On developing the NAG to the benefit the future of its 860 members.
It has been a dozen years since the stewardship of the National Association of Goldsmiths last changed hands. And when it finally did so earlier this year, the man bestowed with the honour – and responsibility – was Michael Rawlinson.
Coming from outside the industry, he was probably not the bookies’ favourite, but while he may not have intimate knowledge of the trade, he has plenty when it comes to trade bodies.
His previous role as director-general of the UKIE meant he was in charge of the trade association for video games, and he punched successfully through the machination of that disparate sector and herded the relevant government figures into line to introduce the European age rating system. That – as many families will tell you – was a true watershed moment for the industry and he recognises it as a once in a lifetime achievement.
So what does this genuinely impressive achiever have planned for the 119-year-old NAG and its 860 members? “To position the association as the principle organisation for jewellery retailers and the leading voice for the jewellery industry. We have world class retail training courses and these will be marketed initially to English-speaking countries and then into other markets. We will ensure the industry is protected from inappropriate or bad regulations by working with aligned organisations that share our values and goals.”
This is just a first step really. After he has had the NAG’s courses accredited with a body like either Edexcel or AQA, there will be more projects. Underlying it all is a genuinely fresh approach and a willingness to be forward thinking, proactive and innovative.
Though still new to the role, he has a clear vision and if you like the sound of what he says, then good, because you can bet you will hear a lot more from him. As the vocal cords of the industry he will likely be the man the media turn to and the one who bothers the government.
While the responsibility is not lost on him, it certainly does not faze him. “I have a fantastic team and very supportive board of directors drawn from members, so I’m not alone and help and advice is never far away. I regularly attend my local church – HTB Brompton Road near South Kensington – and I find the time I spend in church helps me to keep my life and my responsibilities in perspective.”
Not that he’s an ascetic. “I love to listen to jazz, either live or on my CDs. I like to travel, and I enjoy food and wine, especially red. Just look at my expanding waist line if you need proof.”
You may not have heard of him this time last year but by this time next year you can expect to have heard a lot more.
Michael Rawlinson was selected as a CMJ Business Big Shot in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2013 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers. To read a digital version of the book in full online, click here.