AGTA Names John Ford as Its New CEO
He’s the owner of The Lightning Ridge Collection but will pivot to focus on his new role.
The appointment is effective immediately. He replaces Doug Hucker, who left the position in March after more than two decades heading the organization. (Hucker has since been named CEO of the International Colored Gemstone Association.)
Ford will relocate to Dallas by the end of the month, AGTA confirmed.
He previously served on AGTA’s board of directors as a member and as treasurer and has 38 years of experience in the industry.
Based in Galveston, Texas, Ford is the owner of The Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford, which is centered on black opals from Lighting Ridge in Australia, but will move on from that business so he can focus on his new role, AGTA said.
He’s also an American Gem Society member, a Lightning Ridge Mining Association member, and a longtime AGTA member who has won multiple Spectrum Awards.
Ford brings more than a decade of corporate governance experience to the role, having served in leadership roles ranging from chairman of the Port of Galveston to serving as the president of the Galveston Independent School District, among other leadership positions.
He graduated from Texas A&M University with a specialized degree in international trade and finance and is an alumnus of the Gemological Institute of America.
“I am very honored by the confidence in my leadership expressed by [AGTA] President [Kimberly] Collins and the AGTA board of directors,” Ford said.
He added: “We will put our firm members interests first, with increased emphasis on developing retail memberships. The industry will see a reinvigorated AGTA increasing the promotion of natural colored gemstones and pearls, while perpetuating the highest ethical industry standards.”
Collins said: “Ford was selected as the ideal candidate to lead AGTA after a professionally managed comprehensive search interviewing many applicants, including Ford. John’s knowledge of AGTA’s operations along with his corporate governance experience made him the clear choice.”
She added, “John’s vision of AGTA is aligned with AGTA’s executive committee, and he has developed a very close working relationship and trust with the officers, the board, and the Dallas staff.”
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