JA No Longer Funding Affiliates

A Jewelers of America restructuring will make affiliates responsible for collecting their own dues and could have a serious impact on the state groups' futures. JA's leaders say the changes (see box for details) will let state groups boost their memberships, independently manage money matters, and create better state and regional networking events through increased communications. But they realize that some affiliates are either unwilling or unable to be more active for reasons within or beyond their control, such as location. Groups from rural states, for example, have the additional logistical challenge of traveling long distances to attend local or regional networking events. Barbara Hight, owner of Hight & Randall Personal Jeweler, thinks the new rules will be a challenge for less-active groups. “Some affiliates have been sustained step by step by JA national,” she says.

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