Carlson Beck Leading CEO Search for the American Gem Society

August 10, 2016 – Executive search firm Carlson Beck has been retained by the American Gem Society (AGS) to lead its search for a chief executive officer. Current CEO Ruth Batson will be retiring next summer. Sally Carlson, managing partner at Carlson Beck, is leading the assignment.

“Ruth will be a tough act to follow and we appreciate that she has provided ample notice so that we can transition the new CEO under her guidance,” said Louis Smith, committee chair. “We are giving much thought and consideration to this search process. It’s important that we find someone who is committed to the American Gem Society and AGS Laboratories’ mission of consumer protection.”

Reporting to the board of directors, the Gem Society CEO is responsible for providing strategic leadership for the organization by working with its board of directors, the board’s executive committee, and the senior management team to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans and policies.

The CEO of AGS ensures that the organization serves the needs and interests of its members. In addition, the CEO supports the AGS Lab and the effective execution and expansion of its business.

The CEO of AGS also holds a position of strategic leadership and management. In collaboration with the board, its CEO is charged with setting priorities for, and directing action on, a variety of substantive issues of importance to AGS members relating to education, accreditation, re-certification, gemological standards, and gemological research. The incumbent will report to a fully involved board comprised of jewelry industry professionals and business owners. The incoming chief will also provide business leadership and guidance to the board in partnership on strategic planning, policy, business operations, programmatic, fundraising and external communications matters.

Candidate Qualifications / Experience

  • Minimum of five-plus years in the jewelry or diamond industry preferred; however AGS will entertain interest from those with experience in other luxury-related sectors. A trajectory of organizational leadership roles of increasing responsibilities over five to ten years is required;
  • Experience strategically working with and reporting to a board of directors;
  • Experience working with external stakeholders / members, balancing multiple points of view and working towards consensus;
  • Track record of managing, motivating and developing staff;
  • Experience with managing a P&L, driving the contributors to top-line revenue and prudently managing expenses to positive net income on a consistent basis;
  • Experience being the spokesperson for an organization, and having an external leadership persona in the industry ranging from local to national to international forums;
  • Experience in fundraising with diverse revenue streams and / or increasing the membership of an association;
  • Experience working in a small organization environment, or demonstrated aptitude for such environment;
  • Experience working with or demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the business model of a professional membership organization preferred.

The American Gem Society, founded in 1934 by Robert M. Shipley, is a non-profit trade association dedicated to promoting a high standard of ethics, continuous education, and consumer protection within the jewelry industry. It is a professional organization awarding credentials for its members, who are held to the highest ethical and professional standards in the industry and must pass annual recertification examinations to maintain their titles.

With offices in San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City, Carlson Beck is an executive search firm steeped in philanthropy and non-profit sector expertise. Its clients include The Arizona Community Foundation; Asian Americans / Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy; General Service Foundation; World Wildlife Fund; American Red Cross; The J. David Gladstone Institutes; St. Anthony Foundation; United Friends of the Children; Project Open Hand; and the Community Housing Partnership; among others.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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