The Women’s Jewelry Association board of directors selected Mary L. Forté as the 2004 “Hall of Fame” awardee. She will be honored at the WJA 21st Annual Awards for Excellence dinner, at Pier Sixty in New York City on Sunday, July 25, starting at 6 p.m.
Forté is the President and CEO of Zale Corp. She also serves on the company’s board of directors. Ms. Forté oversees the day-to-day operations of the company’s brands that include: Zales Jewelers, Gordon’s Jewelers, Bailey Banks & Biddle Fine Jewelers, Piercing Pagoda, Peoples Jewellers, Mapping Jewellers, and Zales Outlet.
“I am proud to have known Mary Forté since she joined Zale Corporation in 1994,” said Anna Martin, WJA president. “Mary is very deserving of the 2004 Hall of Fame Award. I have witnessed her rise to success with admiration. She is truly an inspiration to us all.”
Forté joined Zale Corp. as President of Gordon’s Jewelers, following 20 years of progressing leadership roles in retail management. She is credited with expert execution of the Gordon’s Jewelers merchandising, marketing and store turnaround. Prior to joining Zale, she was Senior Vice President at QVC/Home Shopping Network. In 1990, Forté joined The Bon Marché in Seattle as senior vice president of the Home Store. Her extensive career has included management positions with prominent retail companies in the United States, including Macy’s, The May Company, and Federated Department Stores.
She serves as a member of the board of directors for the following organizations: National Retail Federation, Jewelers Vigilance Committee, Jewelers of America, Jewelers Charity Fund for Children, and Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas.
The 21st anniversary of the WJA Awards for Excellence dinner will be held during the JA New York Summer Show. The dinner is one of the most well attended and highly anticipated events in the jewelry industry each year.
WJA’s Awards for Excellence recognize outstanding women professionals in six different categories: design, manufacturer/dealer/supplier, retail, sales and marketing, editorial/reporting/publishing, and special services. These awards, voted on by the WJA membership, will be announced at the July 25 event.
For information on becoming a WJA sponsor or for Awards for Excellence dinner tickets, visit its website at www.womensjewelry.org or call 973-575-7190.