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TIVOL Announces Hunter Tivol McGrath as New CEO May 17, 2023 (1 comment)


Kansas City, Mo.--More than a century after jewelry retailer TIVOL opened its doors in 1910, a fourth-generation family member is taking the helm. TIVOL has named Hunter Tivol McGrath as chief executive officer. He represents the fourth generation in leading the family-owned jewelry retailer.

TIVOL has always been a part of McGrath’s life. As a young boy, he cleaned the jewelry cases. In college, he helped with various odd jobs. Years of experiences at the store have taught him valuable life lessons and skills that will now inform and shape his leadership direction.

“The store is intricately a part of who I am,” McGrath said. “Through the years, I have seen tremendous change. Yet the core values of providing high quality craftmanship jewelry and a dedication to being honest and ethical have never wavered.”

Four Generations of TIVOL

McGrath is the great-grandson of Charles Tivol, who opened the first TIVOL store in downtown Kansas City in 1910. McGrath’s grandfather, Harold Tivol, later took over as CEO and opened the Country Club Plaza store. Harold was a legendary figure in Kansas City, known not only for his knowledge of gems, but also for his savvy business skills and ever-present, endearing wit.

For the last 30 years, McGrath’s mom, Cathy Tivol Maslan, served as CEO. TIVOL continued to grow under her leadership, which included the opening of TIVOL’s Johnson County location at Hawthorne Plaza in 1994.

McGrath originally set off on a career path as a CPA and worked in accounting prior to joining TIVOL. After tragically losing his sister to a rare form of meningitis, McGrath was inspired to join the family business. He began his career alongside his mother in 2011.

McGrath started as a sales associate at the Hawthorne Plaza location, and then later worked at the flagship Country Club Plaza store. He then moved from sales associate to diamond buyer; five years ago, he transitioned to Vice President.

“The store really gives me the best of both worlds,” McGrath explained. “Being a former CPA, I love numbers. The store also gives me the opportunity to go beyond the numbers and create and build relationships with our clients.”

TIVOL Future Vision

McGrath noted that both Harold Tivol and his grandmother Ruthie influenced the business and the industry as a whole by shifting the focus to marketing jewelry brands. In addition, with McGrath’s mom, Cathy, the business flourished even more through partnership with the industry’s finest jewelry designers, many who are exclusive to TIVOL.

As a fourth-generation leader, McGrath wants to maintain the innovative standards set by his family’s leadership, but also wants to “stay current with jewelry trends, always looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve.”

As far as this next chapter in TIVOL’s history, Cathy said, “Over the years, Hunter learned the business from the ground up, showing his prowess in leadership skills while upholding my grandfather’s high standards of excellence. I couldn’t be prouder of everything he’s accomplished and look forward to seeing where his vision will take TIVOL in the future.”

McGrath added, “TIVOL has been working for our community for 113 years. In a way, it is not my business, it is Kansas City’s. I am looking after it for both our family and our community, and I take that seriously.”

McGrath believes that the key to the future of TIVOL, even in a world of ever-changing technology, is in personal relationships.

“Technology is definitely a good tool,” McGrath said. “It streamlines the business and makes it run efficiently. But we will never lose sight of personal relationships. These are rarer than a gem, and have always been what my family treasures most.”

Family Lessons and Stories

Harold Tivol was always simply “Papa” to McGrath. “Our relationship wasn’t centered around the store because Papa was the quintessential grandpa. From sleepovers to weekly family gatherings to vacations, he always showed that family came first — with his signature wit and a sparkle in his eye.”

Soon after Harold Tivol passed away in 2016, a customer approached McGrath at the Country Club Plaza store. The customer brought out a rare cat’s eye ring. The customer’s family had purchased the ring in 1974. McGrath knew of the piece immediately even though it was purchased 10 years before he was born. It was one that Papa used to wear every day.

The customer’s family was so taken with the ring that Harold wore every day that he sold it to the customer’s family right off of his hand. Harold believed that the time had come for someone else to enjoy the stone’s remarkable beauty.

The customer shared that the member of his family who bought the ring had passed. He knew that this ring was once Harold Tivol’s and asked if McGrath had any interest in purchasing the ring back.

McGrath seized the opportunity to bring this heirloom back into the TIVOL family. He bought it, and proudly wears the ring every day.

“This experience cemented in my mind that jewelry is a physical memento of an amazing memory, or an occasion, or a person. The meaning behind the jewelry is what makes it invaluable,” McGrath said.

McGrath remains true to the values that were important to his great-grandfather, Charles, which were passed down to Papa Harold and then to his mom, Cathy: run a business that maintains the highest integrity and stay true to superlative quality.

“Running an ethical, honest business takes a lifetime to build. I am passionately dedicated to preserving this legacy as our historic business goes forward,” McGrath said.

The TIVOL Team + Magic Moments

Though McGrath credits the three generations before him for the business’s success, he also acknowledges every department and employee. He refers to them as “the lifeblood of the organization.”

The TIVOL team’s effort were on full display during the pandemic, despite many businesses being shut down. A customer reached out for a way to celebrate a 30th wedding anniversary. Loose diamonds were sent to McGrath’s home and mountings were sent to a team member’s home. Another team member drove the diamonds and mounting to a jeweler’s home. Once mounted, another team member ensured the finished piece was delivered to the couple’s home in time to mark the celebration. 

It was reminiscent of the time that Harold Tivol — with a face that made him a local celebrity — had turned up at a customer’s front door with a ring to present to an unsuspecting future bride. 

“The TIVOL team has always done whatever it took to create an unsurpassed customer experience,” McGrath said. “It not only creates magic moments for our customers; it also inspires each of us to keep building meaningful relationships, one special moment at a time.”

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Comments (1):

Great story.
Business succession articles are seldom this informative and at the same time heart warming.

By Etienne Perret on May 18th, 2023 at 12:02pm

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