Staff

Don & Jan Haack

Since 1955 when they left the U.S. to set up a home and mining operation on the border river between Brazil and British Guiana, Donald (1930-2009) and Janet Haack were involved in the diamond business. From mining, trading, and selling rough diamonds to the industry to the founding of one of the nation’s pre-eminent and most respected sources for diamond and precious gem jewelry, their names are synonymous with experience and quality.

JULIE HAACK

As President of Donald Haack Diamonds since 2007, having taken over from her father, Julie combines her passion for distinctly unique jewelry with a desire to assist her clients in matching jewelry with their personal style. Raised on the Caribbean Island of Grenada, Julie earned her BA degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, followed by a Master’s degree in Naturopathic Health.   Julie is active in the Charlotte Community and currently the Chairman of the Charlotte Better Business Bureau. Julie is married to David Murray.

SCOTT FALCONER

The fully-equipped grading laboratory at Donald Haack Diamonds is managed by Scott whose vast knowledge of diamonds and colored gems stands behind the appraisals which accompany DHD products. With over 40 years’ experience in evaluating diamonds and gemstones, Scott has expertise that includes appraisals of estate and vintage jewelry. He is a Graduate Gemologist who follows strict GIA (Gemological Institute of America) standards when grading every diamond bought and/or sold by DHD.  Scott and his wife have a daughter and grandson.  He enjoys working in the outdoors in his spare time.

CHRISTINA HOLMES

Christina has worked in the jewelry industry since 1986 in both sales and management. She joined Donald Haack in 2000 and is furthering her education by completing a number of certificates with GIA, including Diamonds and Diamond Grading, Colored Stones and Colored Stone Grading and Pearls. As our insurance claims administrator, she assists with buying for the store. Christina enjoys working with clients to create custom designed jewelry as well as handling insurance claims. She is an active member of the Charlotte Association of Insurance Professionals.  Chris is married and has 2 daughters.

JENNIFER RILEY

Jennifer joined our sales staff in February 2004. She lends her creative talents to custom design and estate redesign, creating a signature style in jewelry. She also assists in buying for Donald Haack Diamonds and is involved in website photography, print photography and social media planning. A graduate of the University of South Carolina with a BA degree in Political Science who has been involved in the jewelry industry since 1999, Jennifer has continued her education in the jewelry industry with certificates from GIA in Diamonds and in Diamond Grading. She grew up in a military household and lived in south Florida, England, and Pennsylvania.  Jennifer and her husband have an adorable baby boy.

JUSTIN SMITH

Justin brought a passion for the finer things in life when he joined Donald Haack Diamonds at the beginning of 2014 as a sales associate. Justin’s appetite for excellence includes his background as a fine dining chef and selling internationally renowned boutique wines as a sommelier. He grew up listening to the stories of how his grandfather, Donald Haack, mined his diamonds, and observed as he built the business. Justin has his Graduate Diamonds and Colored Stones and Colored Stone Grading diplomas from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and is one course away from obtaining the title of Graduate Gemologist. He enjoys golfing, cooking, and spending time with his wife Charlene, and daughter Kylie. 

RUSSELL MCKENZIE

A Master Craftsman who joined the goldsmith studio at Donald Haack Diamonds in March 2005, Russell started casting metals when he was in a high school art class. With over 40 years of experience in designing, crafting, and fabricating fine jewelry, he works with all metals.  Russell studied at the Revere Academy (a premier educational institution in jewelry arts) and has experience using the latest laser fabrication technology.  Russell enjoys cycling, fishing and canoeing.   He and his wife have a son who is following in his father’s artistic footsteps.

ROBBIE FOWLER

Robbie joined the goldsmith studio at Donald Haack Diamonds in January 2004 with over 20 years in jewelry repair and design.  He has studied stone setting, jewelry design and fabrication at the Revere Academy, and has participated in the Annual Jeweler’s Bench Conferences. Most recently, Robbie has advanced his jewelry design skills by studying the matrix, an innovative 3D jewelry design software, which enables Donald Haack Diamonds to be one of the few jewelry stores in Charlotte to offer this type of jewelry creation.  Robbie and his wife are the proud parents of their teenage daughter. Robbie enjoys cycling, golfing and running in his spare time.

Laura Shannon

Laura developed her passion for jewelry at a young age, and wants to share that passion with her clients. She is an Accredited Jewelry Professional through GIA and has completed her education in Diamonds & Diamond Grading. She is also a certified Diamontologist through the Diamond Council of America (DCA). With a diverse sales background, she understands how important it is to find exactly what you want. She is an active member of the Metrolina Business Council (MBC) and was born and raised right here in Charlotte, North Carolina. Laura believes that laughter is the best remedy and loves spending time with her family and dogs.

Jackie Austin

Jackie joined the Donald Haack team in March 2016.  After 30 years in construction accounting and a brief retirement, she is excited about working part-time in the jewelry retail business.  She enjoys reading, working in the yard, kayaking on the New River, playing with friends and spending time with her family and dog Jake.  

Mary Ellen McKay

Mary Ellen joined the Donald Haack Diamonds team in November 2016.  She is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Sports, Entertainment & Event Management. She has a diverse background in management, hospitality and administrative support. Mary Ellen is a huge Panthers fan and a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan. She loves to travel and is passionate about her family and friends.