JA Appoints Robert Headley as its First COO

Jewelers of America has named Robert Headley as its first chief operating officer, effective Feb. 23. The position has been established as part of the association’s three-year strategic plan, which was adopted by its board of directors in 2008.

As COO, Headley serves as Jewelers of America’s internal leader, reporting to president and chief executive officer Matthew A. Runci. With Runci, he is responsible for developing Jewelers of America’s overall vision. He will integrate the association’s strategic plan with ongoing operations.

“I am pleased to have someone as experienced in strategic management as Rob helping to lead Jewelers of America,” Runci said. “Having worked together on many Jewelers of America and Responsible Jewellery Council projects, I know that the association will further benefit from the robust retail jewelry experience he brings to the position.”

A former naval officer, Headley is a seasoned manager with more than 30 years of strategic systems management. He comes to Jewelers of America after 20 years with Tiffany & Co., where he oversaw the brand’s revered, and stringent, quality control standards. There, he served as vice president of Technical Services and directed quality assurance and manufacturing administration. Prior to joining Tiffany & Co., Headley spent eight years at Avon products, supervising efficient systems for ingredient manufacturing, packaging, and corporate quality assurance.

In his role, Headley will draw from his long commitment to industry best practices—he currently serves as co-chair of the Responsible Jewellery Council’s Standards Committee—to support the association’s work in its mission to improve consumer confidence in the jewelry industry. He will also continue his board service, now representing Jewelers of America, with the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, and the Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America.