RAPAPORT… The Jewelry Industry Summit has released its roster of speakers who will participate in the three-day forum on sustainability and responsible sourcing. The event will be held at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York from March 11 to 13.
“The Summit is organized to hear all viewpoints, from miners to retailers,” said Barbara Wheat, executive vice president of the Natural Color Diamond Association and a member of the summit’s planning committee, in a statement on February a. “Our committee, which is made up of companies representing all products, from diamonds, colored gemstones, and precious metals to finished jewelry and timepieces, recognizes that though there are a number of excellent responsible sourcing programs out there, there’s never been an industry-wide consensus on what constitutes a vision all stakeholders can support.”
Among the speakers headlining the event, include:
• Anna Bario, co-owner of designer jewelry brand Bario-Neal;
• Stewart Grice, vice-president of supplier Hoover and Strong;
• Dorothée Gizenga, executive director of Diamond Development Initiative;
• Eric Jens, CEO of ABN AMRO Bank’s International Diamond & Jewelry Group;
• Maria Gorsuch-Kennedy, principal program manager, global products operations sustainability for Dell, will speak about driving social and environmental responsibility throughout the computer hardware product lifecycle;
• A representative from sustainable designer brand Melissa Joy Manning.
Conference planners have invited speakers to share information to help provide insight into what constitutes a responsible sourcing program. However, organizers stressed the summit is intended to be interactive and will be characterized by small and large discussion groups to encourage attendee participation.
“For industry members who feel that their views have been ignored, for those who are frustrated and angry about current responsible sourcing systems – this is your chance to speak up and be heard,” said Edward Boehm, president and CEO of Rare Source and a member of the planning committee. “Our collaborative approach to this topic makes it different from other meetings you may have attended. We want to hear from new voices.”
The summit has been coordinated by a group of volunteer industry companies in every sector of the international trade and representing all products. Rapaport Magazine is among the media sponsors of the event.