The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) elected Dr. Wilfried Hoerner (Argor Heraeus SA) as its new chairman of the board, and re-appointed Mr. Mark Jenkins (Signet Jewelers Ltd) as honorary secretary, at its 2016 Annual General Meeting held on 5 June at JCK Las Vegas.
This was the first time the RJC has held its AGM in the United States. RJC members also elected to the board Michael Steinmetz (Leo Schachter Diamonds LLC), Ankur Goyal (MMTC-PAMP India Pvt Ltd), Jean-Baptiste Dembreville (Baume & Mercier), Bernard Malek (Cartier SA) and Harriet Kelsall (Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design Ltd), representing their respective fora.
Wilfried Hoerner, chairman of the RJC Board of Directors, comments “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the RJC membership for electing me as chair of its Board of Directors. I’m conscious of the duties and tasks ahead and the honour you’ve bestowed upon me. Although there are challenges ahead, I look forward to working with the management team to take advantage of the many opportunities as we prepare for the next decade of the RJC.”
RJC executive director Andrew Bone adds: “On behalf of the management team, I’d like to warmly congratulate Wilfried on his appointment. We are looking forward to working with him and the Board to build on the success of the last ten years. I’d also like to thank Charles Chaussepied for his service as interim chair. His tireless dedication to promoting the RJC and its objectives has been inspiring. His wise counsel and support have been critical during a period of transition and he leaves us well equipped to face the future. I am both delighted and grateful that he has agreed to be vice-chair for the next few months.”
Following the AGM, RJC hosted an open discussion with a selection of panelist guests from the jewellery pipeline – mine to retail. The interactive session panelists focused on the value proposition of RJC Certification and its impact on their companies’ performance against such issues as mandatory legislation, access to global markets and how businesses can prepare for the next wave of discerning consumers. The panel included representatives from De Beers, Metalor, Venus Jewel, Richline, the Fair Trade Jewellery Company, and DDI and moderated by Signet Jewelers Ltd.
The day concluded with the launch of the RJC 2016 Annual Progress Report. The Report reflects the RJC’s 2015 accomplishments and demonstrates its continuing work across membership growth, certification benchmarks, standards development and auditor engagement. The Report is now available in hard copy from the RJC Office in London and a digital copy will be made available on the RJC website very soon.