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Jacques to Leave Borsheims and Head GIA as CEO

Oct 7, 2013 12:25 PM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... The board of governors of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) appointed Susan M. Jacques as its new president and CEO. Jacques, currently the president and CEO of Borsheims Fine Jewelry and Gifts in Omaha, Nebraska, and the chair of GIA's board, will take up her new responsibilities on January 1, 2014. At the board’s request, she has been its interim president and CEO since June 2013, following the departure of Donna Baker.susan Jacques

GIA's board also appointed John A. Green, a board member since 2008, as board chair, replacing Jacques. Green is the CEO of Lux Bond & Green, a family-owned jeweler established in 1898 with eight locations in the U.S. states of Connecticut and Massachusetts. His appointment is effective today.

“The board of governors is very pleased to appoint Susan Jacques to this crucial role as GIA’s president and CEO,” said Green. “Her evident passion for the global gem and jewelry industry, impressive success in business, experience as a gemologist and commitment to the Institute’s public benefit mission led to the board’s decision. She is the perfect person to lead GIA now and into the future.”

Jacques (pictured) said, “I am honored and humbled by this tremendous opportunity to serve with the more than 2,000 dedicated GIA professionals across the globe. Together we will continue to protect the global public by ensuring their trust in the gem and jewelry industry. With the leadership team, particularly senior vice president of laboratory and research, Tom Moses, I look forward to working closely with all of GIA’s stakeholders to address their important issues as we build on the Institute’s successes and strengths.” She continued, “I am blessed to come back to GIA, which contributed so much to my professional life, and am delighted to be able to give back to the industry of which I am so fortunate to be a part.”

Warren Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which acquired Borsheims in 1989, said, "I couldn't be happier or more proud of Susan.  While it is with great sadness that I accept her resignation after her long and stellar career with Borsheims, I know she is accepting a role at GIA that she is passionate about and allows her to give back to the jewelry industry.  I am confident that she will bring the same style of professionalism and collaboration to her new and exciting role in the gem and jewelry industry that she has honed throughout her years of service at Borsheims."

Jacques has a long-established relationship with GIA, having received her graduate gemologist (GG) diploma in 1980. She was appointed to GIA’s board of governors in 1996 and elected chair in 2008. As president and CEO she will continue as a member of the board.

The board selected Jacques following a wide-ranging global search led by retained executive search firm DHR. Speaking about the search process, Green said, “The board appreciates the interest expressed by so many impressive candidates; their qualifications made this a challenging but ultimately successful search.”

Jacques joined Borsheims in 1982 and was appointed president and CEO in 1994. In addition to her GIA GG, she is a fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A). She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women’s Jewelry Association in 2010, and was inducted into the National Jeweler’s Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Omaha Business Hall of Fame in 2013. She is a member of the Jewelers of America ethical initiatives committee and the honorary chair of the friends of the Diamond Development Initiative. She has served on the boards of Jewelers of America, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee and Jewelers for Children. She is on the board of directors of Creighton University, a trustee of the Ethical Alliance and a member of the World Presidents’ Organization.

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Tags: ceo, GIA, Jeff Miller, president, Susan Jacques, warren buffett
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