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Eileen McClelland

Robbery & Recovery: Award-Winning Article Shared Courageous Jewelers’ Personal Stories



It’s not easy to relive a traumatic experience.

But three of our Brain Squad members did just that when they agreed to relate not only their horror stories of being robbed, but also the latent, lingering distress that followed the encounters and in some respects, changed their lives.

Denise Oros of Linnea Jewelers in LaGrange, IL, David Blitt of Troy Shoppe Jewelers in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and Dennis Petimezas, owner of Watchmakers Jewelry in Johnstown, PA, all volunteered to talk very candidly to me for an article published in INSTORE in May 2015. Their personal experiences brought the story to life.

It was an important story to be able to tell because people who have been victims of crime may not always realize how important it is to seek help professional help — or at least talk to a trusted friend about it — until they begin having symptoms like anxiety and insomnia.

The article was also a timely way to introduce Jewelers Mutual’s new crisis-response benefit called RELIE(E)VE, set up to offer services including counseling options.

In case you missed it, you can read the original story here.


Because I learned so much writing it, I was pleased to hear recently that that article, “Robbery & Recovery,” won a first-place, single-article award during the 2015 FOLIO: Magazine Eddie & Ozzie Awards presented in New York on Oct. 19. That full issue of INSTORE – May — also won an honorable mention in the retail category. FOLIO is the trade magazine of the magazine publishing industry. This year’s competition drew 2,800 entries and winners were chosen in 33 categories.

Finally, thanks to everyone who takes the time to respond thoughtfully to our monthly Brain Squad surveys. Sharing information is so helpful to so many people in the industry in so many ways.


Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson

The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

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