JA Recovery Network readies for storm season

In response to the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina last year, Jewelers of America formed the JA Recovery Network, a peer-to-peer support and mentoring service. It is designed to address the specific needs of retail jewelers as they recover and rebuild in the wake of a catastrophic event, such as a fire or flood. The network provided assistance to hundreds of JA member jewelers in need across the Gulf Coast, and is prepared to help jewelers as the 2006 storm season approaches.

“Already this year, we’ve seen JA members affected by tornadoes and storms in the Midwest, floods in New England, and other terrible events,” said JA chairman John Cohen, Carlyle & Co., Greensboro, NC. “We want to be prepared to step in whenever retail jewelers need assistance in these emergency situations.”

The Recovery Network is divided into two main sections: Resources Needed and Resources Offered. Volunteers select the specific areas of support they wish to provide; these areas include rebuilding/reconstruction management, employment support, housing/temporary lodging, and financing/cash flow. Jewelers in need can then contact their JA member peers for assistance. The Network database can be accessed at http://forum.jewelers.org.

Designed to be a permanent and consistent resource for jewelers, the Recovery Network is recruiting JA members—and others in the industry—especially those with experience in rebuilding and recovery efforts.

“It is important that jewelers nationwide are aware of the Recovery Network,” said Matthew A. Runci, JA president and chief executive officer. “So that if and when a catastrophe occurs, the industry is prepared to render help, and affected retailers are able to receive support quickly.”

To learn how to be part of JA’s Recovery Network, contact the JA member services team at: members@jewelers.org, 800-223-0673 (phone), or 646-658-0256 (fax). JA does not pre-screen or qualify volunteers.