AGOURA HILLS, Calif., Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Buxbaum Jewelry Advisors (BJA) today announced that its president, Stevan Buxbaum, has resigned to pursue other opportunities. In conjunction with his departure, Scott Rusczyk was named managing director and jewelry industry veteran Michael Lebowitz was promoted to executive vice president of the Agoura Hills-based firm, which offers a wide range of services to profitable and distressed jewelry retailers and wholesalers.
"We thank Stevan for his efforts in launching our Buxbaum Jewelry Advisors affiliate in 2008 and for his many years of service prior to that as a senior executive and widely quoted retail industry expert at Buxbaum Group," said Paul M. Buxbaum, chairman of Buxbaum Jewelry Advisors and chairman and CEO of Buxbaum Group. "We wish him the best in his future endeavors."
In his new role, Rusczyk—who also serves as vice president/business affairs for Buxbaum Group—will provide managerial oversight of all BJA operations, bringing over 23 years of corporate insolvency and restructuring experience to the position. Since joining Buxbaum Group in 2006, he has been responsible for oversight of all firm activities, including its liquidation, advisory and turnaround engagements, as well as its investments, mergers and acquisitions. Prior to that, he was an independent corporate-restructuring consultant for six years and spent 11 years practicing law in New York, with a focus on Chapter 11 reorganizations, Chapter 7 liquidations and creditors' rights representation. During that time, he was an associate and then a partner in bankruptcy boutique Siegel, Sommers & Schwartz, LLP.
Lebowitz, who joined BJA as a vice president in 2010, will now be responsible for directing all of the firm's projects, including store closings, promotional sales for ongoing businesses, inventory augmentation programs, wholesale auction sales, and strategic operational, merchandising and promotional consulting assignments for retailers, wholesalers or their asset-based lenders. He will also manage all relationships with BJA's vendors and customers, and direct the firm's sales organization. The firm's appraisal activities, meanwhile, will continue to be directed by senior associate Lisa Ketrick.
Lebowitz came to BJA with over 40 years of experience in jewelry retailing, wholesaling and consulting. He began his career in 1970 with Lebowitz and Co., a third-generation, family-owned jewelry store in Shrewsbury, Mass., where he subsequently became chief operating officer. After 25 years in his family's business, Lebowitz served as a close-out buyer and asset appraiser for Gordon Brothers Corporation in Boston. He moved back into retailing in 1997, joining preeminent Boston jeweler Shreve Crump & Low as fine jewelry merchandise manager. In that role, he developed key product initiatives such as the SCL Mastercut Diamond. After leaving Shreve in 2003, he served as a consultant to manufacturer M. Fabrikant & Sons, spearheading a project to develop a high-end designer jewelry line, and was later vice president-merchandise at Royal Jewelers, Andover, Mass., directing day-to-day operations of the 5,000-square- foot-fine jewelry and watch store. Lebowitz is also certified by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) as a graduate gemologist and as an Okuda Certified Diamond Inspector.
"With four decades of experience that's touched upon virtually all areas of jewelry retailing, wholesaling, design and consulting, Michael brings a unique, diverse skill-set to his new leadership position," said Rusczyk. "Along with that, he brings long-term relationships within the vendor and retail communities. We look forward to leveraging the trust Michael built over the years as we expand the wholesale auction and inventory augmentation programs, and other critical services BJA offers to retailers and wholesalers."
Commenting on his plans for the firm, Lebowitz said: "Opportunities abound for Buxbaum Jewelry Advisors. Though originally perceived in the industry as a liquidator, we always offered so much more. Understanding the needs of today's jewelry world, it is clear that we need to amplify the word 'Advisors' in our name to resonate with all segments of the industry. To that end, we have complemented the efforts of our appraisal and sales divisions by successfully developing an auction division and refining our inventory augmentation program. The beauty of BJA is that we are small enough to act quickly and think out of the box, but strong enough to execute whatever plan best suits our client. I look forward to leading those efforts in the years ahead."
BJA will soon announce plans for its next wholesale auction in October, and is in the process of setting an auction calendar for 2013.
About Buxbaum Jewelry Advisors/Buxbaum Group
Buxbaum Jewelry Advisors (www.buxbaumjewelry.com) has assembled a team of jewelry professionals that have provided wholesale and retail jewelers with financial solutions for more than 20 years. It offers a wide range of services and can meet the needs of both profitable and financially distressed jewelry retailers and wholesalers. It is an affiliate of Agoura Hills, Calif.-based Buxbaum Group (www.buxbaumgroup.com), which has built its reputation for over 30 years as one of the largest liquidators and appraisers of retail and wholesale inventories across North America, as well as a prominent turnaround investing firm.
Press Contacts: At Buxbaum Jewelry Advisors, Michael Lebowitz, executive vice president, cell: (781) 956-2037, [email protected]; at Parness & Associates Public Relations, Bill Parness or Lisa Kreda, (732) 290-0121, [email protected]. Stevan Buxbaum can be contacted at: [email protected] or 612 363 6517.
SOURCE Buxbaum Jewelry Advisors