NAJ News

The NAJ's AGM - 'Fit for the Future'

06 Jun 2019

AGM 2278

The National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) held its annual AGM at Federation House on Tuesday 4th June 2019. This provided a vital opportunity for delegates to network with industry peers and learn about the good things the Association is doing, and what the organisation has in sight for the forthcoming year.

The formal AGM was followed by an address from Harriet Kelsall, NAJ Chair, on the strategies and objectives for the NAJ, as well as detail some of the challenges facing the jewellery community.

Opening her talk, Harriet Kelsall said:

 “The NAJ’s role is clear – we have to support our members to ensure they are ‘fit for the future”. 

 In the address, Harriet detailed the Association’s five-point strategy: 

  1. Source, monitor & share consumer & market insights that help members make better decisions
  2. Create ‘power networks’ harnessing expertise from inside and outside the membership
  3. Be a more active voice for the industry
  4. Create a comprehensive digital platform/portal giving members quick and easy access to high value content and services
  5. Create a ‘must-have package’ of compelling reasons to join

In order to deliver the strategy, Harriet explained how the NAJ has refreshed and re-constituted the existing committee structure introducing  two new steering groups; one focused on ‘networking and events’, and another on ‘consumer focus’. The Chair of each steering group also takes a seat on the National Committee to ensure that the needs of each group find a strong voice at this top level.

Strategic plan

Harriet welcomed new and existing volunteers into the now 5 NAJ steering groups, and welcomed Adam Jacobs (Consumer Focus), Andrew Morton (Meetings and Events) and Paul Greer (Better Business) on the National Committee as new steering group Chairs, alongside Frank Wood (PTSI) and Heather Callaway (Education). The NAJ Chair also thanked volunteers who were stepping back from their volunteer roles, who had given immense support for the organisation namely now former National Committee representatives Jo Henderson and Vanessa Burkitt.

The better business guide is now published, and members can take the Better Business Health Check. The Health Check identifies the current status, and highlights where potential developments may present themselves.

Exciting news came in the announcement of a new member benefit, the NAJ Print Shop – a platform where members can order and pay for member support packs online, streamlining the order process, as well as personalise vouchers and other printed materials with a logo and company details at no additional cost.  

With a new education platform for the JET pathway now live, Harriet also acknowledged the good work of the NAJ’s education team to make the learning experience even more enjoyable and engaging, whilst maintaining flexibility to fit around the responsibilities and time commitments a typical jewellery team member may have.

Attendees at the address also hear about the NAJ’s Better Business Initiative. Better Business provides the tools and support to make sure businesses are working legally, profitably and sustainably; this follows the NAJ’s Better Business principle: doing right, doing well, doing good. The better business guide is now published, and members can take the Better Business Health Check. The Health Check identifies the current status, and highlights where potential developments may present themselves.

Finally, Harriet proudly unveiled the new gender-neutral Chair’s pin. Last year, the Association supported a design competition at the Goldsmiths Craft and Design Awards, and the winner was Bethan Cubbin from Birmingham School of Jewellery. The brief was to build on the traditional elements of the Association, but also looking to the future. It has been made in the most traceable and ethically sourced materials possible, made by Charles Green and Weston Beamor, from materials donated by Cooksongold, Nineteen48, GF Williams, Curteis and Hatton & Spencer.

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(L - R) Tom Green Charles Green, Bethan Cubbin BCU student, Stuart Wibberley Cooksongold, Harriet Kelsall NAJ Chair, Ed Hole Weston Beamor, Rebecca Ager Hatton & Spencer, Jason Williams GF Williams

The Chair's address was followed by an NAJ Live event held at The Red Lion pub on Warstone Lane. NAJ Lives are informal networking opportunities  where members and non-members have the opportunity to discuss with the team anything from membership benefits to current strategies. This particular NAJ Live benefited from a number of committee representatives in attendance, given the significance of the AGM and Chair’s Address.

Download the NAJ Chair's speech