JCK has announced the opening of the submission process for its 18th annual Industry Fund, accepting grant proposals through Dec. 1. The grants, awarded to individuals, groups, or associations whose work results in the betterment of the overall jewelry industry, exceeded $283,000 in 2015.
Established in 1997, the JCK Industry Fund has awarded more than $5 million in grants to those organizations that have created programs that enhance the jewelry industry’s image. “The mission of the JCK Industry Fund is to help aid, assist, and improve the jewelry industry,” said JCK Events senior vice president Yancy Weinrich. “As global leaders in the jewelry industry, JCK strongly believes that it is an essential element and part of our corporate responsibility to give back and continue to nurture an industry that has given so much to so many.”
Grants are awarded annually to projects that meet one or more of the following criteria: 1) improve the image of the jewelry industry in the eye of the consumer, 2) aid jewelry industry organizations in addressing serious problems faced within the industry, and 3) assist internal organizations and associations in developing training materials.
Below, recipients of the 2015 JCK Industry Fund grant reflect on the positive effects the grant has had on their organizations.
“This year’s JCK Industry Fund grant to Jewelers’ Security Alliance has allowed JSA to begin a major program of offering cash rewards for information identifying suspects who commit crimes against the jewelry industry,” said JSA president John Kennedy, a 2015 grant recipient. “Based on rewards JSA has offered about smash-and-grab criminals and armed robbers, JSA has received numerous tips, which are reviewed by JSA and passed on to the law enforcement agencies investigating the various cases. Information from the public is of vital importance in advancing investigations.”
“The JCK Industry Fund has allowed us to continually enhance our largest educational offering—the In the Know conference—and reach new members year after year,” said Bernadette Mack, executive director of 2015 recipient Women’s Jewelry Association. “It is with JCK’s support that we are able to provide our members with impactful speakers and meaningful education that has a positive impact on their businesses. Overall, JCK helps the WJA deliver a vital piece of its mission in a high-quality way.”
Ruth Batson, CEO of American Gem Society and AGS Labratories, a 2015 grant recipient, had this to say about the Industry Fund: “The JCK Industry Fund grant has been key in the American Gem Society’s initiative to improve and evolve the sharing of our educational content from our annual Conclaves. These video sessions give members of the jewelry industry the opportunity to learn from the industry’s premier educational event at no cost. The JCK Industry Fund grant also enables AGS to fulfill the mission of both organizations by improving the jewelry industry through knowledge.”
“The grant we received from the JCK Industry Fund is an essential mechanism by which the JVC fulfills its mission,” said Cecilia Gardner of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee. “Our organization is so grateful for the support, which means that our important work to promote ethics, integrity, and compliance can continue.”
“The JCK Industry Fund has allowed DDI to communicate with retailers and other industry professionals about artisanal diamond mining and of its important to the industry,” said Dorothee Gizenga of the Diamond Development Initiative. “With JCK Industry Fund support we have informed retailers about responsible diamond production by artisanal miners and being an option for responsible sourcing. In addition, DDI has been able to sensitize and inform artisanal miners about market demands and as such increase the number of miners participating in the responsible production.”
Phyllis Bergman, president of the Diamond Empowerment Fund and CEO of Mercury Ring, said, “The JCK Industry Fund’s support helped make it possible for the Diamond Empowerment Fund to share the good that diamonds do with consumers through the development of DiamondsDoGood.com and its associated social media channels. This consumer confidence-building platform will help the diamond and jewelry industries not only tell their customers the global good that the industry is committed to, but also their own good works in their own local communities.”
The deadline for submissions is Dec. 1, and award recipients will be announced early in 2016. For more information and to submit a proposal, click here.