National trade representative body the Giftware Association (GA) has announced that chief executive officer Isabel Martinson is stepping down after nearly 15 years in this role.
Martinson is leaving the position for family reasons and will pursue other career opportunities in due course.
GA chairman Michael Papé says: “Everyone in The GA is very sorry to be losing Izzy. She has achieved an enormous amount over many years and has continued to take our trade association forward to offer new services and support to members.
“Izzy has long been recognised as an expert in the gift and home industry. She is highly respected for her leadership and representative skills – always fighting The GA’s corner on behalf of members, at home and in Brussels.
“Izzy is a force of nature: having met her, you feel better for the experience. And although she will be sorely missed, I know that Izzy shares our desire that, until the appointment of a new chief executive, continuity within The GA is maintained and we represent our members to the best of our ability and continue to help them to fulfil their hopes and aspirations.”
Martinson commented that being chief executive of the GA had been her “dream job”. She adds: “I have loved my time heading up the association. I have worked with some amazing people and been incredibly proud to see young companies flourish and grow with the help of the GA.
“I have always been inspired by the creativity in our dynamic industry, as evidenced by the wonderful product entered in The GA’s Gift of the Year Awards competition, which goes from strength to strength.
“The gift and home industry must surely be one of the friendliest of all UK industries and I shall very much miss seeing everyone at the trade fairs and other events. I wish the GA and everyone who works within it – as a retailer, supplier or trade fair organiser – every good fortune in the years to come.”