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JCK Industry Fund Opens 2020 Grant Application Submissions and Announces Recipients from 2019

The submission deadline is November 22, 2019.




(PRESS RELEASE) NORWALK, CT — JCK has opened submissions for the 2020 JCK Industry Fund application process. Since 1997, the fund has awarded over $6 million to date towards program grants to benefit the jewelry industry at large.

In 2019, JCK Industry Fund was pleased to award a grand total of $265,500 in grants to five deserving recipients: Canadian Jewelers Association (CJA), Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF), Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA), Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) and the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA). Each of these five organizations received grant monies in the first quarter of 2019 to advance specific projects that will benefit the industry as a whole.

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The JCK Industry Fund Committee chooses recipients based upon their synergy with the overall core goals of the Fund. Goals include: improving commerce and the image within the jewelry industry in the eyes of the consumer, aiding in addressing serious problems faced within the jewelry industry and assisting in developing educational content that can make a profound impact on addressing jewelry industry and consumer concerns.

The JCK Industry Fund Committee consists of Yancy Weinrich (senior vice president, Reed Jewelry Group), Joel Schechter (CEO, Honora), John Green (president & CEO, Lux Bond & Green), Eddie Levian (CEO, Le Vian) and Michael Lerche (president, Goldstar Jewelry LLC).

Donations are collected year round and allocated annually. More recently, JCK engaged the industry at-large to support the Fund’s mission by accepting donations from JCK customers. For the past two years, JCK exhibitors have contributed while attending customers have had the opportunity to donate when registering for the show.

“As global leaders in the jewelry industry, JCK strongly believes that it is an essential element and part of our corporate responsibility to give back and continue to nurture an industry that has given so much to so many,” states Yancy Weinrich, senior vice president, Reed Jewelry Group. “As the fund increases in size and scope, monies are directed to where they are needed the most, and where significant impacts can be achieved. The 2019 recipients embody our mission of giving back to the community with relevant and important causes for the health of our industry and we look forward to reviewing submissions for 2020.”


Submissions for the 2020 JCK Industry Fund application process are now open. The submission deadline is November 22, 2019. For additional information on the JCK Industry Fund, and to submit your 2020 application, please visit or contact

2019 Grant Recipients:

The 2019 recipients received a grand total of $265,500, over $25,000 more than last year.

  • Canadian Jewelers Association (CJA)received funds in support of an Organized Crime Conference to inform law enforcement of non-violent crimes in the jewelry and watch industry and to facilitate networking and communication among law enforcement in North America.

    “The Canadian Jewelers Association (CJA) is appreciative of the 2019 grant from the JCK Industry Fund that will assist us in raising the visibility and awareness of jewelry crimes to North American law enforcement,” says Marco Miserendino, 2019 CJA chairman. “The grant will enable us to host a special conference for police investigators, allowing them to gain a better understanding of the unique challenges our industry faces when it comes to jewelry crime. The conference will also facilitate networking and communication among various police agencies as crimes perpetrated by roaming gangs across our shared borders present particular hurdles for police.”

  • Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) received funds in support of their “Diamonds Do Good” positive messaging campaign that will continue to connect the millennial consumer to the stories behind diamonds by experiencing and contributing to the real diamond/real impact narrative.

    “The JCK Industry Fund’s grant has enabled the Diamond Empowerment Fund to champion, through real stories, the positive impact natural diamonds have on communities around the world,” says Nancy Orem Lyman, executive director. “Last year alone we reached 25 million millennials with the industry’s ‘Diamonds Do Good’ stories. Never has there been a more important time to keep fostering this positive narrative and ensure the sustainability of natural diamonds.”

  • Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA)funds will go towards evaluating and recommending new and innovative security technologies for jewelry firms.

    “The grants received from the JCK Industry Fund have allowed JSA to pursue a wide variety of innovative products that have helped make the diamond, jewelry and watch industry safer,” says John J. Kennedy, president. “JSA has been able to pursue projects such as, developing a program of rewards for providing information on criminals, training FBI agents and local police on jewelry crime, developing a stolen jewelry database, and promoting local crime prevention networks of jewelers and police. Many of these start-up projects have now been incorporated as an important and ongoing part of JSA’s activities.”

  • Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) funds will support its new Designer Education and Empowerment initiative, as well as its ongoing efforts to educate the jewelry industry on the new FTC guidelines and Jewelry Guides.

    “We at the JVC are honored and grateful that the JCK Industry Fund included us among this year’s portfolio of awardees,” says Tiffany Stevens, CEO + president of JVC. “With this grant, we will be able to deliver on our mission of ethics, integrity and compliance and spread our messaging to a wider audience than ever before. We will also be able to tackle new areas of legal ethics and regulation because of the grant, hopefully to the benefit of the entire industry. The work of the JVC helps protect the businesses of our industry and enables their thriving futures.”

  • Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) funds will support educational resources and professional development opportunities to increase women’s influence in the jewelry industry and to continue its Gender Equality Project.

    “With support from the JCK Industry fund, the Women’s Jewelry Association is able to continue advancing its efforts to promote greater gender equality in the jewelry industry. Our JCK Industry Fund grant supports the work of WJA’s Gender Equality Project, an initiative for empowering our members through effective tools and programs that contribute to the overall health and positive image of the industry,” says Jennifer Markas, executive director.



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Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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