As many of you know, after 39 years of my professional career (29 incredible years at JA New York), I am retiring as Show Director for the JA New York Shows. While I am very much looking forward to spending more time with my family and enjoying my new retirement lifestyle, I am going to miss seeing you on a regular basis. Throughout the years, the relationships that I’ve forged with so many of you have been so enriching and have made my job so rewarding. My work with you has never been merely transactional; I have always cared about you and your businesses on a personal level, and that has been my driving motivation for the entirety of my career. We’ve been through so much together—blizzards, hurricanes, recessions, booms, busts—and during each of these events, I have felt profound gratitude that I was sharing these experiences with this community. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to work with you and for the ongoing support that you’ve shown me and the rest of the JA New York team.

While I will no longer be a fixture at our events, without a doubt you will be seeing me around the show floor at upcoming JA New York shows and other industry events. The amazing team that I’ve had the privilege of working with will continue to work tirelessly to produce the highest-quality events that can positively affect your businesses, and I know they will go above and beyond what is required to ensure your continued happiness.

So without further ado, I am delighted that we’re featuring two stalwart companies in this month’s Company Spotlight. Bella Gem has a widely recognized reputation for honesty, integrity, exceptional gemstones and an extensive knowledge of the gemstone industry and gemstone sourcing that they delight in sharing with their clients. Since 1975, Manak Jewels has been a go-to resource for retailers and designers who are on the hunt for fancy color and uniquely cut diamonds. The company showcases a phenomenal range of difficult-to-find cuts and colors, and offers prices that leave room for competitive margins at the designer and store level.