RJO Members

The RJO Foundation

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RJO Foundation Mission  

The RJO Foundation supports the advancement of the jewelry industry by providing scholarship and grants to RJO retail owners, vendor owners and their employees.

RJO Foundation Vision

Our advancement of the jewelry industry provides opportunities to ensure continued growth of the industry.  The RJO Education Foundation mobilizes the giving power of our members and vendors to continue to make an impact in the industry.

Scholarships: 

The RJO Foundation offers scholarships two times per year - Spring and Fall.  You may apply for the scholarship at any time during the year, but scholarships will typically be awarded in April and October of each calendar year.

APPLY NOW

Please complete the online application and email the recommendation letters to RJO Foundation Associate Executive Director, Connie Miller, connie@rjomembers.com.  If you wish to complete a paper application, you may download the application here and email the completed application and recommendation letter to connie@rjomembers.com. 

Eligibility & Terms

RJO retail owners, vendor owners and their employees may apply for the RJO Foundation Scholarships.  An applicant must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • have at least one year's experience working at a RJO member store/company
  • course must be completed while an employee of RJO member store/company
  • the RJO member or vendor account must be in good standing.

Scholarship Committee Expectations:

The scholarship committee takes great pride in awarding these hard earned dollars to deserving RJO members and vendors.  The committee spends a great deal of time reviewing each application and determining award amounts. Some of the factors weighing into the committee's decisions include: 

  • Eligibility Criteria: The committee expects applicants to meet all the eligibility requirements outlined in the scholarship guidelines above.   
  • Clarity and Completeness: The committee expects applications to be clear, well-organized, and complete.
  • Letters of Recommendation: The committee values letters of recommendation that provide insights into your character, achievements, and potential. Choose recommenders who can speak to your qualifications for the scholarship.  Note: this recommendation does not have to come from within the industry.
  • Relevance to Scholarship Goals: Your application should align with the goals and purpose of the scholarship. We look for candidates whose long- and short-term goals resonate with the mission of the scholarship.
  • Demonstrated Community Involvement: The committee appreciates applicants who have shown leadership skills, initiative, and a commitment to making a positive impact in your community and/or business.
  • Financial Need: The committee will review your financial situation and consider that need in their decision-making process.  
  • Professionalism: Present yourself professionally in all aspects of the application. This includes communication with the committee, adherence to deadlines, grammar and punctuation, and overall conduct throughout the process.

Donate:

If you would like to make a donation online, please click here.  Otherwise, we gladly accept checks that can be mailed directly to the Foundation using the address below.

RJO Foundation
PO Box 1045
Newton, IA  50208

Board of Directors: 

The RJO Foundation Board of Directors convenes at each of the RJO Buying Shows.  Meetings contain in-depth discussions in regards to the role the foundation will play in the industry, sustainable fund-raising campaigns, scholarship opportunities and more.  We look forward to making a difference and encouraging the growth of the independent retail jeweler. 

Your RJO Foundation Board of Directors:

  • Kymberlee Setterberg, Setterberg Jewelers (President)
  • Amy Mefford, Cahill-Pribyl Jewelers (Vice-President)
  • Mark A. Comier, Hager Jewelry Inc. (Treasurer)
  • Deb Borgemoen, Wickersham Jewelry
  • Elliott Herzlich, Elliott's Jewelers
  • Carrie Volp, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co. 
  • Billy Smith, Cornerstone Fine Jewelers

Any questions regarding the Foundation, please contact Foundation Executive Director, Sarah Streb at (800) 247-1774 or sarah@rojmembers.com.   

The RJO Foundation Board of Directors convenes at each of the RJO Buying Shows. Meetings contain in-depth discussions in regards to the role the foundation will play in the industry, sustainable fund-raising campaigns, scholarship opportunities and more.  We look forward to making a difference and encouraging the growth of the independent retail jeweler. 

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