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IJO Members Go ‘Back to College’

It’s a two-day intensive evaluation of a member’s retail jewelry business.

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(PRESS RELEASE) SOUTHPORT, CT — Five IJO member stores recently returned from a session of the “IJO Business College”, held at the headquarters of the Independent Jewelers Organization (IJO) in Southport, Connecticut. The Business College is a benefit of IJO membership which offers a two-day intensive evaluation of a member’s retail jewelry business with recommendations on how to operate more efficiently – and more profitably.

“So many store owners know all there is to know about jewelry,” states IJO President and CEO Jeff Roberts, “but they may not necessarily know how to operate a business, which is equally as important as jewelry knowledge. We offer this service free of charge to our members – our job is to make a difference in the lives of everyone in the IJO family.”

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In attendance were Ronny & Tonjia Lysenby from Bradshaw’s Jewelers in Dothan, AL, Luke Moorman from Carroll’s Jewelers in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Kristin & Dan Widmar from Rasmussen Diamonds in Racine, WI, Theresa & Brian McLean from Simone’s Jewelry in Shrewsbury, NJ, and Missy Emrich from Steve’s Custom Jewelers in Union City, TN.

According to Emrich, “Jeff, along with Chip Terry, examined our financial statements, photos of our store, info on our employees and inventory, and broke down exactly how we’re operating. Just that, in itself, was a learning experience! But then they gave us information on what steps we can take to build our business and maximize customer service. It was truly in-depth and extremely detailed, and it was also eye-opening!”

Brian McLean added, “We’re so glad we did this – since we joined IJO less than two years ago we’ve been taking advantage of all they offer, and this was way beyond our expectations. We also learned so much just from going through this process with the others – our new friends.”

The Business College is held semi-annually, in May and November, and all IJO members have the opportunity to participate. “We had a full house plus a waiting list – we can take a maximum of five stores per session,” says Penny Palmer, IJO’s Director of Member Services, “and this service has changed hundreds of lives over the years. We love having ‘company’, but mostly we love hearing the results after our members make a few changes from what they’ve learned!”

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Brooklyn Jewelers Launches Newest Line

It’s called “Neighborhoods Collection”.

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(PRESS RELEASE) BROOKLYN, NY – Brooklyn Jewelers announces the official launch of its newest line, the new “Neighborhoods Collection”. Taking inspiration from the art and fashion trends of Brooklyn, this collection is designed with millennials in mind. All of our jewelry is available in castings with select styles offered finished (in white, yellow, rose, 14K, 18K, palladium, and platinum).

For more information, contact: info@brooklynjewelers.com or call (718) 534-4408

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Check out our website: brooklynjewelers.com

We are also on Facebook and Instagram: @brooklynjewelers

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David Sexton of Jewelers Mutual Group Retires

He retires after 39 years with Jewelers Mutual.

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David Sexton

(PRESS RELEASE) NEENAH, WI – Earlier this week, Jewelers Mutual Group announced the retirement of longtime vice president of Loss Prevention and Consulting, David Sexton, CPCU.

Sexton began his association with Jewelers Mutual in 1980 as an Underwriting Assistant and enhanced his career through roles in commercial lines customer service, CL underwriting, and specialty account management, becoming vice president of Loss Prevention and Consulting in 2004.

In this critical loss prevention leadership role, Sexton was responsible for the development, recommendation and implementation of Jewelers Mutual’s loss prevention policy. He is credited with building key relationships between Jewelers Mutual with the jewelry, alarm, and law enforcement communities, to effectively promote comprehensive loss prevention strategies to reduce jewelry exposures to loss.

“It was never about me, it was always about us,” Sexton said.

Sexton will officially retire from Jewelers Mutual on December 31, 2019, however he plans to remain involved with the company for the foreseeable future through engagement with Jewelers Mutual associates, jewelry associations at industry events, and collaborations with agents/brokers. He will continue to work with the Jewelers Mutual executive team to ensure key relationships and partnerships he has helped forge remain strong.

“I will always treasure the relationships I have made during my association with Jewelers Mutual,” Sexton said. “My retirement is not an end, but rather a beginning. The leadership of Jewelers Mutual has a clear path for continuing our vital loss prevention mission to provide innovative risk management solutions for the industry we serve, not just insurance.”

Sexton, a member of the 24 Karat Club of New York, currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, a nonprofit association devoted to reducing crimes against the jewelry industry, as well as the Canadian Jewellers Association. In 2016, Sexton was the recipient of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance Industry Service Award and in 2018 he received the American Gem Society’s John J. Kennedy Law Enforcement Award.

Sexton has served on the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Security Systems Council, formerly known as the Burglary Protection Council, since 1994 and also serves as a corporate member of UL in the insurance category. He served on the Central Station Alarm Association’s Insurance Liaison Committee, which assisted in the development of the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) burglar alarm modular certificate program and remains active on several UL/ULC Standard Technical Panels through which UL/ULC develops and maintain their standards for safety.

“You’re known by the company you keep,” Sexton said. “It’s all about the people. Working with people to help them solve their risk management challenges has really been the most rewarding aspect of my insurance career.”

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CIBJO Releases Ethics Special Report, Examines International Frameworks and Proper Disclosure

International conventions increasing with which members of the jewelry industry are expected to comply.

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(PRESS RELEASE) MILAN, ITALY — With fewer than five weeks to go to the opening of the 2019 CIBJO Congress in Manama, Bahrain, on November 18, 2019, the sixth of the CIBJO commissions’ Special Reports has been released. Prepared by the CIBJO Ethics Commission, headed by Tiffany Stevens, it covers a variety of topics, including the increasing number of international conventions with which members of the jewelry industry are expected to comply, and recommended processes of disclosure.

“Responsible business standards being applied in the jewelry industry are meshing further and further with those used internationally, and with frameworks that govern other industries around the globe. It is important that jewelry industry companies fully understand their responsibilities under these complex sets of expectations, and they communicate them effectively and directly with their supply-chain partners and ultimately the consumer,” Ms. Steven writes.

“A few key systems to keep in mind include the OECD frameworks, with special attention to the organization’s Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict Affected and High-Risk Areas, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the FTC Jewelry Guides in the United States, ISO standards, the World Diamond Council System of Warranties, and the perhaps-evolving definition of “conflict” under the Kimberly Process,” she continues.

Government scrutiny of the jewelry supply chain’s adherence to ethical business practices is becoming increasingly common, the CIBJO Ethics Commission President notes, citing a recent meeting of jewelry industry leaders with officials of the U.S. State Department, where the industry was counseled to abide with standards for managing risks to women in the minerals, responsible sourcing and jewelry supply chain, as well as complying with Anti-Money Laundering and other measures to prevent malign activity.

Noting that it is the consumers’ right to know how the how their jewelry and its components affected the environment and the lives of people as it journeyed along the supply chain, she states that being forthright, fully descriptive and making all disclosures clear and easy to understand is imperative.

“When seen globally, we have at our disposal an amazingly complex system of frameworks, definitions and semantics,” Ms. Stevens writes. “But as a trade we should aim for the simplest, most direct forms possible when communicating with consumers, and these should be standard in the sales representative’s in-store pitch to a potential customer, on invoices, on social media and online – wherever products are bought and sold.”

To download a full copy of the CIBJO Ethics Commission’s special report, click here.

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