Jewelers of America has appointed Dave Bonaparte, senior vice president of JCK Brands for Reed Exhibitions, as its new president and CEO.
In January, current president and CEO Matthew A. Runci announced his desire to retire at the end of 2012.
Bonaparte will work side-by-side with Runci starting Oct. 1, and officially take the helm on Jan. 1, 2013.
“Dave brings a very global view of the industry,” JA board chair Georgie Gleim tells JCK. “He has wonderful contacts and is a very well-liked individual and certainly had prior success in his prior position.”
“We weren’t looking for any particular individual but we were looking for the best person for the job,” Gleim continues. “And he kept rising to the top.”
Despite Bonaparte’s trade show background, Gleim says the JA show will continue to be run by Nielsen.
She adds Bonaparte plans to look at expanding the group’s membership—but she adds the organization will continue to stay involved in international and legislative issues.
“The global industry issues are critical for the U.S. industry,” she says.
Bonaparte has run JCK Brands for Reed Expo for the past 16 years. He was also instrumental in helping Reed Exhibitions develop the JCK Industry Fund, which provides $400,000 annually to individuals, groups, and associations that develop programs to benefit and promote the industry.
Gleim says the search process was “lengthy and thorough,” involving more than 200 applicants.
“The main thing to know about Dave is he is a proven success,” she says. “He brings his own style to the organization. He is very excited about the job and has a big passion for it.”
“I am extremely grateful to Reed Exhibitions for the opportunity given to me to serve the jewelry industry with the JCK brands. My work there enabled me to develop valuable, meaningful relationships with key industry executives and become intimately aware of the needs and issues that the industry is faced with on a daily basis,” said Bonaparte in a statement. “I am thrilled to be able to continue that important work with Jewelers of America.”