President’s Message – Fall 2017

If you have never heard of Simon Sinek, do yourself a favor and look him up. After coming across his speeches and Ted Talks on You Tube, I was particularly drawn to his content on game theory and its relevance to our Association.

The two parts of game theory are finite and infinite games. Finite games are those with set rules and set lengths. Baseball is always 9 innings. The rules are clear and agreed upon by everyone. Infinite games are those that are played with no length or specific rules in mind. The loser is the first to lose the will to fight on or maintain the resources to continue. Business is one of those infinite games. Finite thinking in terms of business would be finding the next new product. Thinking short term. Infinite games are where we say, “what can we do to maintain our relevance 50 years from now”.

This concept resonated with me in terms of the Iowa Jewelers Association. We have had a tremendous history and want to maintain that legacy for decades to come. The landscape of jewelry is changing faster than we would like to admit, and we need to change with it.

As the Iowa Jewelers Board descended upon Des Moines last month, we were challenged, by our recently hired Executive Director, Suzanne Hull, to take ownership of this organization for ourselves. We had spent as many years as I remember relying on our past executive directors and their willingness to take care of virtually every task for us. It was time for us to step to the plate and show this organization, that has been so great to us all, the time and attention it deserves. So, we made some changes!

The first and most obvious change is our brand-new e-newsletter format. During the financial portion of the meeting we discussed multiple ways to cut costs. This is the first exclusively online newsletter for this Association. This will save the organization $400 per year in printing and shipping costs. This seemed an easy transition since a copy of every past newsletter is available on the website already anyway.

Speaking of the website, the Iowa Jewelers Association has a new website at We are now fully embracing the 21st century by allowing jewelers to sign up for membership and all conference registrations online. We hope you explore the site and give us recommendations on how to make it better or just let us know how great it is.

We have created a Membership Committee within the board to assist with prospecting to non-member stores and also reaching out to those that have shown interest in the Association. The board feels that this committee will be vital to our continued success and relevance in the future.

One of the most exciting times in a jewelry store owner’s life can often be reaching the goal of retirement. We wanted a way to allow all past members who no longer own a store front the opportunity to still be a part of the group. That’s why we created an Emeritus Member category. Thank you to Rich and Nedra Perry for the idea. For a reduced fee, anyone who no longer qualifies for traditional membership will be able to join as an Emeritus Member. Rich, I think this name is more fitting to you than your term, “old farts club”. We also think that this membership level can morph into a sounding board or peer review committee for anyone still in the industry that may need some advice or guidance.

I want this organization to stay relevant and of benefit to our membership for decades to come and feel that these changes are the tip of the iceberg but a step in the right direction.

Good luck and be safe to everyone throughout this 4th quarter. Have an awesome holiday season and I hope you are all exhausted from too many customers come December 25th.