Batson, Bonaparte, Richline Group Honored by WJA

The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) has named its 2014 Hall of Fame honorees, who will be recognized at the Awards for Excellence gala on July 28 in New York City

Ruth Batson, David J. Bonaparte, and the Richline Group will all be honored.  

Ruth Batson will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the executive director and CEO of the American Gem Society (AGS), the current chair of the Jewelers for Children board, and also serves on the boards of Jewelers Vigilance Committee, the WJA, and the JCK Show Advisory. 

“The leadership of women in the jewelry industry is of tremendous importance,” said Batson in a statement. “I am happy to accept this award as a symbol of our achievements. 

David J. Bonaparte will receive the Ben Kaiser Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the president and CEO of Jewelers of America (JA) and was previously a senior vice president with JCK Shows. He serves on the boards of the Responsible Jewellery Council, Jewelers Security Alliance, and Jewelers for Children. 

“It has been my distinct honor to work collaboratively with so many women executives at Jewelers of America and JCK, and I continue to be committed to the careers of women in our industry,” said Bonaparte in a statement. “As such, I am honored to accept this award.”

The Richline Group, which operates LeachGarner, Richline Brands, Rio Grande, and Inverness, will receive the Corporate Award. 

“Richline Group is honored to accept WJA’s Corporate Award. We are proud of the leadership exemplified by our key women executives and fully support the WJA mission to help women in the jewelry industry advance and develop professionally,” said CEO Dennis Ulrich in a statement.

Andrea Hansen, president of WJA, also issued a statement: “WJA congratulates these three deserving recipients. We are poised at a moment of transition for our industry, and our three honorees work daily to meet the challenges of understanding new consumer habits and adapting their practices to thrive in the 21st century. Their commitment to women’s roles in these tasks has been extremely important to the advancement of women’s careers in the jewelry industry.”