Hudson named Jewelers for Children executive director

Jewelers For Children (JFC), the U.S. jewelry industry’s recognized charity, formerly known as the Jewelers Charity Fund for Children, has named Laurie A. Hudson as its new executive director.

Hudson, founder and former president of Platinum Guild International USA, will succeed Pattie Light as executive director effective Sept 1.

“After an industry-wide search, I am pleased that our board has enthusiastically approved Laurie’s appointment,” JFC Chairman Terry Burman, CEO of the Akron, Ohio -based Sterling Jewelers, Inc., said in a statement. “We are fortunate to benefit from Ms. Hudson’s 20-plus years of experience and leadership in the jewelry industry. In addition, she has a strong background in special event planning, fundraising and public relations. We are optimistic that Laurie will continue the exciting momentum for JFC.”

Hudson, the individual widely recognized as significantly expanding the market for platinum jewelry in America, retired from the Platinum Guild at the end of 2002. After what she described as a “much-needed vacation,” she said she is excited about assuming her new role and responsibilities for JFC.

Pattie Light served as executive director of the Jewelers For Children foundation (previously known as the Jewelers Charity Fund for Children) since 1999. She announced her intention to resign during a JFC board meeting held at the recent JCK Show ~ Las Vegas. According to Light, her decision to step down was “heart wrenching” but was reached after much careful thought and consideration. In an interview to the trade press in June she said she intends to enjoy some overdue time-off with family and friends and later will consider pursuing new interests.

Over the past five years, JFC has donated almost $14 million to specific programs benefiting children whose lives have been devastated either by catastrophic illness or abuse and neglect. Burman confirmed that the June 6 “Facets of Hope” during the JCK Show ~ Las Vegas raised more than $3.8 million for JFC charities. JFC’s charity partners include: the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Make-A-Wish Int’l., the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation/Glaser Pediatric Research Network, and the National CASA Association.