C.R. “Cap” Beesley C.R. “Cap” Beesley is a internationally known gem consultant and gem sciences specialist. Currently, he serves as President of Analytics, a research and development firm focused on consulting in gem related fields. He is also Chairman of Gemcore’s Gemstone Standards Commission, a non-profit educational organization that is dedicated to gem consumer protection programs.
Formally, Cap was founder and president of American Gemological Laboratories (AGL), a New York based, international gem testing facility, specializing in the determination of country of origin, gem enhancement detection, and the quality assessment of ruby, emerald and sapphire. During his time with the laboratory, Cap served for more than 10 years as the primary gem consultant to the United Nations Minerals Branch, establishing gem laboratories and training facilities internationally. In addition, he has taught both gem related programs and courses around the world including the University of Peshawar in Pakistan, the University of Kashmir and The Geological Survey of Malawi, Africa.
Previously, he was a senior staff member of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), where he was responsible for implementing GIA’s 6-month resident program on the East Coast, while simultaneously developing the model for their first colored stone grading course, in addition to directing the GIA’s gem investment program.
Currently, he serves on Yale’s Leadership Council for the Peabody and also as Chairman of the Museum’s Mineral and Gem Advisory Board.
Bruce Bridges Bruce Bridges is the son of Campbell Bridges, the discoverer of Tsavorite and person to bring the first Tanzanite for identification to the United States. Campbell Bridges was also Tiffany & Co.'s official consultant geologist on Tanzanite. Bruce has been intimately involved in the gem industry since childhood, working side-by-side with his father. Growing up in Kenya, he has completed extensive fieldwork in the Taita/Taveta region of Southern Kenya. As the President of Bridges Tsavorite, Bruce carries on the family tradition of three generations as gemstone miners and dealers in Africa. The family business is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya with its wholesale distribution office in Tucson, Arizona. The company is proud to maintain its fully integrated operation, which includes every aspect from; mining, sorting, grading and cutting, to marketing and sales.
Debra Colodner Debra Colodner is Associate Director of the Center for Sonoran Desert Studies at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. The Center for Sonoran Desert Studies conducts the educational and scientific functions of the Museum and is a hub for research, education ad conservation of the Sonoran Desert Region. As the Center’s Associate Director, she oversees the Museum’s school and camp programs as well as the Earth Sciences Center.
Dr. Colodner has more than 15 years experience in environmental science research end education. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where she focused on the use of ocean sediments as indicators of past climate change. She also has a BS in Geology and Geophysics from Yale University, where she won the Penfield Prize in Mineralogy.
She was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, where she continued her research on ocean sediments, dove to the bottom of the ocean in the submarine, Alvin, to study hydrothermal processes, managed a new research lab and began her teaching experience. Prior to her current position, she was Education Director and Associate Director at Flandrau Science Center.
Richard Graeme Mr. Graeme, a native of Bisbee, Arizona, has been a collector and student of the minerals from this classic locality since 1950 and worked as an underground miner at Bisbee for a dozen years. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in Geological Engineering in 1972 and continued to work in Bisbee as the Resident Geologist. The mineral graemite was named in his honor in 1975, as he had discovered the type material in 1959.
Professionally, Mr. Graeme, now retired, has served most recently as Senior Vice-President and General Manager of Lumina Copper SAC; Vice-President and General Manager of Gold Fields La Cima; both located in Peru and as Vice President and Country Manager of Gold Fields Venezuela. Prior to that, he was Vice President and Head of Operations for Gold Fields Ghana, Ltd., located in West Africa.
He was also Vice President of Operations for Sharon Steel Natural Resources based in Denver and later as Vice President of Operations for Golden Queen Mining Company, in Mojave, California. Before that Mr. Graeme was the General Manager of gold mines in California, New Mexico and Nome, Alaska as well as a coal mine in Utah and a copper mine in New Mexico. In all, he worked in the mining industry for 55 consecutive years. He is a member of the Society of Mining Engineers.
Paul S. Harter Paul is a native Arizonan whose interest in minerals was fostered by his grandfather, a mining engineer, who graduated from the University of Utah. Family trips always focused on mines, minerals and geology with a primary focus in Arizona and Utah. His great uncle was the noted author A.B. Parsons. Paul first competitively exhibit at the Arizona State Fair in 1958 and has continued to do so. Since that time his collecting interests have expanded to also include extensive field collecting. For five years he served as the Show Chair for the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show. In concert with Bryan K. Lees, he co-authored the chapter in American Mineral Treasures on the Sweet Home Mine. His collection focuses on minerals of Arizona, with other smaller sub-collections.
Evan Jones Longtime mineral collector and dealer Evan Jones lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, son of well-known author Bob Jones. Evan started collecting minerals at age 9 and with his father visited museums, attended mineral shows, went on collecting trips and visited mineral dealers from an early age. A graduate of the geology program at ASU in Tempe, Arizona, Evan has been a full time mineral dealer since 1986 and is currently co-owner of the fine mineral dealership Unique Minerals, Inc. His collection of Arizona minerals is considered one of the finest in the world. He has attended every Tucson Gem & Mineral Show since 1981 and won several awards including Walt Lidstrom, Miguel Romero and Dick Bideaux trophies. Evan helped organize the "Arizona Mineral Treasures" Arizona Centennial exhibition at the 2012 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, organized the recent supplement to the Mineralogical Record magazine "Mineral Collections in Arizona", is on the advisory board of the University of Arizona Gem & Mineral Museum in Tucson, and is a founding member of the Arizona Mineral Minions group. Evan has written articles for Mineralogical Record, LAPIS and Mineralien-Welt magazines and given talks around the country on the subject of Arizona and Mexican minerals, mines and history.
Robert Lavinsky A collector from the age of 12, Dr. Robert Lavinsky first started participating in mineral shows at the age of 14. He initially planned to launch his career in molecular genetics and received his doctoral degree from UC-San Diego, but his passion for minerals led to a career change. Rob realized the potential to move the mineral world online and www.iRocks.com became the first mineral-selling website online in 1996. Since then, he has been a full-time dedicated mineral dealer and recently had a new mineral, Lavinskyite, named in his honor.
By loaning specimens, consulting on displays, and curating, he has collaborated with a variety of museums including the Yale University Peabody Museum, Rice Northwest Museum, Dallas Perot Museum, Midland Petroleum Museum, Cranbrook Institute of Science, The National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra, Australia, and several prominent museums in China. He has been a long-time supporter of the UofA’s RRUFF Project, the Mineralogical Record, and other mineral publications.
His sponsorship of several film projects (Mineral Explorers, The World’s Most Precious Treasures), books (The Lindsay Greenbank Collection of Classic Minerals of Northern England, The Miguel Romero Collection of Mexican Minerals, China Crystalline Treasures: The Mineral Heritage of China) have helped expand mineral awareness and popularity, and each August, Dr. Lavinsky and other co-sponsors host the Dallas Mineral Collecting Symposium (www.DallasSymposium.org) featuring world-famous mineral experts and engaging social events.
John Lucking Dr. Lucking is President of Econ-Linc, an economic consulting firm in Phoenix, Arizona. He has served as an Economics Consultant for Bank One Arizona and Chief Economist for Valley National Bank. Dr. Lucking is a member of Arizona’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee Economic Advisory Panel, and the Western Blue Chip Economic Forecast Panel. He is a member of the Board of the Northern Arizona University Foundation and serves on various historical, civic, and economic association boards. Dr. Lucking is also Trustee-Director of New Mexico and Arizona Land Company.
Robbie McCarty Robbie received a BA from the University of Arizona and a Masters from the University of San Francisco. A life long educator in Fountain Valley School District, California, she taught mainly middle school math, science, and computer classes before moving to the district office to start technology staff development for teachers.
She grew up in Tucson arriving with her parents at the start of second grade, beginning her love of the desert and its minerals. In the early 1970’s she and husband Bill wandered into the recently opened Laguna Beach shop, Kristalle. With Wayne and Dona Leicht as mentors, they began their collection of Arizona minerals, a portion of which has been on display at the University of Arizona Mineral Museum since 2012.
Peter Megaw A geologist, is President of IMDEX/Cascabel Inc., a Co-Founder of Minera Cascabel and MAG Silver, and a Director of Minarum Gold Inc. He earned a Bachelor’s in Geology and Earth Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin, and PhD in Economic Geology from the University of Tucson. Currently, he is the Co-Chair of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®. Peter formerly chaired the show and served as TGMS’s Exhibits Chair for many years. He is well known for his knowledge of the mineralogy of Mexico. His Mexican mineral collection was recently display at the Springfield (MA) Gem and Mineral Show. A long time resident of Tucson, he is well known by the mineralogy community for his decades of volunteer work and leadership on behalf of TGMS and the mineral community.
Gene Meieran Chairman Dr. Meieran is an Intel Fellow working on advanced manufacturing strategy development in Intel’s Technology Manufacturing Group. He has responsibility for introducing advanced technologies and applications into Intel’s component manufacturing facilities to help improve manufacturing performance. Dr. Meieran jointed Intel Corporation in 1973 as Manager of Package Development, with responsibility for developing new lines of plastic and hermetic packages for the emerging memory and microprocessor product lines. For several years, he was responsible for all of the Far-East and Caribbean assembly plant quality and reliability functions. In 1985, he was appointed as Intel Fellow, the second in the company’s history. Dr. Meieran founded and has been an active participant in the Electronic Materials Symposium, which sponsors an annual meeting to discuss materials and processing technology for the industry. He is a member of the Intel Research Council and the Intel Academic Relations Council, and was Intel’s representative to the Semiconductor Research Corporation Factory Sciences Board. He has received two Intel Achievement Awards for his contributions to Intel.
Les Presmyk Mr. Presmyk was elected to the Gilbert, Arizona, Town Council in 1999 after serving on the Gilbert Planning and Zoning Commission for four years. He served as Vice-Mayor in 2001-02, and 2005-06. Mr. Presmyk is a Senior Mine Engineer with the Salt River Project and has been an active member of the Gilbert community for over a decade. He is active in mining and mineral education and has served as a mentor at the Pappas School for Homeless Children. Mr. Presmyk holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mining Engineering from The University of Arizona.
Dr Alexander G. Schauss Alex is President and CEO of AIBMR Life Sciences, a scientific and FDA regulatory consulting company, with office/staff in five states and Canada. A Certified Food Scientist, Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, and member of the American College of Toxicology, American College of Nutrition, American Chemical Society, International Society of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, and American Society of Nutrition. He is a Research Associate at both the Bio5 Institute and the Department of Geoscience at the University of Arizona.
His life long interest on the effects of minerals and trace elements on brain function and behavior began when as a child he volunteered for eight years in the Department of Geology and Mineralogy, American Museum of Natural History in New York under the supervision of the late-Dr. Frederick Pough. Alex’s book, Minerals, Trace Elements and Human Health is one of 23 books, 38 chapters and 185 papers he has authored in the scientific literature, primarily in the fields of nutrition and botanical medicine. He is known for two review papers on the renal toxicity of an organic germanium compound consumed by humans. More recently, he co-authored a paper on the morphology of an unusual diamond in Diamond: The Ultimate Gemstone. Since 1967, when the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® was held in a tent south of the airport, he has attended 47 shows through 2018. For over two decades he has served as a quality judge at the show. A noted collector of thumbnail mineral specimens, he is the recipient of numerous awards earned at regional and national American Federation of Mineralogical Societies (AFMS) shows, and the Richard H. Pearl Trophy at the Denver Gem and Mineral Show, as well as, the Ed McDole Trophy and Paul Desautels Trophy for best mineral case exhibited in competition at the TGMS show.
A Trustee of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Alex is a board member and past-President of the national non-profit, Friends of Mineralogy, founded in Tucson in 1970, and a Life Member of the Mineralogical Society of Arizona, Fellow of The Mineralogical Record, and member of the: Mineralogical Society of America; Arizona Geological Society; Tucson Gem & Mineral Society; Pinal Gem & Mineral Society: and, Flagg Mineral Foundation.
In 2017, Alex was instrumental in having Wulfenite become the official state mineral of the State of Arizona. Alex has been a Board member since 2013.
Shelly Sergent A Phoenix resident, is the Collection Manager of the Somewhere In The Rainbow gemstone and jewelry collection, currently on display at the UA’s Flandrau Planetarium and Science Center’s main floor until the end of the year. In 2013, the collection was the subject of a feature article in The New York Times. The mission of the collection is to bring hands on education, understanding and appreciation of fine colored gems and artisan crafted jewelry to museums, retail stores and educational facilities dedicated to enjoying and appreciating the rarity, beauty and value of these gems and master artisan’s works. Also a Curator of Boutique Gem Sourcing, and Professional Member of the American Gem Trade Association, Shelly spent 35 years in the jewelry industry, starting at age 16 as a holiday season giftwrap girl for Zales Jewelers. She quickly realized her passion for fine gem’s, design and first class client services, and learned the business of the jewelry industry by climbing the ranks from giftwrap gal to sales, service, philanthropy and management. She has been a featured guest presenter with JTV, keynote speaker for many industry events, and travels extensively sharing gem and jewelry passion with guests and museum attendees here and abroad.
William H. Wilkinson Wilkinson H. Wilkinson is Vice President Exploration, Africa, for Freeport-McMoRan Inc. in Phoenix, AZ. He is responsible for project direction, reconnaissance and acquisitions throughout the continent which has lead to a major discovery. He has nearly 37 years of experience in mineral exploration and has worked in base and precious metal exploration in 25 countries on five continents. Will has worked in the southwestern United States for Anaconda, Duval Corporation, Westmont Mining and Phelps Dodge prior to Freeport.
Will received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in geology from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, with a three-year break for service in the U.S. Army. He received his Ph.D. degree in geosciences in 1981 from the University of Arizona. Will was the 2009 President of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), is a Distinguished Member of SME, a charter Registered Member of SME and an Honorary member of AIME. He is a Certified Professional Geologist of the American Institute of Professional Geologists and is a member of the Society of Economic Geologists, Mining Foundation of the Southwest (Board of Governors), Mining and Metallurgical Society of America, and the Arizona Geological Society. He has been an avid mineral collector since the fourth grade, which provided the impetus to study geology and explore for new mineral deposits.