Hudson resigns as PGI USA president; PGI seeks ‘trade liaison” for NYC

Laurie Hudson has retired as president of Platinum Guild International USA, which she has headed since it began 10 years ago, to spend more time with her family. PGI USA is the U.S. marketing arm for the worldwide platinum industry.

In a related story, Platinum Guild International also announced that it is looking for a “trade liaison executive,” based in New York City.

Hudson’s resignation was effective Nov. 1. Until a replacement is selected, PGI USA will be led by Frank Proctor, its vice president.

“After 10 rewarding years working on platinum jewelry promotion, my plan is to take some much needed time off and to then pursue some exciting new opportunities,” Hudson said in a Nov. 13 letter to industry colleagues. There are no other changes in the 10-member PGI USA marketing and support staff which will, says Hudson’s letter, “continue to develop programs and initiatives to grow U.S. platinum jewelry demand.”

Hudson was appointed in 1992 by London-based PGI to head the new PGI USA Jewelry Division office, based in Newport Beach, Cal. Prior to that, she was manager of marketing and public relations for the American Gem Society.

Her responsibility at PGI USA was to increase awareness of and demand for platinum in America. Since then, says a PGI statement, platinum consumption in the U.S. jewelry market has grown “more than 1,500%” and became, says Hudson in her letter, “the metal of choice for fine jewelry and wedding rings.”

A search is underway for Hudson’s replacement, said James Courage, PGI chief executive officer. Candidates must have “extensive jewelry industry and/or luxury goods expertise,” and be able to “further platinum’s incredible momentum in the American bridal and fashion jewelry markets.”

In addition to leading PGI USA, said Courage, Hudson’s successor will “spearhead the U.S. launch of PGI’s new global branding initiative in the summer of 2003.”

Courage also announced that PGI is looking for a “trade liaison executive,” based in New York City. That individual, who will report to PGI USA’s director of trade relations, must have “industry expertise and extensive trade relationships,” he said. He or she will be work directly with East Coast-based owners and senior executives of leading manufacturers and retailers to “help develop and provide platinum marketing solutions to better meet the needs of the industry.”