JA and seven affiliates celebrate 100 years

Jewelers of America recently celebrated its 100 anniversary along with seven of its regional affiliates with an awards ceremony and reception held during the JANY Summer Show in New York City.

“Marking 100 years in business is a great–and rare– chievement,” says JA President and CEO Matthew Runci. “Jewelers of America is proud to share this milestone with so many of our state affiliates, as we have been working together to assist and educate retail jewelers across the country for a century.”

Runci presented commemorative plaques to the presidents and vice presidents of the seven affiliates at JA’s 2006 Affiliate Leadership Conference, held July 29. The associations honored were: Iowa Jewelers Association; Kansas Jewelers Association; Missouri Jewelers and Watchmakers Association; Nebraska/South Dakota Jewelers Association; Oklahoma Jewelers Association; Pennsylvania Jewelers Association; and Wisconsin Jewelers Association.

The associations were founded in 1906 with the purpose of promoting the welfare and interests of professionals in the retail jewelry business. They join the Virginia Jewelers Association and the Minnesota/North Dakota Jewelers Association as JA affiliates that have reached 100.

In addition to the recognition from JA, several affiliates will hold regional celebrations this fall to mark their anniversaries. The Pennsylvania Jewelers Association will celebrate its 100th anniversary September 9-10 in Harrisburg. The Oklahoma Jewelers Association and Kansas Jewelers Association will celebrate at their 100th Convention & Leadership Conferences, September 15-17 and September 29-October 1, respectively. During its annual convention in Cedar Rapids, the Iowa Jewelers Association is hosting an anniversary banquet on Saturday, September 23, with a special program highlighting the history of Iowa jewelers. Other associations celebrated earlier this year.

Jewelers of America is among the oldest associations of retail jewelers in the United States. It was formed when two trade groups–American Retail Jewelers Association and National Retail Jewelers Association–came together to create the American National Retail Jewelers Association in Rochester, N.Y. ANRJA merged with the National Association of Credit Jewelers in 1957, to become the Retail Jewelers of America. Later, it changed its name again to Jewelers of America. Today, JA represents nearly 11,000 member stores and has 42 affiliate associations nationwide.