TRADE ASSOCIATIONS – UK’s BATF announces new CEO and NAJ adds to National Committee


The annual general meetings (AGMs) of both the British Allied Trades Federation (BATF) and the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) took place on June 6, 2024, at the Tower of London, ushering in a new President, Chair, Board of Directors and National Committee members across both organisations.

Professionals representing all the federated trade associations, including The Giftware Association, the Surface Engineering Association, the British Travelgoods & Accessories Association and the Jewellery Distributors Association attended for the AGM, in addition to a contingent from the NAJ that hosted its own AGM at the same time.

To kickstart proceedings, the BATF officially welcomed Tom Jones as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Tom previously held a similar position at the Aluminium Federation, where he served for more than six years, in addition to a Board Director role at the UK Metals Council.

TRADE ASSOCIATIONS – UK’s BATF announces new CEO and NAJ adds to National Committee

BATF CEO Tom Jones

He comments: “This is a great time to be joining the BATF as CEO. The AGM was a great opportunity to network with members and meet representatives of each of the federated trade associations, who I look forward to working closely with in the future. My goal now is to dive into Federation business and see what can be done to strengthen its remit and future-proof our activities.”

Elsewhere, outgoing President Henrik Skouby formally handed over duties to Gert Schyberg, the Founder and Managing Director of Sebnini Trading Ltd. As the new BATF President, Schyberg will draw upon 15 years of experience on the Giftware Association’s National Committee and professional expertise in finance, procurement manufacturing, strategy and management to uplift the Federation and ensure its continued success in tumultuous times. It was also announced that he will work alongside Henrik in his new role as Deputy President until 2026.

To close proceedings, the BATF named three additions to its Board of Directors, including National Association of Jewellers representatives Harriet Kelsall and Heather Callaway, who have both served as Chair of the Association in previous years, and John Taylor, Managing Director of Surface Engineering Association (SEA) member business, Schloetter Co Ltd.

During the NAJ AGM, President Gary Wroe formally handed the reigns of Chair to Adam Jacobs, who had previously served as Vice Chair of the Association since 2022. He now officially takes over responsibilities from outgoing Chair, Heather Callaway. As the Joint-Owner of Reading-based independent family business, Jacobs the Jewellers, Adam Jacobs has been an NAJ volunteer since 2016, initially stepping in to introduce a marketing and promotions sub-group before being invited to join the National Committee in 2020. He also serves as Chair of R.E.D.A., Reading’s Economy + Destination Agency, and is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.

He says: “It was wonderful to formally take up the role of NAJ Chair at the AGM in early June. It was also a great opportunity to share my vision for my term in office and explain what I believe are the opportunities on the horizon for our great industry. I would especially like to thank Heather Callaway for providing great support and encouragement as I step into this new role.”

The NAJ also announced new additions to its National Committee at the event, including Alexia Taylor, a passionate advocate for the NAJ’s Institute of Registered Valuers and a Director at Walsh Bros. Jewellers in Tunbridge Wells, and Peter Wong, Managing Director at Wongs Jewellers in Liverpool and a member of the NAJ’s JET Business Network.

During the AGM proceedings, jewellery journalist and author Rachael Taylor took to the stage in her capacity as Chair of the HALO Award judging panel to announce the launch of the 2024 HALO Award competition, organised by the British Hallmarking Council. She noted that entries must be submitted by Monday, September 16, 2024, with the winners due to be announced in December.

This was followed by an address by The Benevolent Society Chair Gay Penfold, who shared further details of more than £150,000 worth of grants and bursaries given to individuals within the BATF industries over the last 12 months. Guests were then welcomed to take a private tour of the British Crown Jewels before sitting down for a dinner, organised by The Benevolent Society, to kickstart its 100th anniversary celebrations.

Speaking on the milestone year, Gay Penfold says: “This is an exciting time for The Benevolent Society as we celebrate 100 years and thousands of beneficiaries who have navigated hard times with the support of their friends and colleagues in this great trade. This year’s BATF AGM and dinner at the Tower of London was a wonderful occasion and a perfect opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new connections.”

The Benevolent Society will also mark its 100th anniversary at its annual Ball at The Grand Hotel Birmingham on December 5, 2024. Tickets can be reserved here.