Gay Penfold has retired from her role as centre manager at the Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre’s (JIIC) School of Jewellery.
Penfold joined the School of Jewellery in 1992 as industry coordinator and became centre manager of the JIIC in August 2000. After 24 years she will retire on 1 April.
Speaking to Professional Jeweller, she says: “Amongst many career highlights, I think the important role that I and the JIIC team have played in breaking down the barriers and building bridges between education , innovation and business has been, and still is, the most rewarding.”
During her career, she has led the JIIC team in the support, development and growth of designer makers and SMEs regionally and nationally within the jewellery industry, and established significant national and international industry and educational contacts that have enhanced the reputation and practice of the centre.
She continues: “I have been privileged to be part of huge changes in our industry. I have witnessed the growth of new technologies which 20 years ago no one would have thought were applicable to our industry, and I have worked in partnership with many companies, and been fortunate to make many new friends and colleagues.”
Her work has been instrumental in the success of many projects leading to the growth of the school’s reputation, including the recent development of the Technology Hub within the School of Jewellery.
The Hub will be managed by Frank Cooper, and will build upon the ethos of being an industry-facing activity, whilst also broadening its focus by supporting new product development.
She concludes: “I have been privileged not only to enjoy my job, but to also play a part in many innovative initiatives and projects, and to meet and work with some very talented and dedicated people within our industry.”