It was fitting that Monday’s story about the retirement of Tiffany & Co. CEO Mike Kowalskiran directly ahead of my latest piece about the Pebble Mine in Alaska, the proposed open-pit copper and gold mine that would sit at the headwaters of the pristine eco-system that surrounds beautiful Bristol Bay.
Tiffany, after all, was among those that led the charge to get jewelers to vow to boycott gold from the mine back in 2009. At the center of that charge was Kowalski, who personally visited Bristol Bay for fly-fishing and, when he returned to New York, showed Tiffany’s board of directors the documentary Red Gold, which was enough to convince them that the retailer should take a stand on this issue.
The Pebble Mine issue, actually, was my personal introduction to Mr. Kowalski.
Back in 2009, I still was fairly new to National Jeweler and so I accompanied former Executive Editor Teresa Novellino and Whitney Sielaff uptown for an interview at Tiffany & Co. headquarters with Kowalski.
The topic of the interview was the stance Tiffany was taking on Pebble and Red Gold, which the retailer screened for editors in New York.
I won’t pretend I remember many specifics from the interview; I was (relatively speaking) young at the time, still fairly new on the job and didn’t understand as much about the industry or consumer behavior as I do today.
On Monday, though, I had the chance to go back to the article that resulted from that 2009 interview, which ran in a print edition of National Jeweler (relic!)–where I believe Tiffany also took out a full-page ad lobbying against the mine–and has been archived on our website.
Picture from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s