Chairman - Serge Chamahyan
Sergio Chamahyan, originally from Beirut, Lebanon, had his humble beginnings as a bench worker back in 1993. After a few years of working in highly recognized and respected jewelry houses, Sergio opened his own atelier in 2000. By chance, a holiday trip to Canada in 2001 opened his eyes to a larger market and Sergio moved permanently to Canada in 2003 where he founded Orosergio Ltd. in the heart of Downtown Toronto. For over a decade, Sergio has been working relentlessly on his company's success by creating high quality and unique pieces of jewelry and by providing fast, reliable and professional service to his clients.
Sergio's passion for technology and those advancements within the jewellery trade make him an expert at CAD and custom made jewellery production. His experience as a goldsmith in Lebanon has given him a deep understanding of the artistic quality and skills needed to be a professional jeweller. He is excited to be a part of the team at the AJA of Ontario board.
Vice Chairman - Vanig Jelilian
Vanig Jelilian, goldsmith and jewellery designer. In 1978 Vanig opened his office and workshop in downtown Toronto under Creations By Vanig, specializing in custom design jewellery servicing many jewellery stores in Ontario. From 1999 to 2003 vanig served in the AJA Ontario chapter in many different capacities.
In 2005 Vanig moved to a new location in Mississauga Ontario, catering to the retail market. His new store is now called Lorne Park Jewellers, specializing mainly in unique costom made jewellery.
Vanig has a passion and love for creating jewellery, it is like a World of Endless Creation that gives everlasting joy.
Treasurer - Haigo Derian
Haigo Derian has built a strong and sustainable jewellery business through his lifelong involvement in the industry. As Vice-President of L’ORO Jewellery – a successful high-end retail company, founded by his father Vahram – Haigo was responsible for the rebranding and expansion of the company to its current market-leader position. In 2007, Haigo co-developed CUPIDO Designs Inc. with lifelong friend Jeff Karadjian making the new retail concept Canada’s first ‘Fashion Luxury’ Watch and Jewellery store. Through passion and hard work, CUPIDO is currently enjoying its expansion throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
Haigo’s strong leadership skills combined with a dedicated work ethic are sure to contribute to the mandate and goals of the Armenian Jewellers Association of Ontario. In addition, Haigo has obtained a degree from the University of Toronto and various gemological diplomas from the High Diamond Council (HRD) of Antwerp, Belgium. He is honoured to represent the AJA of Ontario and is committed to its members.
Public Relations - Apel Camgozlu
Apel Camgozlu has been in the jewellery business all his life, helping out with his family's business when he was just a little 5 year old boy. In 1982, He witnessed the birth of Mary Jewellery in Toronto, a joint business venture with his father and uncles, specializing in the wholesale of gold jewellery. At 18, he began working full time in the business and has been working alongside his family ever since. Over the last twenty years, Apel has been exposed to and is well versed in many aspects of the jewellery trade, however, at present his role is Chief Operations Officer of Mary's and overseeing the business' daily administrative work.
Apel is an active member of the AJA of Ontario. He has played an integral part in the re-launching of the Armenian Jewellers Association of Ontario and is passionate about bringing Armenian jewellers together in the spirit of camaraderie and friendship.
Secretary - Aida Knadjian
Aida Knadjian first joined her family business as a student during summer and winter holidays. After graduating from university with a BA in Communications, Aida enrolled at the Gemological Institute of America to learn more about an industry that she grew up around. As her passion for jewellery grew, she joined her family business full-time and has since become an important part of the company alongside her brother. Aida enjoys her relationships with customers across Canada and gets inspiration during her travels to Hong Kong to learn more about the industry on a global level. She challenges herself to find new ideas that can help her family business evolve in alignment with current market trends while maintaining their reputation as suppliers of quality diamond jewellery.
The AJA holds a special place in Aida’s heart as she grew up watching her father Adom, former AJA Ontario President and uncle Vartkess, one of the founding fathers of the AJA, develop the idea of creating a global network for Armenian jewellers. Through their guidance and mentorship, Aida has seen how the personal relationships they have built through the AJA have resulted in countless business deals for their respective businesses. Aida feels it is very important for any Armenian in the jewellery industry to be involved with the AJA global network as it is through supporting and learning from each other that we grow both personally and professionally.
Public Relations - Shant Purutoglu
Shant Purutoglu, like many Armenians, grew up in the jewellery industry. He immigrated to Canada in 1989 from Turkey at the age of 8. His strong work ethic is evident by his humble beginnings at a local restaurant at the age of 13, and only years later being promoted to supervisor. But his real passion and spirit belonged in the jewellery business. In 2003, Shant founded GEM LAB Appraisal Services in Toronto, Canada - a B2B partner within the industry specifically focusing on gem grading. Shant built the company on expertise and accreditation he acquired from GIA, HRD and the CGA combined with leading edge technology and equipment. In a short time GEM LAB has become synonymous with quality, ethics, and value; all characteristics essential for success in the industry.
Shant’s innate understanding of the business is magnified by his surroundings. GEM LAB operates alongside Shant's family's business; where each member provides a specific artisan craft, collectively providing B2B clients full turnkey solutions for manufacturing at all levels. It is this background and value system that makes him a strong candidate for the Armenian Jewellers Association of Ontario board.