The Talented Mr. Shipley

Shipley figured the best way to start his national movement was among those who understood him best: his former retail colleagues. Shipley's most important meeting in the Midwest in 1932 was with the Retail Jewelers Research Group (RJRG), which he had helped start in the 1920s. Its support was crucial. Shipley "had reached the end of his financial rope [and the] funds supplied by Mrs. Shipley," says an unpublished 1980 RJRG history. Also, the Group's members included the most respected and influential jewelers in America. Shipley made the sale, and nine RJRG members were among the first to pledge their support. Thanks largely to such backing, GIA's first national advisory board—which became the GIA Board of Governors—was formally organized in 1932. Most board members remained committed to GIA for the rest of their lives, taking the courses, making donations of money and equipment,

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