“For many years, ARC of Rockland has been successful in encouraging members of Rockland’s business community to hire people with disabilities to work in shops, stores and other venues throughout the County,” says ARC of Rockland Executive Director Carmine Marchionda. “Now it is time for ARC to lead by example. We are proud to say that qualified people of all abilities will be working at Strawtown Jewelry.” Jessica Lowther has been retained as manager of this charming shop. She has experience in both the jewelry industry and working with people who have developmental disabilities. Ms. Lowther holds a degree in accounting from St. Thomas Aquinas College. She worked at a jewelry store in Nanuet during her college years, and after graduation she continued working there, ultimately becoming store manager. She joined the ARC of Rockland staff as a job coach in May of 2015. “I had a relative with a disability, so I have a personal interest in the field,” she explains. “This is the best of three worlds—accounting, the jewelry business and working with individuals who have disabilities.” In 2015, Ellen Arkin, owner of Strawtown Jewelry for more than a quarter of a century, announced her imminent retirement to Florida. She graciously agreed to stay on in an advisory capacity for several months to shepherd ARC through the initial stages of ownership. Ms. Arkin says she will miss Strawtown Jewelry, but is pleased to have sold to ARC of Rockland. “They will do a great job at running the business, and I like knowing that they will employ some people with developmental disabilities.” “The fact that Strawtown Jewelry is located in the heart of the business district is a plus,” says Mr. Marchionda. “We look forward to getting to know our neighbors and meeting with new customers and customers who have been Strawtown Jewelry patrons for years. We are thrilled to be part of the community.”