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RJC Announces Appointments of New Board Officers and Directors at Moscow AGM




(press release) MOSCOW, RUSSIA – The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has announced a series of senior appointments to its Board of Directors as the organization continues to strengthen its position as the jewellery industry’s foremost standards setting and certification body.

The appointments were announced at the RJC’s Annual General Meeting in Moscow on Thursday, 17 May. The three newly appointed Officers of the Board of Directors are:

  • David Bouffard, Vice President of Signet Corporate Affairs, has been appointed the new RJC Chair. Over his extensive career, David has been responsible for developing and implementing longstanding and industry-leading sustainability and social responsibility initiatives. David has been the Chair of the RJC Communications Committee since 2015 and a member of the RJC Executive Committee since 2012. David previously served as Co-Chair of the Standards Committee from 2012 – 2014. 
  • Peter Karakchiev, Head of International Relations at ALROSA has been appointed Vice-Chair. Peter’s role at ALROSA, which he has held since 2013, puts him at the helm of a wide range of company’s international activities. He was elected to the RJC Board of Directors in November 2016 and in his new role will promote further development of RJC Standards, and their establishment as industry-wide best-practice.
  • Jason Rubin, President and CEO of the Republic Metals Corporation has been appointed as the RJC’s new Honorary Secretary. A precious metals refining expert with more than 20 years’ experience, Jason will be responsible for supporting the Chair and Vice-Chair with their duties as well as ensure the smooth running of the Board of Directors and Executive Commitee. 

A number of new Board members were also appointed to represent their respective area of expertise on the RJC’s Board of Directors: Didier Backaert, Bonas & Co Ltd.; Rene Wiskemann, Allgemeine Gold- und Silberscheideanstalt AG; Giorgio Bodei, Pomellato SPA; Isabelle Poly, Piaget; Deborah Azar, Gemological Science International; and Stephane Fischler, IDMA.

Several RJC member companies from around the globe attended the meeting, where they discussed the RJC’s future direction, and how best to drive forward the rigour, responsibility and transparency that the RJC aims to bring to the industry both upstream and downstream.


Among the key issues addressed was the importance of the detection and disclosure of laboratory-grown diamonds. A panel of industry experts, moderated by RJC Executive Director Andrew Bone, explored different detection methods and technologies, how to ensure best practice around the issue and how to approach an open and transparent conversation with their customers and consumers. 

Speaking on the new appointments, Andrew said: “The RJC strives to be the recognised standards and certification organisation for supply chain. The appointment of three highly experienced Board Officers and a number of new Board Members will further improve the depth of expertise we can offer our members across the jewellery sector.

“The many decades of knowledge our Board Officers bring to the table make them standards-setters in their own rights. We are delighted to have appointed them to continue to champion our work globally.”   

David Bouffard, the new Chair of the RJC, said: “Having been a part of the RJC for the past six years I’ve seen the organisation grow and am extremely proud of what has been achieved. Our role is to ensure the highest possible standards of responsibility are met throughout the industry supply chain and in my new role as Chair, I will drive further improvements in the RJC’s influence in all global geographies, in all jewellery sectors, and to all stakeholders.”

To watch a recording of the YouTube live stream or see more photos of the event, please click here. 

RJC Announces Appointments of New Board Officers and Directors at Moscow AGM
Left to Right: Peter Karakchiev, RJC Vice-Chair; Andrew Bone, RJC Executive Director; Jason Rubin, Honorary Secretary and David Bouffard, RJC Chair.


RJC Announces Appointments of New Board Officers and Directors at Moscow AGM
Left to Right: Alok Kumbhat, Jewelex India Pvt Ltd (Diamond Division); Giorgio Bodei, Pomellato SPA; Stephane Fischler, IDMA; Feriel Zerouki, De Beers Group; Rene Wiskemann, Allgemeine Gold- und Silberscheideanstalt AG, Isabelle Poly, Piaget; Michaël Geelhand de Merxem, Antwerp World Diamond Centre; Didier Backaert, Bonas & Co Ltd; Marijke Achten, HRD Antwerp; Jason Rubin, Republic Metals Corporation; Peter Karakchiev, ALROSA; Harriet Kelsall, Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design Ltd; David Bouffard, Signet Jewelers Ltd and Boaz Lev, Gem Lab Services.




When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

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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