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BATF AGM: Changing of the Guard(ians)

19 June 2018

The 118th BATF AGM was held in the elegant, 183-year-old Goldsmiths’ Hall, but the theme was change, recognising the achievements of completed terms of office and the changing business environment in which members trade.

Michael Sweeney concluded his two-year term as President with a well-received speech reviewing the unification of the National Association of Goldsmiths’ with the British Jewellers’ Association, the successful adaptation of the BATF to increased cyber security risk and GDPR and the success of the International department. He encouraged the trade associations to seek the opportunities to attract and support members created by the changes in buying habits, Brexit, a strong economy and full employment. This echoed the theme of the upbeat speech given earlier in the day by Patrick Fuller, outgoing NAJ president at the NAJ AGM. Michael noted that the BATF balance sheet is the strongest it has ever been, and the organisation has the expertise and capacity to adapt and get behind future projects.

 He said ‘We must always be looking at ways to attract new and retain existing members through meaningful initiatives, and be pro-active and responsive to what we are hearing from our respective industries.’

Michael thanked the Directors, National Committee members and staff for their hard work and commitment over the last two years. He invited other TA’s to join the BATF family.

Gary Wroe, the newly installed BATF President set out his plans to continue the review of processes and services provided by the BATF to TA’s to support them in serving their members and industries. Gary thanked Michael on behalf of the Board, particularly for negotiating the purchase of the London office, saving £300,000 and subsequent support with bringing it up to standard.

The theme of change continued as it was noted that Simon Johnson had retired as NAJ Chairman to be followed by Harriet Kelsall and Henri Davis, GA Chairman gave her final report to BATF members as she will hand over to Jeremy Corner at the GA AGM next week.

Godfrey Evans, SEA Chairman, presented a report noting that the SEA will remain influential in European legislation through their Chairmanship of the European body despite Brexit.

Simon Dawe, in his first report as Chairman of The Benevolent Society talked about the success of the training bursary scheme as there has been less need for support to older beneficiaries.

Frank Fletcher explained the work of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust for young people recovering from cancer and thanked the BATF for their support to replace their life jackets.

The meeting concluded with the fascinating story of John Benjamin’s career in jewellery and some tips on how to be featured on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow.

BATF AGM: Changing of the Guard(ians)

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