The first Jewelers of America National Convention is scheduled for July 28-29 at the InterContinental New York Barclay.
New York—Jewelers of America is rounding up political experts for its first national convention this July, looking to keep retailers in the loop about happenings on the Hill that could affect their businesses.

The keynote lunch, scheduled for Sunday, July 28 at noon, will feature Charlie Cook, editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report, presenting “Election Outlook 2020.”

Cook will discuss the upcoming election season, both congressional and presidential, and outline what a win by a Democrat or a Republican could mean for retailers.

Attendees looking for a crash course on taxes and tariffs may want to sit in on “Policy & Retail: Why What Happens in D.C. Matters,” a breakout session that will provide an overview of key policies that could impact retailers.

Jason Straczewski, vice president of government relations and political affairs at the National Retail Federation, will guide retailers on how to strategize and prepare for all possible outcomes.

Monday’s keynote, “Economic Outlook: Key Investment Themes,” presented by Michael Vakin, chief markets economist for J.P. Morgan Private Bank, will share possible short- and long-term impacts on the health of the retail sector based on the current macroeconomic outlook.

Vakin, an expert in global, macroeconomic and market research, will also provide guidance on investment themes and how to best incorporate them into a business.

“Responsible Sourcing in the Jewelry Supply Chain: The Kimberley Process & Beyond” will be led by Pamela Fierst-Walsh, senior advisor on conflict minerals and U.S. Representative to the Kimberley Process, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

Fierst-Walsh will talk about responsible sourcing in the gem and jewelry supply chain and share her perspective on the Kimberley Process 16 years after its creation.

She has a background in foreign policy and national security as well as experience working with the private sector on supply chain compliance with U.S. law.

“The National Convention’s goal is to bring independent jewelers from across the country together so they can be well-informed about every aspect of their business, ensuring the legacy of family businesses continues to thrive. Their fight is our fight, “ JA President David Bonaparte said.

Scheduled for July 28 and 29 at the InterContinental New York Barclay, JA’s first National Convention will feature a total of four keynotes, including an opening address by “Fear Is My Homeboy” author Judi Holler.

There will be 12 breakout sessions as well as hands-on experiences, including a laboratory where retailers can try out diamond testing devices.

To learn more about JA’s National Convention or to register, visit the convention website.

National Jeweler is a for-profit subsidiary of Jewelers of America, which purchased the publication in 2015. The two organizations act independently of each other.

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