Management Team

Founder & Chief Executive OfficerMatt Lauzon

Matt Lauzon co-founded Gemvara while earning his B.S. in Business Management at Babson College. Originally a B2B platform for independent jewelers, he transformed Gemvara into what it is today after recognizing a niche in the jewelry industry at the intersection of eCommerce and mass customization. Matt's "meCommerce" vision entails combining the rational aspects of a purchase (the right product, free shipping, impressive quality, etc.) with the emotional: encapsulating the perfect memory into a physical product that is uniquely you. His path has lead him to being named to Inc. Magazine's 2011 "30 under 30" list, BusinessWeek's "Top Entrepreneurs Under the Age of 25", and the honor of being named an Entrepreneur in Residence at MIT.

When he's not sitting at the helm of the world's fastest growing online jeweler, Matt enjoys spending time fishing in his home state of Maine, giving back to the tech community (#rubyriot), and drinking coffee milk (try it!) while watching Gemvara's online customer chats as if it's a spectator sport. His favorite gemstone is green tourmaline.

Chief Financial OfficerMatt Nichols

Matt Nichols joined Gemvara in February 2011 as Chief Financial Officer and Board Member. Matt was previously a Principal at Highland Capital Partners where he invested in Gemvara and has served as an advisor since 2007. Matt has an expertise in ecommerce through his investments in Gemvara and The OpenSky Project. Matt was also active in Highland's investments as a board member or board observer at Pixable, U.S. Search, Bullhorn, Quigo, and Turbine. Prior to joining Highland, Matt was a member of Google's corporate development team. Matt also worked at Morgan Stanley Venture Partners, where he invested in Avamar (acquired by EMC for $165MM), Tarari (acquired by LSI for $85MM) and Perceptive Software (acquired by Lexmark for $280MM). Matt was a member of the Google IPO team at Morgan Stanley.

Matt's favorite piece on Gemvara is the Slim Pave Band with Sapphires and Diamonds (PAL-LDY-02) because he gave it to his wife to celebrate their son's birth, it was his first purchase at Gemvara, and the stones are also Matt's birthstones! Matt was formerly a nationally ranked junior badminton player, but his racquet skills have not transitioned well to the Gemvara ping-pong table, where he seems to lose to almost everybody. Matt received a BA in Mathematical Economics from Pomona College and an MBA with High Distinction from The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Chief Experience OfficerBrian Kalma

Brian is serving as Gemvara's Chief Experience Officer. Prior to joining the land of gems, he was a contributor to Zappos in the early days and spent 7+ years there before moving on to join Gilt Groupe. After some time there leading their UX efforts he set out on a personal learning journey and launched a startup called Snipwits. During this time he learned a ton about his strengths, weaknesses and what he ultimately wants to do with his life.

He spends his time working towards making the Gemvara experience as awesome as it can possibly be as well as catering to and loving his wife Patricia and his doggy Franz. One of his favorite scenes from a movie actually relates to Gemvara, it is the end scene in Goonies when the kids find all the pirate's stolen jewels!

Chief Operating OfficerJanet Holian

Janet Holian joined Gemvara as Chief Operating Officer in 2011. Previously Janet spent 11 years at Vistaprint as President of Vistaprint's European business, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Vistaprint USA, Incorporated and various marketing roles for Vistaprint since being hired as Vice President, Corporate Communications in July 2000. From January 1999 to June 2000, Janet served as Vice President, Corporate Marketing at Andover.Net, a Linux and Open Source technology portal with leading Linux sites such as Slashdot and Thinkgeek. Prior to Andover.Net, Ms. Holian held the positions of Vice President of Marketing at PersonalAudio, Inc. and Director of Worldwide Marketing at MicroTouch Systems Inc.

Ms. Holian earned her B.A. in economics and business from Westfield State University in 1981 and completed the Tuck Executive Program at the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in 1995. Janet's passion is all about helping early stage companies define and prove their business model. Early in her tenure at Gemvara she gave CXO Brian Kalma the nickname Elf which has become his calling card.

Vice President of Jewelry FulfillmentRoy Albers

Roy Albers has been in the jewelry business his whole working life and then some. He has traveled to most of the worlds' jewelry markets buying & selling gems and diamonds, and creating new jewelry collections. Roy is a gemstone and diamond expert, formerly The Chief Gemologist and Vice President of Gemstone Acquisitions at Tiffany & Co.

Roy's passion is helping customers by finding the best gemstone to match their needs and creating a piece of jewelry which is perfect for the "moment". Like having an engagement ring made and sent to Guam to meet one of our overseas servicemen who wanted to get engaged while on leave. Talk about helping create the perfect moment!! Roy's favorite piece of jewelry is the double drop "naked gems" earring, set with Citrine. Being involved in the creation of the "naked gem" collection set Roy up to fall in love with the earrings.

Chief ArchitectIwao Hatanaka

Iwao Hatanaka joined Gemvara as Chief Architect in 2008, bringing over 20 years of software engineering and product development experience. He was previously Chief Architect at n2N Commerce, where he was responsible for the overall architecture of n2N's Software as a Service Platform, a cross-channel, on-demand, eCommerce platform for large multi-channel retailers. Prior to n2N Commerce, Iwao was Principal Software Architect at BEA Systems and helped to pioneer edge server, enterprise, and mobile technologies in the RFID industry. Before BEA, Iwao successfully led the development and launch of the B2B web services platform for direct sourcing at (acquired by Ariba). He also spent 13 years at IBM in various technical leadership and engineering positions in the System 390 Development Lab, Highly Parallel Supercomputing Lab, and Consumer Driven Supply Chain business unit. Iwao holds several patents in the areas of enterprise software architecture and distributed computing.

Iwao earned an MS in System Design and Management from MIT and a BA in Computer Science and Mathematics from Cornell University. When the snow falls, Iwao can be found skiing in the powder stashes and "black diamond" slopes of the Green/White Mountains. On any given sunny day, he can be spotted riding his Harley in the New England countryside with a big smile and "pearly whites" in full effect!

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