Press Release: Matthew A. Runci, the president of Jewelers of America (JA) for more than 17 years, will retire on December 31, 2012. David J. Bonaparte, formerly the vice president of JCK Brands for Reed Exhibitions, will take the helm of the national jewelry trade association effective January 1, 2013.
During his leadership, Runci worked with JA's board of directors to assure that the association focused on enhancing professionalism, transparency and consumer confidence. In the years since, he has helped establish JA -- and its members -- as leaders in responsible business practices. Among his many career achievements, Runci took a lead role in the establishment of the Kimberley Process, the Clean Diamond Trade Act, and helped found the Responsible Jewellery Council, which positioned the fine jewelry industry as a pioneer of supply chain transparency.
"As someone who considered himself an 'outsider' to the jewelry industry, I have become one of its most devoted advocates. 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," said Runci.
Georgie Gleim, JA's board chair, said, "Words cannot express the gratitude we feel for the dignified leadership and forward-thinking vision Matt brought to Jewelers of America. We wish him well on his retirement, as we continue Jewelers of America's great work with David Bonaparte."
Runci and Bonaparte have worked together since October to ensure a smooth transition of leadership. Bonaparte will focus on continuing JA's public policy work, in addition to enhancing its membership, both in terms of size and benefits.
On the cusp of his retirement, Runci will receive a well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award at Jewelry Information Center's annual GEM Awards on January 11.
About Jewelers of America
Jewelers of America (JA) is the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry retail marketplace, with the primary purpose of improving consumer confidence in the jewelry industry. JA's consumer education arm, Jewelry Information Center (JIC), has provided public relations and marketing services on behalf of the fine jewelry and watch industry since 1946. Visit www.jewelers.org and www.JIC.org for more information.