Gardner led the group for 18 years and hopes for some continuing role
Cecilia Gardner, who has headed the Jewelers Vigilance Committee since 1998, will step down as president and CEO at the beginning of 2017.
She also serves as the group’s general counsel, but JVC’s release did not say if she will continue in that role.
Gardner tells JCK that she hopes to stay involved in both the organization and the industry, but her new role is still being discussed.
“I’m not really leaving leaving,” she says. “I hope there will be some continuing role for me.”
Like other industry association heads who have stepped down of late, Gardner says it was simply time for a change.
“The JVC is celebrating its 100th year in 2017, and I thought it was a good moment to start figuring out my own future,“ she says. “I look forward to working with the board and figuring out how best to staff the organization for the future. I love the industry, and I want to stay involved.”
She calls her time at the JVC a “fabulous experience.”
“I have been blessed,” she says. “I have learned so much. I think I have been able to be of service to the industry. We have put the JVC on the map as one of the most prominent industry organizations.”
JVC senior counsel Suzan Flamm is also leaving the group.
Meanwhile, the impending departure is causing the board to rethink the organization.
“The executive committee is doing a detailed review of the JVC,” says board president Steven Kaiser. “That is a healthy thing for a group.
“We are trying to find a way to keep Cecilia,” he adds. “This was very much her own choice, and we want her to stay in some way.”
Gardner is the third industry-association head to announce plans to step down in the last year: Dione Kenyon recently retired as head of the Jewelers Board of Trade, and Ruth Batson is leaving the American Gem Society next summer.
(Photo courtesy of Jewelers Vigilance Committee)