After announcing his retirement in January, Matthew A. Runci, president and CEO of Jewelers of America for more than 17 years, will retire effective Dec. 31.
David J. Bonaparte, formerly vice president of JCK Brands for Reed Exhibitions, will officially take the helm of the national jewelry trade association effective Jan. 1, 2013.
“As someone who considered himself an ‘outsider’ to the jewelry industry, I have become one of its most devoted advocates,” said Runci in a statement. “I thank all my board directors, Jewelers of America’s passionate membership, and my friends at other esteemed organizations for their support throughout the years.”
Runci and Bonaparte have worked together since October to ensure a smooth transition of leadership. Bonaparte will focus on continuing Jewelers of America’s public policy work, in addition to enhancing its membership, both in terms of size and benefits.
“Words cannot express the gratitude we feel for the dignified leadership and forward-thinking vision Matt brought to Jewelers of America,” said JA board chair Georgie Gleim of Gleim the Jeweler in Palo Alto, Calif., in a statement. “We wish him well on his retirement, as we continue Jewelers of America’s great work with David Bonaparte.”
Runci will receive a lifetime achievement award at the Jewelry Information Center’s annual GEM Awards on Jan. 11.