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Employee bond strengthens after trauma

An armed robbery in late 2003 provides another chapter in the history of Mann’s Jewelers Inc.
Only 20 minutes after the store opened its doors on a Sunday afternoon, four men-two armed with guns-held up the store, smashed cases and within 60 seconds stole $618,000 worth of merchandise.
CEO Nancy Mann’s young daughter was present for the special sale to be held that day, which was to be followed by a holiday party in the evening.
“Everyone was very shaken,” Mann says. “We had an opportunity to see the best and worst of people that day.”
Despite obvious reservations, Mann says she decided to go ahead with the holiday party that evening.
“It was really quite comforting to be with people who had been through the same terror and circumstances,” she says.
The company made some immediate changes after the robbery. Among them, an armed guard now always is posted at the store’s entrance.
All seven men involved in the November 2003 heist have been caught and convicted, but the day left a lasting mark at the firm that has cemented the closeness of its 40-person staff.
“We’ve moved past it and we’re a very cohesive group,” Mann says. “That experience is now an integral part of our bond as a group.”
-Mary Stone

07/08/05 (C) Rochester Business Journal

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