JA’s New JPAC Board Members and Fundraising Efforts


Jewelers of America recently added seven board members to its Political Action Committee–a venue that contributes funds to the campaigns of legislators who are sympathetic to the jewelry industry–in addition to launching a fundraising campaign. Efforts in the latter include reaching out to JA members for contributions that will politically benefit the causes of the jewelry industry.

“There’s a tremendous amount of legislation being introduced in 2009-2010 that could mean higher taxes for jewelers,” said Peggy Jo Donahue, director of public affairs, to JCK in a phone interview.

Among the measures that will affect jewelry are the last-in, first-out (LIFO) inventory accounting method, which President Barack Obama proposed in his Fiscal Year 2010 budget. Jewelry businesses that use LIFO are able to record the sale of their most expensive inventory first, thereby decreasing profits and reducing taxes, and by minimizing taxes, jewelers can also maximize the after-tax flow.

“This repeal would be a potentially fatal blow to companies in the jewelry industry that use LIFO,” says Matt Runci, JA president and CEO.

Meanwhile, fundraising efforts among members aim to increase exposure to and education of legislators—from any political party—who are sympathetic to jewelers’ causes.

New board members include:

* John Hayes, Goodman’s Jewelers, Madison, WI;

* Artie Bennos, Simms II Jewelers, Winchester, MA;

* Woody Justice, Justice Jewelers, Springfield, MO;

* Carolyn Pope, Crews Jewelry, Grandview, MO;

* Jeffrey Corey, Days Jewelers, Waterville, ME;

* Peter Engel, Fred Meyer Jewelers, Portland, OR;

* Scot Congress, Congress Jewelers, Sanibel Island, FL.

The JAPAC Board is structured in two-year terms to coincide with election cycles. Board members generate support and raise funds for JAPAC efforts; terms commence in 2009 and expire at the end of 2010. William Farmer, Farmer’s Jewelers, Lexington, KY, was reappointed to a second term as chair. Returning board members include Jon Bridge, Ben Bridge Jeweler, Seattle, Wash.; Barbara Hight-Randall, Hight & Randall, Ltd., Rochester, Minn.; and JA’s Matt Runci who serves as treasurer of JAPAC.

For more information, log onto www.jewelers.org or call (646) 658-5802.

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