Linda Bonacci – Office Manager
Originally from western Kentucky, Linda has lived in the Ithaca area since 1977 and has, in her private accounting and business management practice, served local clients for some twenty years. She joined Micky Roof’s team in 1990 and cites her main areas of expertise as “accounting, organization, and ‘people relations’.” Linda became professionally involved with the jewelry industry by accident, she says, having begun part-time as Micky’s business manager. What does she like most about being here? “The staff and always changing and growing.” In her spare time, Linda enjoys cooking, gardening and bird watching. “The future appears to be challenging and entertaining,” she adds. “Retire? No way!”. Linda factoid: As a child, she learned the alphabet backwards before learning its standard configuration.
Hala Ostwani – Store Manager
Hala Ostwani, a native of Syria, has known that she wanted to pursue a career in fine jewelry since age 9, when she accompanied her father to Thailand for his work as a gem dealer and got her first taste of rare and gorgeous gemstones from around the world. After obtaining a B.A. in English, Hala decided to pursue her dream and moved to Italy to study Jewelry Design. From there, she moved to New York City to obtain her Graduate Gemologist Degree. Hala has worked as a Freelance Jewelry Designer, a Gemologist and a Fine Jewelry Consultant between New York, Damascus and Dubai. She has also worked in the field of antique jewelry, which has given her a wider perspective on variations in jewelry-making techniques. Hala is certified as a Gemologist by the Gemological Institute of America, the world’s leading institute charged with the studying and grading of diamonds and colored stones. She is a member of their Alumni Association as well as the Women’s Jewelry Association. Hala also has over 13 years of experience in jewelry marketing, training and design and is excited to share her vast wealth of expertise with you!
Lena Skoromnik – Master Goldsmith
Lena came to the United States in 1994 from Belarus, where she had worked as a chain-maker in a jewelry factory. After some local apprenticing, she joined Micky Roof’s team in 1999. A superbly accomplished bench jeweler and stone setter, Lena is also our in-house, freehand engraver, an expert wax carver and a specialist in antique ring restoration. She really is a “Jackie of all trades”! Many of Micky’s designs come to life in her talented hands. Lena says she values the support and respect she receives. “I really love my job and always do my best to make people happy and smile!”. She likes “…learning anything new, and trying to do what I can do (or can’t do!) in my profession.” Lena factoid: She’s a new grandma to Bennett and Winston!
Whitney Wright – Goldsmith
Whitney Wright, a native of Rochester, NY, has harbored a passion for the arts for as long as she can remember. At age 17, she enrolled at the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Initially majoring in Art Education, Whitney’s career plans took a new turn when she discovered metal arts. As a student, she was sponsored by a non-profit organization to study abroad for an arts and cultural preservation project. She traveled to Macedonia to learn traditional Macedonian filigree and primitive casting techniques. This experience influenced the style of her jewelry pieces, drawing upon modern, organic aesthetic properties combined with traditional filigree designs. She was awarded Best in Show for Three-Dimensional Art in the university art catalog for an enamel and fine silver filigree hair piece that she created. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jewelry Making/Metalsmithing, Whitney apprenticed under a master goldsmith in southern Indiana. She has 6 years of experience at the bench, including manufacturing designer jewelry, custom design, heirloom restoration and repairs. Whitney is excited to now call Ithaca her home and looks forward to repairing and creating treasured jewelry art for all of you!