Kay Alexander was thanked by colleagues during the Office’s AGM, as she left the post having served the maximum of two terms.
During her tenure the Office has expanded into four new divisions: the Laboratory, which specialises in precious metal analysis and product safety testing; AnchorCert Gemmological Laboratory; SafeGuard jewellery and watch valuations; and training and education.
“Six years has gone by in a flash, and I have been so proud and honoured to be chairman of a company like the Birmingham Assay Office, which will always be a special part of my life,” said Kay.
“We are entering exciting times with the new building getting underway next year. There will be tough times too in this difficult economic climate, but the Assay Office has the best people to take it forward. I have been amazed by their skill and enterprise and I am confident I am leaving it in very safe hands,” she added.
Kay will remain in post as a warden in the short term to maintain continuity, and will be succeeded by Kate Hartigan, managing director at Schaeffler UK Ltd, who will legally be appointed chairman at the next Wardens’ Committee meeting in November.
The day was also the last in office for Patrick Fuller, who, with his wife Vivien, owns WB the Cretive Jewellery Company and has been a trade warden of the Birmingham Assay Office for 16 years.
His first-hand knowledge of the jewellery manufacturing business has been invaluable to the Office, and Kay expressed her gratitude for the contribution he has made.
The ex-chairman was presented with a silver bowl – a replica of the one she gave to the Queen to mark her Diamond Jubilee – and a photo book recording a few of her moments as chairman.