Advisory Board

C.R. “Cap” Beesley
C.R. “Cap” Beesley is a internationally known gem consultant and gem sciences specialist. Currently, he serves as President of Analytics, a research and development firm focused on consulting in gem related fields. He is also Chairman of Gemcore’s Gemstone Standards Commission, a non-profit educational organization that is dedicated to gem consumer protection programs.

Formally, Cap was founder and president of American Gemological Laboratories (AGL), a New York based, international gem testing facility, specializing in the determination of country of origin, gem enhancement detection, and the quality assessment of ruby, emerald and sapphire. During his time with the laboratory, Cap served for more than 10 years as the primary gem consultant to the United Nations Minerals Branch, establishing gem laboratories and training facilities internationally. In addition, he has taught both gem related programs and courses around the world including the University of Peshawar in Pakistan, the University of Kashmir and The Geological Survey of Malawi, Africa.

Previously, he was a senior staff member of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), where he was responsible for implementing GIA’s 6-month resident program on the East Coast, while simultaneously developing the model for their first colored stone grading course, in addition to directing the GIA’s gem investment program.

Currently, he serves on Yale’s Leadership Council for the Peabody and also as Chairman of the Museum’s Mineral and Gem Advisory Board.

debDebra Colodner

Debra Colodner is Associate Director of the Center for Sonoran Desert Studies at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. The Center for Sonoran Desert Studies conducts the educational and scientific functions of the Museum and is a hub for research, education ad conservation of the Sonoran Desert Region. As the Center’s Associate Director, she oversees the Museum’s school and camp programs as well as the Earth Sciences Center. Dr. Colodner has more than 15 years experience in environmental science research end education. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where she focused on the use of ocean sediments as indicators of past climate change. She also has a BS in Geology and Geophysics from Yale University, where she won the Penfield Prize in Mineralogy. She was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, where she continued her research on ocean sediments, dove to the bottom of the ocean in the submarine, Alvin, to study hydrothermal processes, managed a new research lab and began her teaching experience. Prior to her current position, she was Education Director and Associate Director at Flandrau Science Center.

Ed David

Dr. David is President of EED, Inc., advisor to industry, government, and universities on technology, research, and innovation management. During his career, he was Science Advisory to the President of the United States and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, President of Exxon Research and Engineering Company, and an Executive Director of Bell Telephone Laboratories. Dr. David is the retired U.S. Representative to the NATO Science Committee and is a member of the American Philosophical Society, of the National Academy of Engineering, of the National Academy of Public Administration, of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a former trustee of the John S. Guggenheim Foundation. He is a Life Member of the Corporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He is former President of the American Association for Advancement of Science. Dr. David also serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the American Gemological Trading Association. He received his Doctorate in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is a recipient of 12 honorary degrees from such institutions as the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, Lehigh University, Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of Michigan, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and others. Dr. David’s advisees include the U.S. Department of Energy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Copper Union for Advancement of Science and Art, among numerous other universities, corporations, and institutes.

Richard Graeme

Mr. Graeme, a native of Bisbee, Arizona, has been a collector and student of the minerals from this classic locality since 1950 and worked as an underground miner at Bisbee for a dozen years. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in Geological Engineering in 1972 and continued to work in Bisbee as the Resident Geologist. The mineral graemite was named in his honor in 1975, as he had discovered the type material in 1959.

Professionally, Mr. Graeme, now retired, has served most recently as Senior Vice-President and General Manager of Lumina Copper SAC; Vice-President and General Manager of Gold Fields La Cima; both located in Peru and as Vice President and Country Manager of Gold Fields Venezuela. Prior to that, he was Vice President and Head of Operations for Gold Fields Ghana, Ltd., located in West Africa.

He was also Vice President of Operations for Sharon Steel Natural Resources based in Denver and later as Vice President of Operations for Golden Queen Mining Company, in Mojave, California. Before that Mr. Graeme was the General Manager of gold mines in California, New Mexico and Nome, Alaska as well as a coal mine in Utah and a copper mine in New Mexico. In all, he worked in the mining industry for 55 consecutive years.
He is a member of the Society of Mining Engineers.

Paul S. Harter

Paul is a native Arizonan whose interest in minerals was fostered by his grandfather, a mining engineer, who graduated from the University of Utah.  Family trips always focused on mines, minerals and geology with a primary focus in Arizona and Utah.  His great uncle was the noted author A.B. Parsons.  Paul first competitively exhibit at the Arizona State Fair in 1958 and has continued to do so.  Since that time his collecting interests have expanded to also include extensive field collecting.  For five years he served as the Show Chair for the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show.  In concert with Bryan K. Lees, he co-authored the chapter in American Mineral Treasures on the Sweet Home Mine.  His collection focuses on minerals of Arizona, with other smaller sub-collections.

Evan Jones
In 1979 he graduated from Scottsdale High School in Scottsdale, Arizona and enrolled in the geology program at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. Soon after, he began working part-time at the Arizona Mineral Museum helping to curate the state mineral collection. He also worked part-time at ASU for both Dr. Peter Buseck and Dr. Edmund Stump in the Geology department. The summers of 1980-1984 were spent in Silverton, Colorado with older brother William R. Jones at Root & Norton Assayers where he prepped ore samples for fire assay and did mapping and geological field work. He graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Geology in May 1985.

After graduation, he immediately started working with collector minerals, first curating and cataloging the collection of noted Arizona collector Thomas N. McKee, then working for dealers Wayne and Dona Leicht of Kristalle in Laguna Beach, California.

In May 1986, he was hired by Mr. Charles Leavitt of Bitner’s, Inc., in Phoenix, Arizona, a wholesale mineral dealership started by Fred & Barclay Bitner, as their mineral specialist. There he sold quantities of wholesale minerals from Mexico and Arizona, handled several mineral collections, and supplied rock shops and galleries throughout the U.S and Europe with specimen materials, eventually becoming manager of the business. Bitner’s was a regular dealer in Tucson at the Desert Inn starting in 1987, then later at the Executive Inn after the Desert Inn closed. In 1998, Evan left Bitner’s and struck out on his own as a mineral dealer, setting up yearly at numerous mineral shows across the U.S. including Tucson, Denver and Costa Mesa, California.

By the mid-2000’s, he had transformed the Jones family mineral collection into one focused exclusively on the minerals of Arizona, now generally known to be one of the finest in private hands.

In January 2012 Evan formed Unique Minerals, Inc, a new fine mineral dealership with Philadelphia collector Marc Miterman. Continuing to supply fine minerals to collectors throughout the world, they can be found at most major mineral shows in the U.S including Tucson, Houston and Denver. Evan also travels every year to the Saint-Marie Aux-Mines show in France and the Munich Show in Germany.

Evan has attended every Tucson Show since 1981 and has won several awards over the years including two Walt Lidstrom trophies, and the Miguel Romero and Dick Bideaux trophies. He helped organize the “Arizona Mineral Treasures” Arizona Centennial exhibition at the 2012 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show; organized the recent supplement to the Mineralogical Record magazine “Mineral Collections in Arizona”; is on the advisory board of the University of Arizona Mineral Museum in Tucson, and is a founding member of the Arizona Mineral Minions. He co-wrote recent articles on the minerals of the Milpillas mine in Sonora, Mexico for the popular European mineral magazines Extra-Lapis and Mineralien-Welt and gave a lecture on Milpillas at the Dallas Fine Mineral Symposium in 2014. He also has written an article on Ben Williams, the first superintendent of the Copper Queen mine in Bisbee, and co-written an article on the Carlota mine in Gila County, both for Mineralogical Record magazine.

He has field collected and been underground in numerous mines in Arizona, Mexico, Colorado, California, Utah and New Mexico. In 2002, the most exhilarating event of his mineral collecting career was being among the first Americans to enter and explore the giant gypsum crystal cavern in Naica, Chiuahua, Mexico, perhaps the most stunning and important discovery of in-situ crystals on the planet.

Robert Lavinsky
A collector from the age of 12, Dr. Robert Lavinsky first started participating in mineral shows at the age of 14. He initially planned to launch his career in molecular genetics and received his doctoral degree from UC-San Diego, but his passion for minerals led to a career change. Rob realized the potential to move the mineral world online and became the first mineral-selling website online in 1996. Since then, he has been a full-time dedicated mineral dealer and recently had a new mineral, Lavinskyite, named in his honor.

By loaning specimens, consulting on displays, and curating, he has collaborated with a variety of museums including the Yale University Peabody Museum, Rice Northwest Museum, Dallas Perot Museum, Midland Petroleum Museum, Cranbrook Institute of Science, The National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra, Australia, and several prominent museums in China. He has been a long-time supporter of the UofA’s RRUFF Project, the Mineralogical Record, and other mineral publications.

His sponsorship of several film projects (Mineral Explorers, The World’s Most Precious Treasures), books (The Lindsay Greenbank Collection of Classic Minerals of Northern England, The Miguel Romero Collection of Mexican Minerals, China Crystalline Treasures: The Mineral Heritage of China) have helped expand mineral awareness and popularity, and each August, Dr. Lavinsky and other co-sponsors host the Dallas Mineral Collecting Symposium ( featuring world-famous mineral experts and engaging social events.

John Lucking

Dr. Lucking is President of Econ-Linc, an economic consulting firm in Phoenix, Arizona. He has served as an Economics Consultant for Bank One Arizona and Chief Economist for Valley National Bank. Dr. Lucking is a member of Arizona’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee Economic Advisory Panel, and the Western Blue Chip Economic Forecast Panel. He is a member of the Board of the Northern Arizona University Foundation and serves on various historical, civic, and economic association boards. Dr. Lucking is also Trustee-Director of New Mexico and Arizona Land Company.

robbieRobbie McCarty

Robbie received a BA from the University of Arizona and a Masters from the University of San Francisco. A life long educator in Fountain Valley School District, California, she taught mainly middle school math, science, and computer classes before moving to the district office to start technology staff development for teachers.

She grew up in Tucson arriving with her parents at the start of second grade, beginning her love of the desert and its minerals.  In the early 1970’s she and husband Bill wandered into the recently opened Laguna Beach shop, Kristalle. With Wayne and Dona Leicht as mentors, they began their collection of Arizona minerals, a portion of which has been on display at the University of Arizona Mineral Museum since 2012.

Gene Meieran

Dr. Meieran is an Intel Fellow working on advanced manufacturing strategy development in Intel’s Technology Manufacturing Group. He has responsibility for introducing advanced technologies and applications into Intel’s component manufacturing facilities to help improve manufacturing performance. Dr. Meieran jointed Intel Corporation in 1973 as Manager of Package Development, with responsibility for developing new lines of plastic and hermetic packages for the emerging memory and microprocessor product lines. For several years, he was responsible for all of the Far-East and Caribbean assembly plant quality and reliability functions. In 1985, he was appointed as Intel Fellow, the second in the company’s history. Dr. Meieran founded and has been an active participant in the Electronic Materials Symposium, which sponsors an annual meeting to discuss materials and processing technology for the industry. He is a member of the Intel Research Council and the Intel Academic Relations Council, and was Intel’s representative to the Semiconductor Research Corporation Factory Sciences Board. He has received two Intel Achievement Awards for his contributions to Intel.

Les Presmyk

Mr. Presmyk was elected to the Gilbert, Arizona, Town Council in 1999 after serving on the Gilbert Planning and Zoning Commission for four years. He served as Vice-Mayor in 2001-02, and 2005-06. Mr. Presmyk is a Senior Mine Engineer with the Salt River Project and has been an active member of the Gilbert community for over a decade. He is active in mining and mineral education and has served as a mentor at the Pappas School for Homeless Children. Mr. Presmyk holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mining Engineering from The University of Arizona.

Alex SchaussAlexander G. Schauss

Dr. Schauss is President and CEO of AIBMR Life Sciences. He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of New Mexico, and PhD in psychology at California Coast University, and completed post-graduate courses at the University of Washington at Seattle, University of Washington at Tacoma, University of Puget Sound, and California State University-Fullerton. He has been an Associate Professor Research, a Clinical Professor, and taught courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, and nutrition. Noted for his vast knowledge of natural products, and research on the effect of phytochemicals found in plants, and trace and ultra trace elements, and their effect on brain function, he has authored 23 books, 34 chapters, and 175 papers published in a diverse range of scientific journals. A Certified Food Scientist, he is Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, and member of the American Chemical Society, American College of Toxicology, International Society of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. He has represented the United States at the World Health Organization (WHO) Study Group on Health Promotion, and currently serves as an expert panel member with the United States Pharmacopeia. He is a [art Chair, Council on Food Policy, National Association of Public Health Policy. While growing up in New York City, he was mentored in mineralogy and mineral collecting by the late-Dr. Frederick Pough, Chair of the Department of Geology and Mineralogy, at the American Museum of Natural History. His first attendance of some 46 Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows (TGMS) occurred in 1967. An advanced mineral collector, he has been the recipient of numerous national awards from the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies, and earned both the Ed McDole and Paul Desautel trophies for best mineral case exhibited in competition at the TGMS. A resident of Oro Valley, Arizona, he is the President of the national non-profit organization, Friends of Mineralogy, a Life Member of the Mineralogical Society of Arizona, and a member of the Mineralogical Society of America, the Arizona Geological Society, the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society, and the Flagg Foundation, and a Research Associate in the Department of Geosciences, College of Science, at the University of Arizona.

William H. Wilkinson

Wilkinson H. Wilkinson is Vice President Exploration, Africa, for Freeport-McMoRan Inc. in Phoenix, AZ. He is responsible for project direction, reconnaissance and acquisitions throughout the continent which has lead to a major discovery. He has nearly 37 years of experience in mineral exploration and has worked in base and precious metal exploration in 25 countries on five continents. Will has worked in the southwestern United States for Anaconda, Duval Corporation, Westmont Mining and Phelps Dodge prior to Freeport.

Will received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in geology from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, with a three-year break for service in the U.S. Army. He received his Ph.D. degree in geosciences in 1981 from the University of Arizona. Will was the 2009 President of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), is a Distinguished Member of SME, a charter Registered Member of SME and an Honorary member of AIME. He is a Certified Professional Geologist of the American Institute of Professional Geologists and is a member of the Society of Economic Geologists, Mining Foundation of the Southwest (Board of Governors), Mining and Metallurgical Society of America, and the Arizona Geological Society. He has been an avid mineral collector since the fourth grade, which provided the impetus to study geology and explore for new mineral deposits.