The National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) says its current vice-chairman and co-owner of retail jeweller Marmalade, Simon Johnson, will be proposed as its new chairman at the next annual general meeting.
At the association’s first meeting of 2016 – held on 14 January at the Birmingham Assay Office – current NAJ chairman Gary Wroe announced the National Committee’s intention to nominate Johnson to be the chairman of the association.
Johnson has been the vice-chairman of the former National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG) for the past 18 months and was a vital member of the unification working group that brought about the merger of the BJA and the NAG at the end of 2015.
His position will be confirmed pending the voting-in process during the forthcoming AGM, to be held on Wednesday, 8 June.
Speaking about his new role, Johnson said: “The NAG played a very important role in supporting and encouraging our business through the early stages of its life to make it what it is today.
“I was delighted to be able to give something back when asked to be on the board of the NAG. I’m determined to carry on the good work of the current chairmen and ensure the association is in a better position at the close of my tenure.
“Finances, membership, education, consumer profile, member support, public policy all need refining and improving. A big job, but with the team we have in the office, and the support from the trade, I am confident we can raise the bar across the board to benefit everyone.”
Also at the meeting, CEO Michael Rawlinson invited a range of figures from throughout the industry, including the editor of Jewellery Focus, Michael Northcott, to share their expertise by joining a number of NAJ steering groups.
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Setting out the framework for the new NAJ ambassadorial steering groups the NAJ presented the following options:
Membership standards and Compliance to ensure members of the association operate to the correct professional and ethical conduct and standards.
Marketing to communicate to the industry the benefits of being an NAJ member and develop programmes that support NAJ retail members in their communications with consumers including support materials.
Education to develop education programmes with stakeholders that support NAJ members to grow their knowledge and skills. Also to research and understand the future skills needs of the industry.
Policy, public affairs and ethics to monitor political activity for legislation and regulation change that could adversely affect the industry, lobby and support the development of ethical sourcing programmes for jewellery components and minerals.
Technical standards to monitor and engage in the processes, debates and discussions that affect technical standards (BSI), review and respond to any proposals for change in the best interests of our members and the industry.
Institute of registered valuers to govern the work of the Institute and provide recommendations to the National Committee that will advance the work and impact of the institute and the professional development of valuers and jewellers.
The appointed chairs of these six groups will then be elected to the new NAJ National Committee which at present is made up of the officers from the NAG and BJA.
CORRECTION 25th January 2016: The previous headline this article, ‘NAJ appoints Simon Johnson as chairman’, was incorrect. Simon Johnson will be proposed as the new chairman but confirmation of the role is dependent on a successful vote at the NAJ’s next annual general meeting.