Industry nonprofit Gem Legacy announced yesterday that it’s formed a leadership council, members of which will serves as ambassadors and advocates for Gem Legacy and its initiatives.
The first three council members are true colored-stone aficionados: Omi Privé founder and designer Niveet Nagpal and Jonathan and Brecken Farnsworth, cofounders of Parlé Jewelry Designs.
The leadership council will strive to create a united front for Gem Legacy, enroll new partners in supporting and advocating for the nonprofit, and collaborate with industry organizations and businesses to form alliances and partnerships to forward Gem Legacy’s mission, according to Rachel Dery, cofounder of Gem Legacy.
“The launch of the Gem Legacy Leadership Council is an exciting step forward for our industry, for Gem Legacy, and the communities and businesses the organization supports,” said Ben Smithee, an advisory board member for Gem Legacy. “Omi and Parlé represent the beginning of a unified movement to support the communities that serve as the foundation of our industry. Their leadership by example is exactly what we’re looking for in members of the leadership council, and we’re excited to see the continued growth of the council as additional industry leaders express interest!” (Interested brands and individuals can email email@example.com or visitgemlegacy.org.)
Gem dealer and cutter Roger Dery cofounded Gem Legacy with his wife Ginger Dery and daughter Rachel Dery after dozens of trips to East African mines enabled him to see firsthand the significant challenges and hardships local miners and their families were facing.
Gem Legacy raises funds from within the gem and jewelry industries to respond to a wide range of needs in these communities. Its recent initiatives include raising around $2,000 to send 17 Malawian teenage orphans, who had been forced to drop out of school due to financial hardship, back to school. And earlier this year, the organization secured $9,500 to buy and install a used compressor for the women miners at the Precious Women mine in Mkuki, Kenya.
Top: Gem cutters being trained in modern faceting techniques as part of a Gem Legacy–sponsored initiative (all photos courtesy of Gem Legacy)