Ronnie Elected President of US Jewelry Council

New York: Mr. Ronnie VanderLinden, the incumbent President of the Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America (DMIA), was elected President of the newly-formed United States Jewelry Council (USJC), a coalition of leading diamond, gem and jewelry trade associations in the United States that have come together to assure that the U.S. jewelry industry is collectively represented at government and international levels and will deal more effectively with key issues of social, ethical and environmental importance that might impact the U.S. jewelry industry at large.

The DMIA joined the new trade body together with the American Gem Society (AGS); the Diamond Council of America (DCA); the Diamond Bourse of Southeast United States (DBSE); the Diamond Dealers Club of New York (DDC); the Indian Diamond and Colored Stone Association (IDCA); Jewelers of America (JA), the Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA) and the Natural Color Diamond Association (NCDIA)

In addition to electing VanderLinden as its founding President, the Council elected David J. Bonaparte, President & CEO of JA as its Treasurer, and Ruth Batson, CEO of AGS as its Secretary. James Evans Lombe, Director of Ethical Initiatives, Jewelers of America, was appointed CEO of the Council.

In its first news release, the council said that organization’s members, whose combined memberships represent the vast majority of the U.S. jewelry industry, believe U.S. businesses need a united voice on issues as diverse as environmental mining standards, factory working conditions, full and proper disclosure of all relevant information before sale, be it the type of stone, weight, metal quality etc. as well as any other issues that can impact consumer confidence in the diamond and jewelry industry such as the financial regulations on anti-money laundering or the international systems to prevent the re-occurrence of conflict diamonds. For example, the Council is a member of the World Diamond Council, working with the WDC to enhance the U.S. jewelry industry’s voice in the Kimberley Process.

“The success or failure of U.S.-based jewelry businesses – and the entire diamond and jewelry supply chain – is in large part dependent on a healthy representation of U.S. businesses in the national and global arena,” VanderLinden was quoted. “These challenges on the national and global scale are more than an individual association can handle alone. The U.S. industry needs a coordinated effort to ensure we can protect consumer confidence in our product and have a say on policies that affect the livelihoods of our members.”