The Giftware Association (GA) has announced that CEO Isabel Martinson is stepping down after nearly 15 years as its chief executive. She is leaving the position for family reasons and in due course will pursue other career opportunities.
GA chairman Michael Papé said: “Everyone in The GA is very sorry to be losing Izzy. She has achieved an enormous amount over many years and has continued to take our trade association forward to offer new services and support to members.
“Izzy has long been recognised as an expert in the gift and home industry. She is highly respected for her leadership and representative skills – always fighting The GA’s corner on behalf of members, at home and in Brussels.
“Izzy is a force of nature: having met her, you feel better for the experience. And although she will be sorely missed, I know that Izzy shares our desire that, until the appointment of a new chief executive, continuity within The GA is maintained and we represent our members to the best of our ability and continue to help them to fulfil their hopes and aspirations.”
Isabel commented that being chief executive of The GA had been her “dream job”, and added: “I have loved my time heading up the association. I have worked with some amazing people and been incredibly proud to see young companies flourish and grow with the help of The GA. I have always been inspired by the creativity in our dynamic industry, as evidenced by the wonderful product entered in The GA’s Gift of the Year Awards competition, which goes from strength to strength.
“The gift and home industry must surely be one of the friendliest of all UK industries and I shall very much miss seeing everyone at the trade fairs and other events. I wish The GA and everyone who works within it – as a retailer, supplier or trade fair organiser – every good fortune in the years to come.”
Kate Owen, president of the British Allied Trades Federation, and a former chairman of The GA, of which it is a part, said: “I am personally very sorry to be losing Izzy from the senior team at the Federation. She has significantly increased the reputation and profile of The GA within government circles and the industry at large. Izzy will be a hard act to follow. We all wish her every happiness and success in the future.”