John Kennedy Retiring as Head of Jewelers’ Security Alliance


John Kennedy, who has served as president of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance for the past 32 years, will retire at the end of 2024.

“I’ve been dealing with crime for 45 years, long before I came to JSA,” he says. “I want to take it easy. I want to do more gardening and golfing and seeing my grandchild.”

JSA’s board is in the process of selecting a new president for the crime prevention group. There have only been four presidents since JSA’s inception in 1897, and each of them held the post for more than 25 years.

Kennedy intends to remain secretary of the 24 Karat Club of New York, a post he has held for the past 22 years.

“I’m not really saying goodbye,” he says. “I’ll still see a lot of people.”

A lawyer, Kennedy joined JSA in 1992 after serving as assistant commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation. Prior to that, he worked elsewhere in government, in academia, and for a nonprofit organization. He discussed his background on JCK’s Jewelry District podcast in 2020.

Kennedy has won many industry honors, including the American Gem Society’s (AGS) award for lifetime achievement in 2008, the Gem Award for Lifetime Achievement from Jewelers of America in 2021, and the Stanley Schechter Award from the Jewelers Vigilance Committee that same year. The AGS also named after an award after him: The John J. Kennedy award is given every year at the group’s Conclave to recognize exemplary contributions to the safety and security of the industry. JCK named Kennedy its “person of the year” in 2003.

(Photo courtesy of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance)

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By: Rob Bates

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