More than $5 million has been awarded since the program’s inception in 1998
Now in its 12th year, the fund was established by JCK Events and JCK Magazine to enhance the image of the jewelry industry and to foster development and research for programs that benefit the industry. On an annual basis, $400,000 is distributed in grants to individuals, groups, or associations who work towards the betterment of the overall industry. With the $5 million awarded to the industry, tens of thousands of retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and related industry service organizations have benefited from the program.
“We are thrilled to provide these worthy recipients with grants to continue or in many cases, increase their efforts that positively impact the jewelry industry overall,” said Dave Bonaparte, Group Vice President, JCK Events. “I can’t think of a better way to support our industry than through the JCK Industry Fund. We applaud their efforts and wish them well in these endeavors. In these trying times, our commitment to the industry remains solid whether its the JCK Industry Fund or the retail buying stimulation program conducted at this years JCK Las Vegas event.”
There were 15 proposals submitted this year. The following six industry organizations have been awarded grants:
Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) - DDI is continuing to develop and create the Development Diamond Standards, a verifiable certification system for artisanally mined diamonds. DDS will be one of the tools for addressing development issues and formalization of the artisanal diamond mining sector, as well as a foundation for enhancing the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process regulatory mechanism. DDS would enable artisanal diamond miners to play an active role as change agents in their own sector, thereby changing the legacy of chaos and of victimization to a heritage of structure. “The confidence that the JCK Fund is showing in DDI is an important signal to the people we work with at the grass roots, that the industry is concerned about them. It is also an important signal to the governments and civil society organizations that we work with (and the others we hope to attract to our aims and objectives), that the industry is a valued and necessary player in this joint approach to some of the most basic problems in the alluvial diamond fields of Africa and South America,” said Dorothe Gizenga, Executive Director.
Womens Jewelry Association (WJA) - The WJA used its award to support the Women in the Know Conference and was able to merge the regional conferences into a National Conference. “We are thrilled to receive the JCK Industry Fund. The Women’s Jewelry Association continues to work tirelessly to provide our membership with the educational tools and resources that will help cultivate future leaders of this industry, and the JCK Industry Fund will allow our organization to expand our outreach both nationally and internationally. The support of JCK is a supreme validation of our efforts!” said Kendra Bridel Weinman, President, The Womens Jewelry Association.
American Gem Society (AGS) - The grant money was used to hold its annual Conclave. The gathering provided the industry with a comprehensive continuing educational program and its annual membership meeting. According to Ruth Batson, Executive Director & CEO, AGS was able to bring a higher caliber of speaker to the event by using the grant, but also to provide training and member support for certification. Conclave delivered 4 days of education on topics ranging from Business/Profitability to Gemology, Appraisals, and Bench Techniques.
Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) - JVC provides education and self-regulation to the jewelry industry. This year, JVC put the grant money towards implementation of Phase II of the Jade Act of 2008 and continued implementation of the Kimberley Process Scheme. According to Cecilia Gardner, President & CEO and General Counsel, JVC would not be able to provide these services to the industry and help as many people as they do if it were not for the JCK Industry Fund.
Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA) - JSA Produced a series of five-minute crime prevention training videos for jewelers on: Preventing Losses on the Road; Reducing your Risk of Robbery; Reducing your Risk of Burglary; Reducing Shipping Losses; Preventing Credit Card Losses; and Reducing Theft Losses in Grab and Run, Switches and Sneak Thefts. “The JSA provides crime information and assistance to the industry and law enforcement and has been in existence since 1883. JSA has received 9 grants since the Industry Funds inception,” said John Kennedy, President.
The JCK Industry Fund recipients receive their awards at a presentation ceremony at JCK Las Vegas in June. To register to attend or for additional information please visit www.jckshow.com or call 203-840-5684 or 800-257-3626.