Colored Stones / Industry

American Gem Trade Association Appoints John Ford CEO


The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) has named John W. Ford Sr. (pictured) its new CEO.

Ford currently serves on the AGTA executive committee and as the group’s treasurer.

Ford has been in the jewelry industry for over 38 years. He is the former owner of John Ford Jewelers in Galveston, Texas, and now heads the Lightning Ridge Collection, which spotlights opals from Lightning Ridge, Australia, and has won numerous AGTA Spectrum Awards. He will move on from that business to concentrate on AGTA, a statement said.

He has also had extensive experience with nonindustry-related governance. He has served as chairman of the Port of Galveston as well as the president of the Galveston Independent School District.

He is a graduate of Texas A&M University (and holds a specialized degree in international trade and finance) and is an alumnus of the Gemological Institute of America. He is also a member of the American Gem Society.

Ford replaces Douglas Hucker, who resigned as the group’s CEO in March after serving in that role for 24 years. Hucker has since become the head of the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA).

“John’s knowledge of AGTA’s operations along with his corporate governance experience made him the clear choice,” said AGTA board chair Kimberly Collins, who has been serving as the group’s interim CEO following Hucker’s departure, in a statement. “John’s vision of AGTA is aligned with AGTA’s executive committee, and he has developed a very close working relationship and trust with the officers, the board, and the Dallas staff.”

In the same statement, Ford described himself as “member-centric.”

“We will put our firm members’ interests first, with increased emphasis on developing retail membership,” he said.

He pledged to “increase the promotion of natural colored gemstones and pearls, while perpetuating the highest ethical industry standards.”

Photo courtesy of the American Gem Trade Association

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By: Rob Bates

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