The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

An Ethics Award for Rio Grande: One Employee’s Real-Life Tale

Feb 12, 2014
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Amy Cliser
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Here at Rio, we all strive to do business in ways that honor our customers, community, environment, and one another. Saul Bell founded the company back in 1944 as a small family-run business and, though it has grown to have more than 300 employees and is now a proud member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies, the company is still run by members of the Bell family, and it still feels like a family affair. Recently, we were surprised and elated to be recognized by The Samaritan Counseling Center as a recipient of one of its 15th Annual New Mexico Ethics in Business Awards. The award is based on "high standards and exemplary practices," something Rio Grande strives for every day of the year.

outside.rio_1I manage Rio Grande’s social media marketing and customer interaction and I’d like you to know how this plays out in real life from a personal point of view. Join me on a quick tour of my daily experience at Rio.

  • Source of Pride #1:
    We literally are powered by the sun. First thing every morning, I park my car, along with everyone else here, under the shelter created by Rio Grande’s five acres of solar panels—panels that provide 1.6 million kilowatt hours' worth of electricity each year, enough to run every corner of our business and then some.
  • Source of Pride #2:
    When I enter the building, I see bulletin boards with health tips, challenges, and the schedule for health education classes here in the building. There’s even a gym. Healthy living is a big value here.
  • Source of Pride #3:
    Walking past various departments to get to my desk, I see a wide variety of ethnicities represented. The immediate conclusion is that this is an environment of inclusion and fairness, a huge bonus in my book.
  • Source of Pride #4:
    During the day, I have not only the responsibility but also the authority to make sure that customers are well served, first and foremost. I am empowered to resolve issues in order to improve our customers’ experience with us.
  • Source of Pride #5:
    Since #4 applies to everyone in the company, I see others acting with the same dedication to serve the customer. I witness that every day, and it makes me feel good.
  • Source of Pride #6:
    We offer quality products and services to jewelers who are counting on us, and we have policies that support the customer in receiving the product that he or she needs. I help to manage our product reviews, so I also see how often we are making improvements that customers bring to our attention.
  • Source of Pride #7:
    We work and meet in teams here at Rio Grande, and that helps ensure that everyone’s input is sought and valued.
  • Source of Pride #8:
    There’s a company-wide dedication to employee safety and environmental protection.
  • Source of Pride #9:
    When necessary, the entire company pitches in to get things done, and that includes the Directors. I have seen them in the warehouse, helping stock shelves when the need arises.
  • Source of Pride #8:
    On my way to a meeting, thank-you cards posted in our hallways remind me of contributions we’ve made to our community. I also see collection boxes for our charitable commitment, Jewelers for Children.

This is just a partial list of my favorite things about Rio. Let it speak volumes that these sources of pride are ones that I thought of with very little effort. I am fortunate to get to experience them each and every day.

We know that the Samaritan Counseling Center’s final selection committee analyzed more than 800 pages of reports to select the winners of this year’s New Mexico Ethics in Business Awards. "It is really an honor to receive this award, considering the investigative efforts put into this process! Everyone at Rio Grande is proud and humbled to have been recognized as a recipient of this award," says Molly Bell, executive vice president of Rio Grande.

For further reading, here’s the press release on the Rio Grande website. We are grateful for this honor and appreciate this recognition from our community. Thanks for reading, and see you online!

Learn-with-Rio

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Rio Grande’s Winter Workshop Series: Today’s Tour of Jewelry Making Classes

Jan 29, 2014
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Amy Cliser
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Today Amy visited several of the bustling classrooms here at Rio Grande’s Winter Workshop. Some participants were quiet and intensely focused on trying new techniques. Others worked in a happy cacophony of clanging and then paused to examine their progress. Rio Grande is wonderful place to be this week—learning and discovery is all around us! Maybe today’s photo tour will get you planning your trip to the Land of Enchantment for next year’s Winter Workshop.

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Rio Grande’s Winter Workshop Series: Catching Fire with Jewelry Designer Dana Schneider

Jan 27, 2014
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Amy Cliser
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Rio Grande Winter Workshop 2014 is underway and we are having so much fun with our guests from around the globe! Today Amy chatted with participant Dana Schneider, a jewelry designer whose name is on the minds of every costume designer in the L.A. film scene. Dana’s creations can be seen in multiple films, on television, and are worn by some of the most famous performers in Hollywood and beyond. Take a look and be inspired by Dana’s fun story, then come back all week as we bring you other highlights from Winter Workshop 2014!

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Welcome to Rio Grande’s Annual Winter Workshop!

Jan 23, 2014
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Amy Cliser
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Rio Grande’s annual Winter Workshop starts this Sunday, and we are busy setting up benches, cameras for close-ups of instructors’ work, Foredom® flex shafts, anvils, 3DESIGN® software–you name it! Follow our excitement this week as we bring you highlights of this GREAT event where participants hone their skills with some of the very best teachers in the industry, mingle and crowd around workbenches in the demonstration area, exchange jewelry-making experiences and tips, bond with each other over wonderful meals, and get a behind-the-scenes look at Rio’s facilities.

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Inside Rio: A Few of Rio Grande’s Favorite Customer Service Superstars

Jan 14, 2014
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Heather Apodaca
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Our Rio Superstars posts usually focus on the many talented jewelers who work on our technical support team. This week, we thought we would visit a different part of Rio and introduce you to just a few of the superstars from our customer service teams. First-rate customer service is one of the things we pride ourselves on here at Rio, so we are thrilled to introduce you to the people who make it all happen.

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2014 Saul Bell Design Award Competition Gala Awards Dinner: Coming to Albuquerque in May!

Dec 16, 2013
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Molly Therese Bell

The Saul Bell Design Award Gala celebration will happen right here in beautiful Albuquerque, New Mexico, in May of 2014. And the timing is excellent! The celebration will take place in conjunction with one of the most prestigious and mind-expanding events in our industry—The Santa Fe Symposium!

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Rio Grande is People: A Glimpse of Rio

Dec 12, 2013
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Bernadette Bennett

From really big process and system changes to the tiniest details, there’s usually more than one person involved in the decisions around here. We like to call it “whole brain thinking.” Oftentimes, when someone has a good idea, we gather a team to brainstorm it. During one such recent brainstorm, someone had the great idea to create a video that shares a glimpse of the people here and their experiences. Take a look inside Rio!

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Rio Grande’s 2014 Winter Workshop Series: Registration is Open!

Nov 13, 2013
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Shelby Chant
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Registration is now open for this week-long event where you can get hands-on in any number of jewelry-making classes taught by the industry’s most beloved and talented instructors, watch demonstrations of the tools and processes that will enhance your work at the bench, and tour our 180,000 square-foot solar-powered facility. What a great way to experience Rio firsthand and start 2014 with a shot of creativity and learning!

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Winter Wonderland—er Workshop—at Rio Grande

Oct 24, 2013
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Viqui Sanchez
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Rio Grande is here after the holidays with an exciting array of new and returning classes for you in the 2014 Winter Workshop series. Make a day or two of it, or plan to take a whole week! The classes, demonstrations and tours lined up for the week of Winter Workshop give you lots to choose from. Gain a new skill—or hone a skill you’ve already got. Browse through today’s post to find out more, and reserve your seat early!

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Rio Superstar: Extraordinary Metalsmith, Gifted Teacher, and Resident Movie Star Mark Nelson

Aug 19, 2013
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Heather Apodaca
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Mark Nelson is one of Rio Grande’s most recognizable faces. Beyond being an extraordinary jeweler in his own right, he is one of our most sought-after instructors, the star of many of Rio Grande’s instructional videos (including the top-rated soldering series), and an all around great guy to work with. Check out The Studio today to learn more about this talented member of our team!

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