Independents

IJO Names New President

IndependentsAug 22, 2023

IJO Names New President

Stephen Barnes has taken over the role.

Stephen Barnes IJO
IJO announced Stephen Barnes as its new president at its recent conference in Cleveland, Ohio.
Southport, Conn.— The Independent Jewelers Organization (IJO) has named Stephen Barnes its new president. 

The announcement was first made at the organization’s conference in Cleveland, Ohio, where over 1,000 members were present.

In the announcement, IJO owner and chairman Jeff Roberts said, “For several years I have met with, interviewed and talked with several candidates for this position I wanted to fill, but no one possessed the qualities I was seeking until recently.”

“I was looking for some new blood to help drive IJO farther. Stephen is a bright, smart, and passionate individual with experience in running a successful and profitable retail jewelry store. His added expertise in succession and transition planning only adds to his long list of qualifications, and I have no doubt he will help make IJO a better, stronger, and even more successful organization.”

Barnes was previously a business advisor at Edge Retail Academy. He has been an IJO member for over two decades and is also the owner of Barnes Jewelers in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where he will continue to live while also spending a few days a week at IJO headquarters, said IJO.

 Related stories will be right here … 

From the conference stage, Barnes said, “I’m so very fortunate to have had IJO as part of my life for nearly 25 years, and I have met so many amazing people along the way that have mentored, coached, and guided me into who I am today.” 

“I owe a great deal of gratitude to all of you in this organization for pouring into me over these years. Through every step of my journey, I can see how it has prepared me for such a time as this. And I humbly thank Jeff for this opportunity.” 

Barnes said some of his responsibilities will include revamping the educational programs, increasing opportunities for the Next Generation group, improving IJO’s technology resources, increasing marketing and advertising resources, creating an increased program for succession and store transition, and providing family-friendly shows. 

“The vision of IJO is to enhance the lives of its members through the power of unity. Our goal is to grow stronger together and further solidify the integrity of our industry,” Barnes said. “IJO is a family that cares about each other, and I’m grateful for this opportunity to help make IJO even stronger for each and every member.”

Lauren McLemoreis the associate editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments.

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