Black, Starr & Frost added veteran retail executive Saad Makdesi as vice president/managing director of the company’s new Phoenix salon which opened in October in the Biltmore Plaza Shopping Center.

According to Alfredo J. Molina, chairman of Black, Starr & Frost, Makdesi will oversee Phoenix’s first and only Black Starr & Frost salon, located in his well-known chateau-style building at 32nd Street and Camelback – adjacent to his Molina Fine Jewelers storefront.

Molina acquired the iconic Black, Starr & Frost brand in 2006, and in 2011 opened a salon overlooking the Newport Beach harbor in Southern California. He is now focused on expanding the historic company – which at its peak had over 30 locations – into key U.S. markets.

“We are thrilled to have Saad join our growing team of fine jewelry professionals,” Molina said. “He brings a deep understanding of the retail landscape in the area, and his extensive luxury goods experience in the Valley will be invaluable as we work to introduce our brand to the Phoenix region.”

With a background in luxury retail, merchandising and fine jewelry, Makdesi will play a key role at the new Black, Starr & Frost salon – organizing special events and engaging with the community. He is well prepared for his new position, and was most recently the designer jewelry and precious jewels salon manager for Neiman Marcus, where he oversaw the high-end salon and was in charge of acquiring new designer collections. He was also the department manager of fine jewelry for Saks Fifth Avenue in Phoenix and managed the Bailey Banks & Biddle fine jewelry store in Scottsdale.

A native of Allentown, Pennsylvania, he studied at Lehigh County College.