Gemport's Staff

Joan Guillemette

joanJoan was born in Toronto, Ontario - the oldest of two girls. She attended Midland Avenue Collegiate High School, taking the Arts program. It was love at first sight- Luc's locker was across the hall, the only young man with a full beard and wore a paisley shirt. Their first date was walking along the Scarborough bluffs, and the beach on Lake Ontario. They collected rounded beach pebbles as a souvenir of the date. Luc presented Joan with the set of beach stone necklace, bracelet and earrings, and her love of jewellery was born. Joan was hired by IBM right after graduation to work in accounts receivalbles. When Luc was transferred to Edmonton, Joan followed and settled into St. Albert. When Gemport moved into Village Tree Mall, Joan was responsible for the front display window and created many memorable ones using everything from roof vents, to chicken wire and "Furbies". Since our move to downtown St. Albert , Joan has been very involved in the Perron District Business Association. Joan loves colour and it helps in designing jewellery. She has taken several CAD/CAM courses and designs in 3D on the computer. Joan also loves rockhounding and meteorite collecting and goes with Luc every chance she can. Joan is a charter member of a Women's service club called the Canadian Progress Club - SILKS (Service in Love, Kindness and Strength) They raise money for National Charities - Special Olympics, and Provincial charities - Camp Warwa and Uncles and Aunts at Large. Our local charity is S.A.I.F. (Stop Abuse in Families. She is co-chair of their fundraising event called "Guilty Pleasures" - a premiere women's evening held in April. Where else can women be served champagne & truffles by a handsome man in a tuxedo? Joan loves animals and has a cat named Katanga - nicknamed Mousie, a tortoiseshell polydactyl - 6 toes on each of her front feet. She was named after a region in Africa that mines coal, copper, tin, uranium and diamonds - covering all of Mousie's colours. Joan has 13 Betta fish in her office- Louie, Rocky, little Max, Mango, little Joey, Finny, LeRoy, Vinny , Copper, Timmy, Vinnie, Avatar and Thule, as well as a large freshwater aquarium at home. Joan's latest passion is doing family research on Ancestry.ca., orchids and Meteorites.

 
Luc Guillemette

luc3Luc was born the middle child of 11 siblings in North Bay, Ontario. His family moved to Toronto when he was 12 years old. He took Business and Commerce in high school. He decided to change to an Arts program and transferred to Midland Collegiate High School. Since he took the bus to school, he had to transfer at the corner of Eglinton and Midland. While waiting for the next bus, he discovered a Lapidary shop. The next day he had made a necklace, bracelet and earring from the beach pebbles. They were so unusual that people started to inquire as to who made them, and a love of design was born. Luc was hired by IBM right after graduation. Luc & Joan were married in Aug 1971. Luc worked shifts loading tape drives, and punch cards into the massive computers. He was allowed to design jewellery during run time, and won several design awards. Luc also took the British Gemmology course in Toronto. This was the start of Gemport. Luc was transferred to Edmonton with IBM in 1981 as a typewriter/copier repairman. Both Luc & Joan fell in love with St. Albert and call it home. Luc left IBM in 198?. A retail location became available in Village Tree Mall and Gemport opened their doors. Thirteen years later, the mall was torn down and Gemport moved to their current location in the old Capital City Credit Union building on St. Anne Street. Luc loves to design custom jewellery, as well as cut and repair coloured gemstones, and is the main buyer for Gemport. He also loves antique jewellery and is in charge of Gemport's Estate case. Luc still tries to get away collecting minerals and crystals as often as he can. A favourite location being Pine Point, Hay River, N.W.T. for unusual calcite crystals. He has a extensive knowledge of gemstones and lapidary material stemming from the crystal and rough collecting, as well as being members of several different Gem & Mineral Clubs. His latest passion is collecting Meteorites in Saskatchewan and Alberta and compiling the data for the University of Alberta Meteorite Department. Luc also serves as President of the Condo board, a member of the Downtown committee of the Chamber of Commerce. Luc is a member of the St. Albert C.P. He won Outstanding New Member for Canada for Canadian Progress  

Chad  - Goldsmith

chadChad was born in Guyana, formerly known as British Guiana on the northern coast of South America. He started training when he was 15 years old with a Master Goldsmith. He moved to Edmonton in 1989. Chad used to play cricket. Chad married Drupattie in 1990 and have three boys, Michael , Brandon , & Jordon.  They are very involved in school and soccer. Chad has worked for Gemport since April 1998. He has three Uncles who are Goldsmiths as well as three of his brothers, so it runs in the family. Chad is very family oriented and spends a lot of time with his very large extended family. The technological side of goldsmithing has changed since Chad started in the business. He remembers when he had to cast jewellery pieces in sand. Now a lot of the designs are done on a CAD/CAM design system. His favourite part of the job is hand carving waxes and making custom jewellery pieces.


Emilie - Sales/Design/Beading

EmilieEmilie was born in Chicoutami, Quebec and moved to Edmonton when she was 3 years old. Her first love was fashion design and started when she was 15. She worked in a large local Home Decor/Gift Store in Village Tree Mall. She learned merchandising,sales, customer service, flower arranging and her favourite part was making up gift baskets which requires many skills. She and her husband, John were customers for many years, when Gemport was located in Village Tree Mall. The Gift store closed and when they returned from a vacation in Europe, Emilie stopped in at Gemport to have some repairs done, and was asked if she could fill in for three days, while Joan was away. She gladly accepted and has been with Gemport for over four years now. She absolutely loves the industry, since it fulfills her creative needs. She has learned about every aspect of the business from the types of metals, types of gemstones, designing, selling, and typing up appraisals for Luc. Her favourite part is designing custom pieces as well a creating beautiful pearl and bead necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Emilie loves doing different displays in the showcases and cabinets. She is also very involved with Art Walk evenings, and has a wonderful eye for hanging the original art. Loves her dog Lokie. 

 

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