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Ohio Mover and Shaker Went From Bench Apprentice to Store Manager

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Ian Wamboldt of Rodriguez’s House of Stones

Ian WamboldtManager, Rodriguez’s House of Stones, New Philadelphia, OH

After Ian Wamboldt completed two years with the U.S. Air Force National Guard as an avionics mechanic in 2008, he learned of an opening at House of Stones as a bench jeweler apprentice. It seemed like an odd occupational leap to him, but he gave it a shot. “I learned a lot, but I knew so many people in the community that I was constantly being interrupted and coming upstairs to greet them, and I eventually got into sales by default,” he explains. Promoted to manager, he took on an array of responsibilities that included diamond appraisals and grading, visual merchandising, marketing, and buying. He’s board chairman of the Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce, studied history at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and has an MBA, too. He’s now studying to add graduate gemologist and colored-stone specialist to his impressive resume.

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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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