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Articles from INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS (263 Articles)

Bolton's departure from the board is the third JAA resignation in less than a year
Bolton's departure from the board is the third JAA resignation in less than a year

Another JAA board member resigns

Brett Bolton has stood down from his position as director on the Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA) board.

This decision marks the third board resignation following the JAA’s announcement last year to split from Expertise Events to create and run a second jewellery industry trade show.

Bolton, director of third-generation supplier Bolton Gems, has held his position on the JAA board since around May last year.

Brett Bolton, former JAA board director
Brett Bolton, former JAA board director

He was unavailable for comment; however, JAA president Selwyn Brandt confirmed Bolton’s departure saying, “Brett resigned a few weeks ago because of work and family commitments.”

He added that the JAA had “sent a notice to members a couple of weeks ago about the resignation”.

There seems to be some confusion over whether this was actually done, given there is no industry record of the resignation on the JAA website under ‘Industry Releases’ – the last post was August 2016 – and there is no mention under ‘Media Releases’ – the last post was March 2017.

In addition, the JAA emailed its monthly JNews newsletter to members yesterday, 2 May, and there was no mention of Bolton’s resignation in Brandt’s President’s Report. This is despite the fact that he reported on new members appointed to the JAA National Industry Advisory Council (NIAC).

Further, at the time of publication, Bolton still featured on the ‘Board of Directors’ page of the JAA website.

String of resignations

The JAA board consists of six industry members and Bolton’s decision brings to three the number of board resignations in less than 12 months – five in around 18 months if Toby Bensimon and Phil Edwards, who resigned in October 2015, are included.

As previously reported by Jeweller, Colin Pocklington announced in September 2016 that he would step down as a board director to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Pocklington is managing director of Nationwide Jewellers, which pledged its support of the 2017 Expertise Events’ International Jewellery Fair (IJF) as opposed to the JAA Jewellery Tradeshow.

The JAA’s trade show has been scheduled to take place on the same dates and in the same city as the IJF.

One month later, Laura Sawade was required to resign as JAA director and vacate her vice president position after leaving her role at South Australian-based supplier Peter W Beck.

Selwyn Brandt, JAA president
Selwyn Brandt, JAA president

The reasons behind Sawade’s departure from Peter W Beck, and thus ceasing a relationship with the JAA, were not disclosed; however, her two roles may have also caused potential conflicts of interest.

One of the main concerns was Sawade’s involvement in the creation, development and promotion of the JAA Jewellery Tradeshow.

Sawade’s position was arguably complex and may also have created conflicts of interest because Peter W Beck was a long-time supporter of Expertise Events having exhibited at the jewellery fairs for 25 years.

When asked by Jeweller in October 2016, Sawade was unable to rule out the possibility of the supplier continuing to exhibit at the IJF despite the fact the JAA had launched a competing fair.

Uniting the industry

In announcing the launch of the JAA Jewellery Tradeshow in May 2016, JAA executive director Amanda Hunter stated that the aim was to “create an industry event that has a collaborative, positive approach, in which all sectors of the industry and stakeholders can enjoy participating in and we, the industry, can be proud of”.

The JAA has routinely referred to its aim of uniting the industry throughout its communication regarding the new trade show, making statements such as “Our intention is to unite the industry with an event for the industry by the industry.”

The JAA announced Sawade’s resignation on 25 October last year, with Karen Lindley from Diamonds by Design replacing her as supplier director on 9 November.

Najo managing director Jo Tory was appointed co-opted director in February 2017.

Other current board of directors include: Selwyn Brandt, director and president; George Proszkowiec, buying group director and vice president; Frank Salera, retail director.

At the time of publication, there was no news of a replacement for Bolton.

More reading:
Second resignation from JAA board
More industry division over two jewellery fairs
JAA’s perfect storm: Nationwide quits association
Sydney jewellery fair organiser hits back at JAA
JAA appoints new board member

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