At the recent 2022 Canadian Jewellers Association Annual General Meeting on October 24, Jewellers Vigilance Canada (JVC) awarded the Peel Regional Police Robbery Unit with the JVC-Jewelers Mutual Group Law Enforcement Award of Merit. The JVC-Jewelers Mutual Group Law Enforcement Award of Merit is awarded to a police service that has gone above and beyond the call of duty in conducting exceptional investigations and dedication to duty related to jewellery industry crime. Peel Regional Police did just that in their investigation into the 2020 robbery of a Mississauga jewellery store. This November 2020 robbery was particularly heinous and violent. A jeweller was shot with a gun by one of the robbers before the robbers made off with approximately $1.5 million in jewellery. The robbers disguised themselves as older individuals which were later determined to be rubber masks that were worn. Peel Regional Police Robbery Unit conducted an extensive and thorough criminal investigation and was able to determine the identity of one of the suspects as Olakunle Banjoko, a 30-year-old male from Toronto. Banjoko has been charged with attempted murder, robbery with a firearm, disguise with intent, and two counts of failing to comply with a weapons prohibition order. He was convicted in December 2021 of his involvement in this crime and received a 10-year prison sentence. The other suspect remains at large, and police continue to investigate. Jewellers Vigilance Canada, along with the Canadian Jewellers Association and the jewellery community thank Peel Regional Police Robbery Unit for their exceptional work in this investigation, their dedication to service, and for bringing this criminal to justice.
Our Annual General Meeting, held in October at Toronto’s downtown Hilton, was an exciting, lively event punctuated by personal connections, informative and significant discussions, shared stories and achievements, and familiar faces. The occasion also saw a new CJA Board of Directors voted and accepted by the members. The CJA is pleased to announce the appointment of Angela Betteridge as the new Chair of the Board for 2023-2025. For more about Angela and her vision for the CJA, please follow this link. Angela Betteridge is joined on the Board by the following: Past Chair: Gail Golberg, Custom Creations by GG, Toronto, Ontario 1st Vice Chair: Chau Lui, Paris Jewellers, Edmonton, Alberta 2nd Vice Chair: Geoffrey Beattie, Barclay’s Fine Jewellers, Victoria, BC. Director & Member of Executive Committee: Marco Pasteris, Birks Group, Montreal, QC Director: Mark Devereaux , Jewelers Mutual Group, Neenah, Wisconsin Director: Kevin Vantyghem, Vantyghem Diamonds, Kitchener, Ontario Director: Shant Purutoglu, Gem Lab Appraisal Services, Toronto, Ontario Director: Heather Davis, Stellar Gem Services, Kelowna, B.C. Director: Keith Jack, Keith Jack Inc., Vancouver, B.C. Director: Tom Hart, C.J. Ltd., Dartmouth, N.S. View the full 2023-2025 board here. AGM attendees were also guided through seminars on loss prevention, social media marketing, and retail strategy before awards were handed out to this year’s deserving recipients. Carmen Rivet, of Bijouterie Rivet in Montreal, was the recipient of this year’s Chairman’s Award. Following a degree in business and marketing, Carmen earned her Graduate Gemologist Diploma from the Gemological Institute of America in 1982 and has been a Diploma Member of the Canadian Gemmological Association. Carmen has run her own jewellery store in Saint-Lambert since 1987, and is a highly sought after appraiser. Carmen joined the board of the Canadian Jewellers Association, serving as a director from 2000- 2006, and as President for the year 2004-2005, where she was instrumental in the fight to repeal the excise tax. Carmen was unable to attend the event and her good friend and Past President, Pierre Akkelian, accepted the award on her behalf. The Erol Paylan award, presented during the current year to recognize a person or company who has made a significant contribution to the Canadian Jewellery, was presented to Duncan Parker, Vice President of Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers in Toronto. Duncan is a past President of Jewellers Vigilance Canada, and the past President and a regular instructor at The Canadian Gemmological Association. Duncan has worked as a jewellery valuer and diamond and coloured gem specialist for 30 years. Members of the Peel Regional Police were on hand to receive the Crime Prevention Award for their tireless efforts in solving a string of jewellery burglaries in Ontario’s Peel Region, and bringing the suspects to justice.
It is an honour and a privilege to serve as Chair of the CJA Board for the 2023 – 2025 term. Having been a Director of the Association since 2017, I have seen several changes and it will be no surprise for you to know that more, positive change is on the way! Our wonderfully talented office team of Carla, Alanna and Nicole are working on new initiatives, new member benefits and exciting new webinar content for the upcoming year. Phyllis and Kelly remain committed to their steadfast work of Government Relations and Crime Prevention. I take this opportunity to thank Gail Golberg for her tireless work as Chair over these past two years. Her task was particularly difficult due to the pandemic. Planning and executing an office move to cut our expenses, coping with no travel and in-person meetings and mastering online collaborations. Gail handled all of this with grace and dignity. I thank Jewelers Mutual Group for their continued support of our Association. Their dedication to the industry is unparalleled and we are extremely fortunate to receive their incredibly insightful perspective on how to move forward in evolving times. Your new, diverse Board of Directors represents Canada from (almost) coast to coast, and of course we would love representation from the centre and north of the country too. If you would love to give back to your industry as we do, please consider becoming a committee member or even stand to be a Director at next year’s AGM. It’s your opportunity to have your say in what shapes our industry. Our Association succeeds because of its membership and it must be an engaged membership. My cornerstone for the CJA over the next couple of years is RELEVANCE. How can we evolve and remain relevant in this world of exponential change? By listening By exploring and acting on themes that are important to our members By providing membership benefits that impact the bottom line By continuing to be the voice of the jewellery industry By providing access to education for all members By forming strategic relationships with industry peers and learning from their best practices By being curious and trying new ideas It’s a big ask, but we have the ability to succeed if we all work together. Because we are all in this together. Angela Betteridge 7 November 2022