Gifts Today magazine

Gary Wroe appointed Chairman of the BJA

The reigns of the British Jewellery Association were handed over to Gary Wroe, managing director of the Birmingham jewellery producer, Hockley Mint, at the AGM on Thursday

Gary was formally elected at the Association’s AGM which took place at Museum of London last Thursday.

Gary Wroe has spent his entire career in the jewellery industry, entering the trade nearly thirty years ago when he was just 16 years old on a ‘Youth Training Scheme’ - as apprenticeships were then called.

“The BJA actually organised the scheme I was on and I used to queue up at their offices every Friday to collect my pay; little could I have dreamt then that one day I would be its Chairman. I am truly honoured and delighted to have been put forward for the role and am extremely excited about the challenge ahead,” he commented.

Understandably training and the continuation of craft skills are things close to Wroe’s heart and he will, he says, under his leadership, drive to get new skills into the industry alongside promoting the current Apprenticeship Scheme.

On a similar tack, he is also keen to promote its ‘Mentoring For Members’ initiative.

“We have a waiting list of members who would like to be mentored across a range of topics and once I am elected I shall be working very hard to try and persuade those who have had successful careers in our industry to share their knowledge with the next generation and to assist them in growing their businesses,” he says.

Another key issue on Wroe’s agenda will be a Corporate Social Responsibility programme which can be followed by members of the BJA. This is something he is currently in the process of introducing within his own company and which he is certain is the right way forward for the industry. “We need to look at issues of environmental sustainability and to tackle fair-trade and fair employment issues before it is forced upon us and it is important that the BJA should drive that process,” he says.

Wroe’s final objective will be to establish closer links with the National Association of Goldsmiths as he believes bringing the industry’s two leading trade organisations together will bring real benefits for businesses at all points in the supply chain.

As Chairman Gary Wroe will be aided in his efforts on behalf of the Association by Helen O’Neill, of PMC Limited, who was announced as Vice Chairman at the AGM and also supported by members of the National Committee and the BJA team.

“Above all I want to hear directly from our Members to discover what is important to them and what they want from their Association. We need to know what the issues are for jewellery companies of all types and we can then work with them to put in place the services and the assistance they need,” he concluded.

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