Symposium ’24 – An Overwhelming Educational Success

Attendees Agree They Gained Insights from Differing Business Sectors on Factors Imminently Relevant to The Jewelry Category

New York – A select 225 industry executives were treated to two days of world-class learning, robust conversation and business networking at Symposium ’24, a forum presented by The Plumb Club in partnership with JCK and with Jewelers Mutual as the founding sponsor. The event took place in an elegant and private venue in midtown Manhattan, rounding out New York’s “Jewelry Week”.

“Our team found a lot of value from Symposium ’24”, said Bobbi Hansen, director of merchandising, Fred Meyer Jewelers. “It was a terrific line up of speakers and something for everyone – sales, marketing, technology, industry insights and more.  Our team of seven enjoyed the ability to make choices on the seminars based on their interests and because we had a larger group, we could go to all of the seminars to share insights afterwards.  It was nice to take the time out to invest in learning and networking.”

The exclusive group of attendees kicked off each day with motivational presentations on entrepreneurship and effective team building, delivered by businesswoman and inventor Lori Greiner of ABC’s “Shark Tank”, and Robert “Cujo” Teschner, best-selling author, and former US Airforce fighter pilot. Teschner also conducted an in-depth “debrief” workshop with attendees.

“I was amazed by the quality of the speakers,” adds Susan Eisen of Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry in TX. “The information we received was top-notch and not your typical jewelry seminar topics. This was world-class learning from people who are entrenched in a variety of different business categories. It opened my eyes to areas that I was unfamiliar with and provided information that I can adapt to my business plans.” 

Harvard Business School professor, Frank Cespedes, and NYU Stern Business School professor, Raphael Carty, conducted daily double-session Harvard Business case studies on branding and business development in a changing environment, while David Edelman, Sr. lecturer at Harvard Business School, illustrated the impact and provided insight into AI in business and the consumer.

Marketing powerhouses Kelly McDonald, founder of Advertising Age’s “top agency”. McDonald Marketing, and Aliza Licht, best-selling author and founder of Leave Your Mark, empowered the audience and enlightened them on delivering a better customer experience, providing them insights on how to get customers to think about your brand.

Environmental psychologist, consultant to more than one-third of the Fortune 100 list, and author of numerous best-selling marketing books, Paco Underhill, provided learning on the impact of COVID on consumer culture and the evolution of the jewelry customer.

One of the world’s top female leaders in sustainability, and former chief sustainability officer of IKEA, Pia Heidenmark Cook, drew upon learnings from European retailers to help attendees understand how sustainability can be turned into an opportunity for them. Melanie Grant of the Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC) and Tiffany Stevens of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) advised the audience of what responsibility means at the present time, while Sara Yood of JVC provided retailers with an update on the Russian sanctions and what it means to their business.

Jewelry industry authorities, Krystle Craycraft of Jewelers Mutual, Benny Oeyen of Anglo American, and Ivette Nersesyan-Stephanopoulos of De Beers Group delved into navigating the retail revolution, addressing contextual shifts when selling diamonds and understanding platinum’s competitive edge. Further, panel discussions featured Zach Lipsky and Michael Schechter of Boss Logics, moderated by Jen Cullen Williams, setting retailers up for digital success, while Michelle Orman moderated a panel of Kathy Lee (The Zoe Report) and Severine Ferrari (Engagement 101) about evolving metal trends.

Steve and Judy Padis, of Padis Jewelry in CA, said, “We were honored to be invited to Symposium 24. The location was easy to get to and our favorite part was the intimate size and impressive content of the seminars.  The speakers were open to questions, very friendly, and informative about subjects we were anxious to learn about.”

Brittany Merrill, GMM, merchandising for Helzberg Diamonds, summed it up by adding, “Symposium offered an impressive lineup of sessions featuring high-caliber, engaging speakers on topics confronting the jewelry industry. The diverse range of subjects, covering relevant issues around sustainability, artificial intelligence, and leadership, amongst others, provided an enriching experience, enabling attendees to think about their businesses innovatively outside their typical day-to-day environments.”

Images from the event are available HERE.

Retailers interested in being considered for the next event should email

Symposium ’24 would like to thank Platinum Guild International and De Beers Group for their generous sponsorships and additions to the educational program.