Matthew A. Runci, the president and CEO of Jewelers of America for the past 17 years, has announced that he is retiring from the position on Dec. 31.
A search committee has been appointed to find his successor. Formal succession planning began in 2009.
The organization has asked Runci to remain during a transition period and to continue to assist the association with its work in the area of responsible business practices in 2013.
Runci joined JA as president and CEO in 1995. He had previously served as CEO of Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America. Prior to that, he taught international politics, law, and foreign policy at the university level. He holds a PhD in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and a BA in History from Boston College.
“Matt’s contribution to Jewelers of America and its industry leadership role, both nationally and internationally, is immeasurable,” JA Board Chair Georgie Gleim, of Gleim the Jeweler of Palo Alto, Calif., said in a statement. “In addition to strengthening good governance practices at JA and developing an active and dedicated Board of Directors, he was instrumental in the formation of the Responsible Jewellery Council and has been involved from the start with the Kimberley Process. Our industry owes him a debt of gratitude.”