Announcing the 2016 JCK Industry Fund Winners

The grants have been awarded to six highly worthy recipients

JCK has announced the six recipients of its 18th annual Industry Fund, awarding the winners with more than $293,000 in grants this year.

The Industry Fund grants are awarded to individuals, groups, or associations whose work results in the betterment of the overall jewelry industry in one of more of the following ways: 1) improves the image of the jewelry industry in the eyes of the consumer; 2) aids jewelry industry organizations in addressing serious problems faced within the industry; 3) assists internal organizations and associations in developing training materials.

And with that introduction, the winners for 2016 are:

Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF). “The JCK Industry Fund’s support has made it possible for the Diamond Empowerment Fund to reach over 1 million millennials to date with the consumer confidence-building message that Diamonds Do Good. Their continued support of this message dissemination will enable us to grow our momentum and help foster positive narratives around diamonds and the diamond industry with consumers.” –Nancy Orem Lyman, Diamond Empowerment Fund VP and executive director

Diamond Council of America (DCA). “The Diamond Council of America is indebted to the JCK Industry Fund for its generous matching grant that will be used to provide scholarships to the high school students participating in DCA’s Jewelry Industry Readiness Initiative (JCRI). The JCRI program takes DCA’s Diamond, Sales, and Colored Gemstone courses into high schools throughout the United States, allowing students to graduate high school with a jewelry industry certification. The ultimate outcome of this program is to reach thousands, even millions, of young people, predisposing them to appreciate our product and seek employment in our stores.” —Terry Chandler, Diamond Council of America president

Jewelers of America (JA). “The retail landscape is changing at lightning speed, and we are committed to helping the industry stay relevant and adapt to new consumer shopping behaviors. Thanks to the generosity of the JCK Industry Fund grant, our new intiatives will help the industry have a better understanding of the consumer landscape. With consumer research as the foundation, we will be able to create marketing and communication programs that reach consumers more effectively and increase desire for jewelry.” —David Bonaparte, Jewelers of America president and CEO

Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC). “JCK’s generous support of JVC has made it possible for the association to accomplish important work on behalf of the industry. Through JVC’s Industry Protection Program (IPP), we advocate for all sectors of the trade regarding the many complex rules that impact sellers of fine jewelry. This effort is ongoing. In 2016, JVC’s IPP will continue to provide legal compliance tools, educate industry members, and help them incorporate the practices necessary to meet the requirements of the law and the needs of their business partners. The board of directors of the JVC is so grateful that this important mission is recognized and supported so generously by JCK.” —Cecilia Gardner, JVC president and CEO

Jewellers Vigilance Canada (JVC Canada). “Jewellers Vigilance Canada and Jewelers Security Alliance applied for a joint submission in order to host a North American Jewelry Crime Conference in Toronto, Canada. Thanks to the JCK Industry Fund’s grant, the two-day event will take place September 26–28, 2016, and allow over 100 law enforcement and security personnel to not only understand the resources JSA and JVC Canada provide to them, but also learn the investigative techniques and tools specifically designed for jewelry crime as well as gain experience and expertise in fighting jewelry crime.” —Phyllis Richard, JVC Canada executive director

Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA). “This grant will result in greater cooperation by law enforcement agencies and security personnel in Canada and the U.S. in combating the international criminal gangs and fences that prey on the diamond, jewelry, and watch industry in both countries.” —John Kennedy, JSA president

“We are pleased to stand behind the initiatives of this year’s JCK Industry Fund recipients,” said JCK senior vice president Yancy Weinrich in a press release. “This group is at the forefront of addressing current challenges in the jewelry industry, including security, protection, consumer confidence, and education. Their approach not only addresses these critical needs but also prepares the industry for the future by educating the next generation of consumers and industry professionals.”

The recipients were selected by an Industry Fund Advisory Committee, consisting of representatives from JCK, retailers, and manufacturers. Applicant submissions for the 2017 grants will begin in October. For more information, visit this page.