The jewellery industry has expressed its delight and confidence at the appointment of Patrick Fuller as the first president of the newly formed National Association of Jewellers.
Mr Fuller (pictured above with wife Vivianne in their Professional Jeweller Hot 100 profile) is a former chairman of the BJA and president of the NAG, and has been instrumental at steering the working party that thrashed out the terms of the BJA and NAG unification.
Over 90% of both associations voted in favour of unification at an historic vote on Tuesday.
Michael Rawlinson, chief executive of NAG, was first to applaud Mr Fuller’s appointment. “Patrick is seen by everyone in the industry as an elder statesman bringing together his experience as a manufacturer together with his empathy and understanding of the retail sector. The working party unanimously agreed he would be the ideal person to be the first person to hold this post,” he told Professional Jeweller.
“Patrick is a forward thinking and visionary leader and I am sure he will challenge the new association to be bold and reach of big goals. This will inspire the new CEO and leadership team with confidence to really make a difference going forward,” Mr Rawlinson added.
“I am delighted that Patrick Fuller has agreed to be the first president of our new association,” said Andrew Hinds, chairman of the NAT. “He was the natural choice given his many years of membership of the BJA and his previous presidency of NAG. While the role of president is in some respects symbolic, it is very important as it enables the association to benefit from the many years of experience of a respected figure in the industry and I’m sure that Patrick’s guidance will prove invaluable as we launch the new association and head into 2016.”
Willie Hamilton, chief executive of The Company of Master Jewellers, urged the industry to patient as the NAJ gets down to business with Mr Fuller presiding over the transition. “Great to see the NAJ makes a positive start with the appointment of Patrick Fuller as president. The first six months will need strong leadership and stability through the challenge of change that will impact upon the industry, there will be much to do and personally I wouldn’t impose any great demands upon the NAJ during that time, but with Patrick at the helm the NAJ is in safe hands,” he said.
Henry Deakin, designer/owner of Deakin & Francis, is looking forward to Mr Fuller pulling the entire industry together under a unified banner. “We think his experience both at The Assay Office and in the jewellery quarter in Birmingham, will be invaluable and makes him an excellent choice to lead the NAJ. He understands the mechanics of the industry as well as the day to day running of a jewellery business. In the past he has managed many industry associations and is a great people person,” he said.
Judith Lockwood, head of Arctic Circle Diamonds, is a strong supporter of jewellery retailers and manufacturers being represented by a single organisation, and the influence of Mr Fuller will be vital. “From my perspective I am personally delighted that Patrick will be our new and first President of the NAJ,” she told Professional Jeweller.
“Patrick bridges and joins any gaps between retailers and manufacturers, he is respected by NAG and BJA members, he is an industry voice of reason and possesses a trusted calmness in this time of change,” she added.