The Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce and several Sandoval County leaders celebrated Harris Jewelers’ new owner, Janelle Mead, with a festive and emotional ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday afternoon.

Mead and her husband took over Harris Jewelers in January 2022. Thursday, Mead finally had time to be properly welcomed to the neighborhood.

Chamber President and CEO Jerry Schalow, County Commissioners Dave Heil, Jay Block and Katherine Bruch, and Rio Rancho Mayor Gregg Hull were in attendance Thursday.

“On behalf of the City of Rio Rancho, we just want to say how happy we are that you’re taking over a really incredible legacy here in Rio Rancho,” Hull said. “The legacy of Harris Jewelers and the legacy of quality and I know that, from what I’ve heard already, you are doing that legacy great honor, carrying it forward and being that next generation of Harris Jewelers that’s going to continue to serve Rio Rancho, continue to be a part of the community and continue to be a supportive member of all the things that we do.”

Harris Jewelers has been providing jewelry in New Mexico for 65 years. The Rio Rancho location is right across the parking lot from Turtle Mountain.

“You’re in the perfect spot for people to come over here and buy some jewelry after having a beer at Turtle Mountain,” Block said. “We want to welcome you and your husband to Rio Rancho and Sandoval County. You’re in the best county in New Mexico by far. You’re living in the best city in New Mexico. We love small business, the city and the county, and we’re just so happy that you are here.”

The Rio Rancho location has drawn people from all over the state and has been a longtime staple in the City of Vision, most recently under the previous ownership of Mark Guerin and Karen Fitzpatrick.

“It’s the ultimate  jewelry store and really not only in Rio Rancho and Sandoval County but all of the west side, folks come from all over to come to the store,” Schalow said. “And they already have seen the investment that you’ve made on the store. It’s amazing.”

Following the ribbon-cutting, the champagne was flowing as dozens in attendance toasted Mead, who was emotional about the warm welcome.

“This means so much to me, I’m a native New Mexican, I’ve grown up here. I love this state and I love Rio Rancho,” Mead said. “Thank you all for being here and supporting me through the change. I know change can be hard, but I care about Rio Rancho, I care about our clients and I care about my staff.”