Courtney A. Walker, who previously worked as Chief Financial Officer for the Gemological Institute of America, has rejoined the Institute as director of New York Operations for the GIA Gem Laboratory. In this position, he will oversee the New York facility and develop additional support for the laboratory’s growing operational needs.
Walker, a native of Southern California, began his career as a certified public accountant at Balser, Horowitz, Frank & Wakeling in Long Beach, Calif., in 1976. After becoming a partner in the firm, he became GIA’s vice president and chief financial officer at the Institute’s former Santa Monica headquarters from 1986 to 1996.
In this role, he recruited and managed the team that issued GIA’s $30 million bond offering. The proceeds were used to acquire the land and construct the first phase of buildings to establish GIA’s new world headquarters in Carlsbad. As the Institute began the relocation process, however, Walker decided to move his wife and two daughters to the Midwest and continue his career there.
In 1996 he joined K-Products, an apparel company in Orange City, Iowa, that is in the business-to-business promotional products industry. One of Walker’s roles with that firm involved developing and teaching open-book management, a philosophy based on the theory that the best way to operate a company is to share key financial information with every employee and involve them as business partners.
After K-Products was acquired by another company in 1998, Walker spent the next six years working as a private investor. Upon learning that the director of operations position was available with the New York Laboratory headquarters, he sought to return to the Institute.