By Ashley Davis
This is Jory Zimmerman. The Maryland-based critical care nurse practitioner moved to New York City when the pandemic took hold to assist patients at its epicenter. Zimmerman is one of the first four “heroes” Royal Chain is honoring.
New York—In a difficult year, Royal Chain is honoring people who have made a difference in their communities.

The jewelry manufacturer has named its first set of “Royal Chain Heroes.”

Announced this summer, the corporate social responsibility initiative called on Royal Chain retailers to collect and submit stories of local heroes.

Now, Royal Chain has announced its first set of four honorees from around the country and is sharing their stories online.

The first hero, Michelle Patterson, was a submission through Barbara Parker’s Diamond Vault in Conroe, Texas.

Patterson is a business executive and philanthropist whose contributions include founding the Global Women Foundation, a non-profit that advocates for various women’s initiatives. She is also a stage four breast cancer survivor.

Royal Chain has gifted Patterson a rose gold, diamond and amethyst bracelet.

The second hero, nominated through Bridgeton, Missouri’s Romantique Jewelers, is registered nurse Avery Culpepper.

Culpepper has been a frontline healthcare hero during the pandemic, putting others’ needs above her own, Royal Chain said. She received aquamarine earrings.

The third hero is Elaine Canty, nominated through Toodie’s Fine Jewelry in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Canty is a nurse who delayed her retirement after 40 years of work to aid in the pandemic healthcare efforts. When she began her nursing career in the 1980s, she recalls being on the battlegrounds of the AIDS pandemic.

She is officially retired this fall but has inspired her daughter to pursue a nursing career. Royal Chain gave Canty its “Italian Cable” bangle.

Lastly, the owner of Windy City Diamonds in Chicago nominated his son, Jory Zimmerman, as one of Royal Chain’s first round of heroes.

Zimmerman worked in the jewelry industry until a hiking accident inspired him to pursue a passion for helping others. When the pandemic hit, the critical care nurse practitioner traveled from his home in Maryland to New York City to assist at the epicenter of COVID-19.

Royal Chain has given Zimmerman a bracelet from the “Woven” collection.

The manufacturer said its next round of heroes will be announced in November and encourages its retail partners across North America to nominate people in their communities through a form on

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