Gem Legacy, the nonprofit organization that raises funds and secures resources for East African miners and their families, has added three industry members to its advisory council: Katherine Bodoh, CEO of the American Gem Society (AGS) and AGS Laboratories; Stuart Robertson, research director of Gemworld International; and Sumit Dangi, global CFO and treasurer of Jewelers Mutual Group.
Council members serve as ambassadors for Gem Legacy and advocate for its initiatives, “enrolling new partners and collaborating with industry organizations and businesses to form alliances with Gem Legacy,” said the organization in a recent statement. The advisory council’s founding members are Niveet Nagpal, president of Omi Gems and Omi Privé, and Jonathan and Brecken Farnsworth, owners of Parlé Jewelry Designs.
New member Sumit Dangi of Jewelers Mutual Group (which owns The Zing Report) grew up in a family-owned gemstone business. “I’m from a colored stone family, and as a kid I would sit around and play with gems,” recalls the CFO, who was introduced to the nonprofit at AGS Conclave last year. “They had a small booth and I learned what they do and got really excited about their mission. Gem Legacy’s efforts can be broken down into three things: education, entrepreneurship and community development, with a specific focus on kids. All of these are very near and dear to my heart.”
Dangi is also impressed with the organization’s scrappiness and can-do attitude. Gem Legacy has been on the ground in East Africa for several years now, fundraising to buy artisanal miners crucial tools and equipment, subsidize education and gem cutting education, and even rallying to help deliver basic needs (toilet paper, food, etc.) to communities during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unlike bigger nonprofits, Gem Legacy has low operating costs, so “everything that’s being donated to Gem Legacy goes directly to its initiatives,” Dangi adds. “From a donor perspective, you always ask, where is my money being used? When you see it’s going directly to the programs, you feel more interested, connected and excited.”
Ultimately, adds the executive, “It’s not what you receive in life, it’s what you give back that defines you. This is my small attempt at giving back to a community that I absolutely love.”
All photos courtesy of Gem Legacy