motorcycle Enthusiast

“I’m not a biker chick or a Harley babe,” clarified Jacques, though she does have an affinity for the open road.

She enjoys riding on the back of her husband’s motorcycle or being behind the wheel of an ATV.

Jacques and her family have traveled to the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota to meet with other bikers and share in the fun.

The exposure to nature is the highlight of her rides.

At the family farm in Nebraska, where wildflowers grow and their golden retriever Buddy runs free, 160 acres have been set aside as a pheasant reserve. 

Greg Kwiat, Cover Band Super Star

When Kwiat isn’t leading his eponymous company, he moonlights as the lead singer of a Beatles and The Rolling Stones cover band.

He shared clips of his band performing “Come Together” by the Beatles and “Sympathy for the Devil,” by The Rolling Stones.

He, on occasion, also performs in the shower and behind the wheel of his car.

Kwiat once met Mick Jagger in a professional setting but couldn’t bring himself to share his hobby.

In his breakout session, he put on a live performance for the event’s attendees.

Nathalie Diamantis, Wine and Travel Enthusiast

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area to European-American parents was the perfect blend for Diamantis.

A full-fledged wine connoisseur, she shared some of her favorites and some of Italy’s best regions for winemaking.

She compared hand making a watch to a single-vineyard wine, both crafted with love and precision.

When she’s not recommending wine to her friends, Diamantis is on the road.

“Nothing is more exciting than packing a suitcase.”

Dave Bindra, Sneakerhead Savant

Bindra meticulously laid out several of his favorite pairs of sneakers on a table, cradling each like precious cargo as he held them up to the camera.

He’s been collecting sneakers for about 20 years, starting with a highly-coveted pair of Tiffany blue (unofficial) and black Nike SB Dunk Low sneakers, designed in collaboration with Diamond Supply Co.

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He held up a pair of black and red Air Jordan 1s, the original 1985 colors, and delved into the history of Michael Jordan and these particular shoes.

“These shoes changed the scope of fashion and sneakers forever,” said Bindra.

Wearing a Kobe Bryant t-shirt, Bindra also showed off a pair of ‘Draft Day’ Kobe Nike sneakers.

“It’s a lot like making jewelry,” said Bindra, noting all the options for colors and material as well as the attention to detail, from glow-in-the-dark soles to double Nike “swooshes.”

On his Instagram, @gemfluencer, Bindra matches B&B’s gemstones to shoes in his collection.

Asked to choose between shoes and watches, timepieces still held the top spot.

Always with an eye for detail, Bindra matched his Rolex GMT-Master 1675 with a pair of “True Blue” Air Jordans.

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