Margaret Burkert

Independent Consultant

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Giving Back

Women wearing ACS ribbon

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual international health campaign focused on increasing awareness of the disease and raising funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. At Touchstone Crystal, our support of all women in pursuing their dreams and becoming the best version of themselves is at our core and threaded through our culture of caring and sharing. Our family of Consultants comes from all walks of life – and many have been touched directly or indirectly by breast cancer. We celebrate our breast cancer survivors and remind everyone to get an annual mammogram – proven to save many lives each year. Read selected stories of courage below.

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“I think I will spend the rest of my life healing from this experience.”
— Tami L.
Breast Cancer Survivor 
Read about Tami's journey below. 

Tami L. wouldn’t have missed the Alaska Cruise she earned with Touchstone Crystal for the world. That’s why she summoned the strength and stamina to be onboard with her Touchstone family 4 weeks after having a double mastectomy. Tami shares her experience and talks about the people that continue to help her as she heals.


In what year were you first diagnosed with breast cancer?  
Tami: I received the call on May 23 of this year.

If there are lessons to be learned, what has this experience taught you? 
Tami: I don't think I'll ever be done learning lessons from cancer.  My whole life currently revolves around healing, and the hardest thing I have had to do is let go and allow myself to heal.  I think I will spend the rest of my life healing from this experience.

If you could share one piece of advice to women everywhere, what would it be?  ?
Tami: JUST GET THE DAMN MAMMOGRAM.  My cancer was detected early with a mammogram.  I didn't have any signs of cancer; I was floored when I found out.  I'm still floored.  I wasn't sick - even sitting here with a PICC line hanging out of my arm, I'm still not "sick".

What were/are those couple of things that you relied on the most when undergoing this challenge/treatment? 
Tami: The weekend before my first surgery I had a "Ta Ta to the Ta-Tas" party at my house.  Lumberjaxe Throwing Company brought their mobile axe throwing unit to my house and we all learned how to throw axes.  They didn't know me at all, but they made sure my party guests and I had a great time.  That was special.  Learning how to rely on my friends and family has proven to be a challenge, but there are some wonderful people that have allowed me to hand over my responsibilities.  My 16-year-old daughter has been amazing.  She's my partner in crime - I am currently on IV infusion therapy at home, she's in charge of making sure I get it done.  Such an awesome kid.

Are you cancer free; if so, how long have you been cancer free?  
Tami: I had a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction on August 14. I was on Touchstone’s Alaska Incentive Trip less than four weeks post-op. I had a revision surgery that became infected and I spent October 3-8 back in the hospital with sepsis and a pinched sciatic nerve. The best way to describe that experience would be experiencing horrible back labor with the flu. All the cancer was removed from my body, and I will be on endocrine therapy medication for the next 5 years as an extra layer of protection.

What has your Touchstone family meant to you during this journey?  
Tami: My TCS family - Aubrey M. and Michelle B. - have been amazing through the last few months. Aubrey works with my team like she works with her own central team, and Michelle has been my sounding board and voice of reason beyond the scope of her job with TCS. They’ve been with me through a lot over the years; I’m thankful to have them. Going on the Alaskan Cruise was terrific as well - I felt so great getting away from my health situation and hanging out with our company’s top performers. Very inspiring. ❤️

“Cancer gave me new appreciation for how precious and fragile life really is.”
- Wendy H., Sales Development Manager, Touchstone Crystal

Read about Wendy's journey below
Wendy headshot and family photo

Wendy H. has always considered herself a glass half full person – living life with a positive outlook and attitude. But her cancer scare 7 years ago gave her a whole new perspective on living each day to the fullest. Wendy is a valued member of the Touchstone Crystal Home Office Team – and we thank her for sharing her personal story here.


In what year were you first diagnosed with breast cancer?
Wendy: I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2011. I went in for my annual mammogram at the end of May and I got a call that they wanted to do an additional scan. I wasn’t concerned at this point because I had had repeat tests before with a small lump in my left breast that we had been watching for years and has always come back negative. I had a magnified scan in early June and they confirmed an area that needed to be biopsied. I went in for the biopsy right away and left the next day for a business trip.

I was setting up to lead a training event for a group of women in a small town in NJ. They told me my results might be available by the end of the day, so I called in – the nurse had literally just received the report that the results were positive. I was diagnosed with DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ). They told me that it was a very early stage cancer and assured me that it was curable. Still, the word cancer is a very scary word to hear.

A technician from the hotel, Hank, was in the conference room at the time helping me set up by computer for my training as I had called in for my results. I had expected it to be negative and thought it would be a quick call – no big deal. When I hung up the phone, he knew that I had received some difficult news. My mind was still processing what I just heard, and I just had the need to tell him in that moment. The poor man didn’t know what to do, so he just stopped what he was doing and hugged me – I was so thankful for that – he’ll never know what that meant to me.

On August 3, 2011, I had double mastectomies. Although I have gone through several additional surgeries after that as my body has fought reconstruction, I am blessed beyond measure to be cancer free since that day!

If there are lessons to be learned, what has this experience taught you?
Wendy: Wow – being diagnosed with cancer changed me instantly. I had always considered myself to be a very positive person who lived life with passion, faith and joy for the most part. Cancer gave me a whole new appreciation for how precious and fragile life really is – and that every moment is a gift. It taught me to be more present in each moment – being grateful for life’s simple blessings - to make the most of every day and to do my best to be a blessing to others each day. I never miss an opportunity to say “I love you” to the people I love. I try even harder not to sweat the small stuff. I love this quote I read recently, “Life is so fragile and all it takes is one simple moment to change everything you take for granted. Please, focus on what’s important and be grateful. You are blessed … live your life and leave no regrets.”

If you could share one piece of advice with women everywhere, what would it be?
Wendy: First, always get your mammogram – don’t put it off! I have met so many women who have never had a mammogram or put it off because they either don’t have time or they are afraid. To this, I always say that you don’t have time NOT to. Have “squeeze” parties with your girlfriends – schedule your mammograms on the same day – meet for coffee or a mimosa beforehand and go in together. We are responsible for our bodies – and we need to treat them with care to stay healthy. The earlier that cancer is diagnosed, the better the chances for beating it – early detection is the key. Second, make the most of each and every day.

If there is anything else you would like to share, please do!
Wendy: I am a better person for what I have been through. I am so very blessed to call myself a survivor where so many others could not. I never had the thought “Why me?” but rather, “Why not me?” – and I pray that my experience can support and help others. Let’s find a cure.

Consultant headshot and family
“We only get
one life, so
make the best
of that life!”
— Liz S.
Touchstone Crystal Leader  
Read about Liz's journey below. 

Liz S. started her Touchstone Crystal journey in 2011. But it is another journey which began May 15, 2008, when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer, that revealed just how strong she truly is. It is a day, she says, “that changed the way I look at my life forever.” Liz agreed to share some of her thoughts and insights into this fight for her life.


If there are lessons to be learned, what has this experience taught you?
Liz: My journey taught me that, as invincible as we think we are, we only get one life, so make the best of that life.

If you could share one piece of advice to women everywhere, what would it be?
Liz: Don’t wait till tomorrow to do what you should have or could have done today. Don’t wait to get a mammogram, don’t wait to see the doctor. If you feel something, say something and don’t be afraid to face your fears. Technology and the treatments of BC can truly save your life. Don’t make excuses or procrastinate… it’s your health and your life… take care of you so that you can take care of someone else.

What were/are those things you relied on most when undergoing this challenge/treatment?
Liz: I relied heavily on my husband Joe every second of every day because he was my rock. During 8 months of chemo and 9 surgeries … I held on, because I knew if I held on tight, he would keep my spirits high and that’s exactly what he did. I also trusted in the power of positive thinking and to this day I still trust in that power. I learned from a young age to have a tough outer layer, so this thing called BC was not going to defeat me, there was no way I was going down. Was I scared? Yes I was….I was very scared…

How long have you been cancer free?
Liz: 10 YEARS!!! I am so excited to say that this past May, 2018, I hit my 10-year breast cancer survivor anniversary and have been discharged from oncology care!!! But I’d like to bring everything into perspective about what the power of positivity can do…. Ten years ago when I started this BC journey, Alicia Brodsky, Barbara McGovern and our husbands were on a cruise with another company, and on that cruise they announced a BC walk called “On Deck for a Cure” so we walked, we cried and we laughed as I began my BC journey, but I was never alone. And as we cruised to Alaska with TCS last month on a trip of a lifetime, celebrating my 10 years as a survivor, the cruise ship director announced that they were holding a Cancer Walk called “On Deck for a Cause” and yet again WE walked, WE cried, WE laughed and WE held on to each other as I closed the chapter on my BC journey. And still…. I was never alone…. Coincidence? I don’t think so!


Pink Heart Necklace
Rose Ice Earrings
Pink Ribbon Necklace

Swarovski's social responsibility - Global efforts

  • Child drinking clean water thanks to the Swarovski Waterschool Project
    Our commitment to responsible, ethical and ecological standards began when the company was created in 1895. Today, the Corporate Responsibility strategy includes six focus areas: Ethics and Integrity, Caring for Our People, Creating Responsible Products, Protecting the Environment, Giving Back and Responsible Supply Chain. 

    For more details visit the Swarovski Group website
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    Ethics & Integrity

    Daniel Swarovski insisted that the strongest ethics be applied in all our business, and this is at the core of our corporate culture today. As a 100% family owned company, genuine family values have always been at the heart of the business. With the company’s growing global footprint, Swarovski is codifying and further developing our business ethics and values in an Integrity Charter.
  • Swarovski Employee in orange dress

    Caring for Our People

    Swarovski is founded on the ability to recruit and retain qualified, engaged and reliable people, and every employee is vital to our success. We are committed to diversity and equal opportunities for everyone, with a special commitment to women who make up over 70% of our employees. In 2014, our Executive Board pledged support for the United Nations initiative: ’Women’s Empowerment Principles.’
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    Responsible Products

    Our ‘CLEAR’ program ensures that only approved raw materials are used and limits the use of restricted substances including nickel, lead and cadmium, guaranteeing the safety of the product. After 12 years of intensive research, we announced a lead-free formula which significantly raised the bar for quality and sustainability in the entire industry.
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    Environmental Protection

    We are committed to reducing our environmental impact across all our operations and have a proud track record of proactively managing environmental challenges in our production process. In Swarovski stores worldwide, we are also implementing the Swarovski Sustainable Stores initiative in alignment with the ‘Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design’ certification program.
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    Swarovski Foundation

    Swarovski has a long history of giving back to society. Since 1895, five generations have led and maintained the company’s commitment to philanthropy and charitable giving. Today, the Swarovski Foundation’s mission is to build on this heritage, by working with organizations that promote culture and creativity, wellbeing, and the conservation of the natural environment, therefore making a positive social impact globally.

    For more information visit the Swarovski Foundation website
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    Responsible Supply Chain

    Swarovski has adopted policies to deliver increased reliability, quality and productivity throughout our supply chain. Our vertically integrated manufacturing operations and our Responsible Sourcing Initiative allow us to ensure high labor and environmental standards, focusing on human rights and strengthening relations with suppliers.