In December, Katherine Bodoh, currently deputy executive director of the American Gem Society, was chosen to head the group and its diamond lab, replacing Ruth Batson, who announced her retirement in February. Here, Bodoh talks with JCK about her plans for the group. —RB
JCK: What are your priorities when you take over in 2017?
Bodoh: My first priority is to make sure that we are delivering value to our members and our clients. That is why AGS exists—to deliver ongoing education and ensure consumer protection. My second priority is to make sure our staff has the ability to develop and grow in their current roles. I want to focus on innovation and technology—both how we harness that to deliver member benefits and how we use that with research and development in our laboratory.
JCK: The ranks of independent jewelers are shrinking. Where do you see AGS fitting into that?
Bodoh: We have very successful and great members in our organization. We will continue to look for members who are committed to the right things, like ongoing education, ethics, and building that critical relationship with their customers. When independent retailers can differentiate themselves and provide unique experiences to their customers, they can succeed. AGS wants to arm them with the ability to deliver those unique experiences.
JCK: Do you want to expand consumer awareness of the AGS?
Bodoh: Consumer awareness is a priority. It is something that we look to enhance every single day. We launched a consumer awareness campaign in GQ, Glamour, and The Knot, and we are doing even more this year. We have a strong social media presence. We are partnering with a few organizations to reach the consumer market. That is something we are looking to enhance to spread our mission and vision to the consumer public.