NAJ Chief Executive to Leave Role

The Board of the British Allied Trade Federation (BATF) has announced that Simon Forrester, Chief Executive of the National Association of Jewellers will leave his role on 23 October 2020.

Simon joined NAJ in January 2018 and is leaving due to a federation-wide staffing restructure as the organisation prepares for, and responds to, the commercial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to the announcement, Simon said, “I am particularly proud that during my time at the Association we forged the NAJ community to be inclusive of all facets of the jewellery industry, from manufacturers and suppliers, to retailers, designers and valuers. The foundations are most certainly in place for the membership community to progress ‘as one’. I am sad to not be involved in the journey, but I know the team I leave behind are more than capable of delivering it for the benefit of the membership and wider sector.”

During his time at the NAJ Simon was heavily involved in cross-industry working groups on diamond terminology and consumer protection, standards setting and education, and the development and launch of ‘Created in the UK’. He also led on a revamp of the Association’s governance structure in order to consolidate the merger between BJA and NAG and deliver an ambitious strategic plan.

Simon had been on furlough since April 2020, during which time the NAJ has continued to deliver valuable and relevant benefits to the membership. Such benefits include ongoing COVID-19 StoreSafe and SiteSafe guidance with associated training courses, wholesale changes to the consumer and trade jeweller (member) directories with the Find A Jeweller service re-launched, and the NAJ Yearbook and Member Marketplace both published in recent months. In addition, a comprehensive series of webinars and digital meetings continue to take place, as well as continued education and training development in response to demand for JET programmes in preparation for the festive period.

Gary Wroe, Chair of the NAJ said, “We are grateful to Simon for his invaluable leadership and devoted effort in his time with the NAJ. Despite only joining in January 2018, Simon has made some significant steps to help make the Association and its members ‘Fit for the Future’. We wish him every success in his future endeavours.”

The Chief Executive role at the Association is not being replaced, with many of Simon’s responsibilities now sitting with the Federation’s Managing Director, a new role created as part of the BATF restructure.

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