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Phyllis' Blog

Jewelry Weekend Shines with Good Friends and Good Times!

by pbergman 22. January 2011 20:48
The second weekend in January is by far one of my most favorite weekends of the entire year.  While the brisk weather is always a big shock after spending time with the entire family in Florida over the holidays, the slush and ice are barely a factor compared to the pleasure of time spent with old friends and meeting wonderful new people!

The best and the brightest in the industry travel from all over the world to be in New York City for the weekend.  Starting on Friday morning, meetings are held throughout the Waldorf Astoria hotel--”home base” for the weekend--where people have an opportunity to meet face-to-face and talk shop.  In the evening on Friday, everyone looked forward to dressing up to attend the Jewelry Information Center’s annual Gem Awards at Cipriani on 42nd Street, where Jennifer Hudson presented Neil Lane with the design award. This year, Ira and I broke from tradition.  I attended the cocktail reception for the Gem Awards, which was fabulous, but then I left to join Ira to attend a private house party at Roger Gesswein’s house.  His chef cooked the most amazing food while a wonderful pianist played romantic songs.  The fireplace burned bright while past and current leaders of the 24 Karat club were welcomed.  Then we headed back to the Waldorf and up to Todd Wolleman, Michael Toback and Dick Greenwood’s suite for a fabulous pasta buffet cooked by the Waldorf’s chefs.  Great wine and jewelers from all over the country were in attendance.  Loved talking to Woody Justice of Justice Jewelers in Springfield, Missouri.

On Saturday, we attended the annual Jewelers Security Alliance luncheon at the Pierre.  It’s always a very elegant event and yet another great opportunity to see old friends. I love the JSA organization and everything they do to protect jewelers all over the country. Then back to the Waldorf (after a little bit of shopping!), to get ready for the evening.  The hosted suite parties for the 24 Karat Club of the City of New York’s annual banquet begin at 5:30pm.  Ira and I hit as many of them as possible before heading to the VIP cocktail hour, where I got to see my good friend Russell Simmons and his gorgeous girlfriend Heidi, met the new CEO of Kays Jewelers, Mike Barnes (very nice guy) chatted with Sally Morrison of De Beers and then off to the official cocktail party of the event, where Ira and I had a chance to talk to African American Civil Rights Leader Dr. Benjamin Chavis.  During dinner, since I am currently the chairperson of 24 Karat Club, I sat on the dais before joining my table which included my dear friends Huw Daniels and James Courage from Platinum Guild International, along with Varda Shine of DeBeers Trading Co.and Rebecca Forrester of Rio Tinto Mines, talk about a VIP table!  Before the evening’s performance, I headed back to the green room to meet with Gladys Knight and present her with a beautiful champagne diamond pendant! Gladys and I had met earlier in the day and I was delighted when she shouted “You again!” and gave me a big hug when she saw me come into the room.  How fabulous!  After that, Gladys gave a stunning performance for over an hour--the entire crowd LOVED it!  We especially loved the one PIP she brought along, her brother BUBBA! Everyone in the ballroom was so taken with the performance that they stayed in the ballroom just talking (Or were they listening to the last few minutes of the Jets game when they won!). The evening wrapped up with Ira and I spending time with friends and dancing at the 24 Karat-hosted midnight dance party into the wee hours of the morning! Up at 9:30 AM on Sunday morning for another industry meeting with Russell Simmons and members of the Diamond Empowerment Fund to plan an exciting dinner in Hong Kong. In bed at 8:30 PM dreaming of my spectacular weekend!

Reading over this, I realize it sounds rather exhausting!  I can assure you however, that the energy of the industry was more than enough to make up for the short supply of sleep! 



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About Phyllis

As the president of Mercury Ring Corporation, Phyllis Bergman oversees all aspects of the company, including sales, design, operations, marketing, and client relations.

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