Q: Tell me about growing up in a family business and why you chose to follow in your father's footsteps and carry on in the jewelry business.
A: I actually started working with my family when I was 14 and really enjoyed the jewelry business and have been doing it ever since. My wife, Vicki and my son, William both work in the business and it is a true family organization.
Q: Are diamonds really a girl's best friend?
A: Whether it is set in an engagement ring or any other item of jewelry, a diamond is the ultimate symbol of love. It's not necessarily the gem itself but the meaning behind it that makes a diamond so cherished by women.
Q: What do you enjoy most about what you do?
A: It is absolutely the great relationships that I have developed with my customers over the years. I'm selling jewelry to the grandchildren of people to whom I sold their engagement rings. The friendships I have made go far beyond business transactions.
Q: With the economic downturn over the past two years or so, have you seen a decline in business because people aren't purchasing big ticket items like jewelry?
A: The economic situation has caused consumers to be careful with their money. However as long as there are people falling in love, and there are birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas, people will continue to purchase jewelry. It is a very personal gift and one of the few that can last a lifetime.
Q: What are some of the benefits and challenges to having a downtown business?
A: I love operating a business in the historical part of the town. We are near the riverfront, the buildings are interesting and have character, and there is a special bond with the people who have other businesses in the area. Customers can deal directly with the business owners and we can easily tailor our product offerings to our customers' wants and needs. The biggest challenge is that we are not on a main traffic thoroughfare.
Q: Tell me about your role as president of Old Town Cape and your involvement with the organization over the years. Why is this an important organization to you?
A: I've personally been involved with downtown organizations for forty years beginning with the Downtown Merchants Association association. We have accomplished many great things, especially during the last few years. Old Town Cape has a very structured organizational plan for moving forward and has also enabled us expand our scope to include the Broadway and Harrig districts. There are many many hard-working people, both city employees and volunteers, involved in everything that we accomplish. I'm just one small, bit player.
Q: What are your thoughts on future downtown redevelopment efforts?
A: There are many great new projects on the horizon. The Fountain Street access has been started, the former Keys music building is being restored, as well as the building on the corner of Broadway and Sprigg Street. Improved access on William Street is part of TTF-4, (the city's Aug. 3 road-tax initative) and there are other major projects that are just in the planning stages.
Q: What other organizations and community projects are you proud to be involved with over the years?
A: Through my affiliation with the Downtown Merchants Association, Redevelopment Corporation and Special Tax District as well as Old Town Cape, I have been able to be a small part of the recent Water Street and downtown parking lot improvement as well as many of the other downtown projects. I am a member of the Noon Optimist Club and our focus is on serving the youth of the community.
Q: What do you like to do when you're not working?
A: I truly enjoy working with youth sports, but I would love to be out on a lake somewhere with my wife and kids right now.