WJA Announces 2014 Member Grant and Carelle-WJA Grant Awards

The Women’s Jewelry Association has just announced recipients of its 2014 member grants and the lone recipient of the Carelle-WJA grant.

Each year, WJA awards thousands of dollars in grants to female members in good standing for use toward professional growth. The upcoming WJA annual Awards for Excellence gala, raffles, and silent auction, taking place on Monday, July 28, at Pier 60  in New York City, is the key fund-raising event for the association’s grant program.

(To purchase sponsorships or tickets for the gala click here, or for more information about WJA member grant opportunities, click here.)

“Professional women in the jewelry industry often need funds to explore their chosen fields more fully,” says Andrea Hansen, president of WJA. “Our member grants contribute toward that exploration, often taking our members to higher levels of business success.”

This year, grants awarded to members total $13,000. Fran Pennella, WJA co–vice president of membership development chaired the WJA Member Grant Committee that reviewed applications. All qualified applicants are then placed into a random drawing conducted by the committee.

Names of 2014 grant winners that were submitted by their chapter are as follows:

New England: Marilyn Salvatore and Martha Seely

Midwest: Nancy Hudson, Susan Crady, Kelly Jacobson, and Anne VanderMeulen

Metro New York: Elizabeth Houseknecht, Retno Hadiatmodjo, Nancy Ross, Richelle Wilson, Geeta Kalsaria, and Maryann Scandiffio

Twin Cities: Dorothy Sherburne, Jeana Lidfors, Margie Mersky, Grace Plaster, and Mary Kay Mohs

Northern California: Lisa Baird, Yoshiko Daigen, Christine Dhein, and Gina Fiorentino

Los Angeles: Tam Nguyen

San Diego: Irene Wetsman

Southwest: Beth Schmitz

Ohio/Kentucky: Pamela Theodotou

Colorado: Kellie Lemmel

Meanwhile, the annual Carelle-WJA grant was awarded to Kelly Jacobson of Small Metals Studio in Chicago. The grant honors the memory of Brooke Tivol McGrath, a vibrant and beloved employee of Carelle and a family member of Tivol Jewelers in Kansas City, Mo., who died of a rare blood infection at age 28.

Jacobson, who has a BFA in metalsmithing from Southern Illinois University and an MFA in sculpture from Alfred University, will use the $5,000 merit-based grant to aid in the growth of her line. Lisa Slovis Mandel served as the scholarship chair for the WJA Scholarship Fund Board of Trustees, which evaluated Jacobson’s application. Eligible candidates must be current members of WJA and in their first five years of business.