“It was a great lesson and I’ve carried that forward,” he says. “Whenever dealing with customers or situations that involve money, do what’s right. You’ll be able to sleep at night, feel good about the situa- tion, and you’ll forget about the money.” A year later, Henne won the Pittsburgh Business Ethics Award in the small busi- ness category. A MAN OF FAITH Henne always has made philanthropy and community involvement a priority. He’s served on the boards of numerous nonprof- it organizations. The first was Imani Christian Academy, a pre-k through 12th grade private school in Pittsburgh that offers tuition-based scholarships to its students, thus providing a quality education to mainly at-risk kids. Henne served on the board for 10 years. “I found that I was able to add some value to it,” he says. “I knew people who could write much bigger checks than I could. I never asked or pushed, but if I presented the story of Imani Christian Academy, sometimes they were compelled to get involved. “Seeing the impact on these people’s lives is dramatic. Some of the alumni that were students when I was on the board are now in their late 20s with families. They stop into the store, and it’s neat to know that you’ve played a very small part in something that helped them.” Henne is guided very much by faith. He and his wife Dara and their four sons worship, variously, at a Catholic parish and at an Evangelical Christian Missionary Alliance church. “My faith is what I rely on to guide and direct everything I do, particularly at work,” he says. “That doesn’t mean I pray at staff meetings or preach and proselytize--in fact, I don’t think that’s an effective way to represent your faith--but faith is something that I very much use to guide and direct what we do. That’s been a tradition that has been passed on all the way from my great-grandfather.” While Henne had long been involved in philanthropic work outside of the store, it was during his participation in a Christian leadership group 10 years ago that he be- came inspired to incorporate philanthropy directly into his work at Henne Jewelers. In the group, Henne was asked to think of a way he could use his business to create positive societal change. Initially, he felt overwhelmed by the task. He says, “They called it a breakthrough goal. I thought, this is a silly little retail jewelry store. What could we possibly do that would change the world?” At the time, Henne was struggling with the idea of “having it all” in life. He had one friend and role model whom he consid- ered to be an example of a person who was successfully balancing all areas of life. But Henne’s idea of perfection was shaken to the core when his friend confessed that he had been unfaithful to his wife. Ultimately, the marriage didn’t survive but it gave Henne an idea for his very own “breakthrough.” Henne established the “To Have and To Hold” program at his store. It entails giving couples shopping for engagement rings a book by Gary Chapman titled: “Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Got Married.” He also encourages engaged couples to obtain pre-marital counseling. If they do, they get $100 off each wedding band purchased. Henne explains, “Our business is about love, and our mission is to enhance and strengthen relationships. If we can do that sincerely and legitimately, then I’m excited to get behind it and come to work. Our staff can feel that way too.” While Henne’s relationships with cus- tomers transcend selling jewelry, there’s no denying they’ve had a positive impact on the business. During his tenure, the store has ex- 2017 ABOUT JOHN HENNE AGE: 49 HOMETOWN: Pittsburgh YEARS IN JEWELRY: 25 FUN FACT: “I biked across the country in 1991 through an extended unpaid vacation from KPMG, something I always wanted to do.” NATIONAL JEWELER 11 “Whenever dealing with customers or situations that involve money, do what’s right. You’ll be able to sleep at night, feel good about the situation, and you’ll forget about the money.” —John Henne