By Kimberly Collins, Kimberly Collins Colored Gems
Hello, my fellow AGTA members,
It is exciting to be writing my first letter as president of the board of directors (BOD). AGTA has experienced some major changes this year, and though it has been scary for some, I feel all the shifts have put AGTA back on a path to thrive, not just survive! Reflecting on these adjustments for this letter, I thought it might be good to look back on the message I shared with membership in August 2021 when I was asking for your vote.
At that time, our association seemed out of balance in the way we had been using our resources. These included operating expenses, our volunteer BOD, and most importantly, our financial resources. I vowed to get things back on track, and one of the best ways we have achieved that is the hiring of our new CEO, John Ford. Because of John’s diligence, we have a staff that is thriving, a financial sheet that is working its way back to the black, and an invigorated BOD that all have rolled up their sleeves to show up, contribute, and work for AGTA.
My second promise was to reunite AGTA in Las Vegas at the 2022 June JCK Show. Within weeks of becoming president (and interim CEO), AGTA solidified a partnership with JCK to reunite our members in one hall located next to JCK’s LUXURY event, which is part of the bigger JCK Show. We committed to a three-year contract. Although the timing was last minute—just months ahead of the show—and floor space was limited, AGTA rose to the challenge, quickly picked booths, and had an outstanding event! AGTA then renegotiated its contract, expanding its footprint to 25,000 square feet. AGTA now has a full show floor for 2023. Simultaneously, AGTA was working on renewing its contract with Hard Rock Summit for the September show in Denver. Although our Denver show is in its growth stage, AGTA is excited to add a third show to our annual lineup. It’s a beautifully run event in a great location with a lot of potential!
I love promoting what AGTA does. I think AGTA members are fortunate to be part of the world’s most diligent and forward-thinking organization that represents colored gemstones and cultured pearls. There are others out there touting themselves as the “most ethical,” “more responsible,” etc., but really, as organizations go, nobody can beat AGTA’s Code of Ethics and the core tenets on which the organization was founded. AGTA is working hard to redefine these ideals and practices to not just the membership and industry, but to the end consumer as well. I believe that if we get the acronym AGTA on the lips of the end consumer, every single member will benefit greatly!
There is no better time to be selling colored gemstones and cultured pearls! I look forward to even more positive changes and “leveling up,” as I like to call it, meaning stepping even further into AGTA’s directional role so it is an undisputed giant in the ethics and transparency jewelry space. AGTA members and staff have worked hard for 41 years, showing love and passion to this industry and setting precedents for others to follow. Now I am ready to take AGTA to an even greater level of success.
Thank you for your trust, support, and willingness to be an AGTA member. I am honored to be your president for the next two years.
AGTA Board President
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