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Vicki and Howard Cunningham are strong advocates of promoting ethics and corporate social responsibility within the jewelry industry. Their retail store, Cunningham Fine Jewelry, has been a leader in the retail jewelry world for proactive store policies and its support in the eradication of conflict diamonds and responsible gold mining practices.
In March of 2007, Vicki Cunningham was honored by the Jeweler’s Association of America with an invitation to speak before an international audience at the World Jewellery Confederation Congress in Cape Town, South Africa (CIBJO) on the topic of corporate social responsibility within the industry. Here she joined forces with industry leader Sir Nicky Oppenheimer, chairman of the De Beers Group, as well as government leaders such as South African Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka and representatives from the United Nations.
“I was honored to be asked by the Jewelers of America to represent U.S. retailer jewelers’ support for responsible business practices at CIBJO,” says Cunningham. “It is extremely important that our supply partners understand retailers, who are the face of the jewelry industry to the public and take these matters seriously.” In her discussion, she shared the store’s policies and her efforts to educate the trade on corporate social responsibility.
Following the Congress, in May 2007 Mrs. Cunningham was awarded a position on the Board of Directors of the Council of Responsible Jewelry Practices (CRJP), which is a worldwide organization that is committed to promoting responsible business practices throughout the industry. From monitoring the mining process to educating employees and the public on corporate responsibility, the CRJP is a strong presence within the industry and maintains a strict code of ethics that its members must follow. Mrs. Cunningham served in that position with the Council of Responsible Jewelry for 6 years.
For more information on the Jewelers Association of America, please visit www.jewelers.org.
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