Jane Seymour to Keynote ‘Women in the Know’

The Women’s Jewelry Association will host its sixth annual “Women in the Know” conference on March 6 at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City, with Jane Seymour delivering the keynote address.

Seymour, an award-winning actress, artist, humanitarian, and jewelry designer will speak on “Translating Talent in the Arts to Jewelry.”

Perhaps most recognized for her role as Dr. Quinn in the popular TV series for which she received a Golden Globe, Seymour recently created Open Hearts by Jane Seymourfor Sterling Jewelers Inc., a complete fashion jewelry collection personally designed and sold exclusively in Kay Jewelers and Jared The Galleria of Jewelry stores across the country and on kay.com and jared.com. Inspired by Ms. Seymour’s original “Healing Hearts” paintings in watercolors and oils, the Open Hearts design is a universal symbol of giving and receiving love.

“While we have had many great names at each of the WITK events, it is truly an honor to have someone of Jane Seymour’s stature join us in March,” said Fran Pennella, vice president of Education for WJA and director of Public Relations at David Yurman. “We are so happy to welcome Ms. Seymour to our industry and to this WITK event.

Other presentations at the conference include sessions on strategies for succeeding in a downward economy; how research can improve business; creating a sustainable career; and using online social networks to promote your products or services. A lunch presentation by the women of The New York Times best-selling book, “The Necklace: Thirteen Women and the Experiment That Transformed Their Lives,” will be followed by a first ever “Passion with Purpose” panel discussion, featuring a number of charitable women.

The co-chairs for the event are Brandee Dallow, director of Communications at Julius Klein Group, and Anne Valentzas, vice president of Marketing, Leo Schachter Diamonds.

The WITK NYC event runs from 8:45 a.m. till 6 p.m. and is open to all industry professionals. Its sponsors include Sterling Jewelers Inc., Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, and Platinum Guild International.

“Our sponsors’generous contributions help WJA consistently enhance the Conference’s programming year after year, resulting in a day of fresh, practical and motivational content from a roster of high-profile visionaries and entrepreneurs,” said WJA president Yancy Weinrich, Industry vice president, JCK Events.

Following Jane Seymour will be Nina DiSesa, chairman of McCann Erickson, N.Y., and author of Seducing the Boys Club: Uncensored Tactics from a Woman at the Top. The first woman to be made chairman in the McCann global network, DiSesa says that women are biologically wired to succeed in business, and to do so they need to meld their feminine characteristics with the traits of their male counterparts. 

Four morning breakout sessions include:

• Claudia Rose, Diamond Promotion Service, who will present “Winning or Losing in the Year Ahead: How Consumer Insights Can Make the Difference

• Dr. Sarah Fitzharding and David Sisson of Galileo Research, who will present “Using Research to Better Your Business – No Matter How Big or Small.”

• Suzanne DeVries, president, Diamond Staffing Solutions, who will discuss “Creating a Sustainable Career in an Uncertain Economy.” 

• Carmina Perez, writer, speaker, and digital media marketing consultant, will present a session entitled “Web 2.0 for Jewelers.”

The conference also includes a lunch discussion with Priscilla Van Gundy, one of the 13 women whose story about a shared diamond necklace is captured in The Necklace: Thirteen Women and the Experiment That Transformed Their Lives, by Cheryl Jarvis. Van Gundy (and possibly a few of the other 12 women from Ventura, Calif.) will talk about her love of jewelry and the unique concept that sparked one of the most original, touching books of 2008.

An afternoon keynote panel discussion entitled “Passion with Purpose,”  comprised of a selection of women who have successfully built, run and/or grown their businesses while making significant contributions to charitable, social, environmental, and familial issues, will be moderated by luxury brands specialist Carol Brodie, founder of Carol Brodie & Co. Brodie is an industry veteran who has been seen on numerous entertainment, business, and lifestyle programs, discussing fashion and business trends. She was formerly VP of Marketing at Harry Winston and chief luxury officer at CurtCo Media, publisher of Robb Report, Worth, and Art & Antiques, among other titles. 

“Passion with Purpose” keynote panelists include:

• Lita Asscher, president of Royal Asscher of America.

• Janet Goldman, chairman and founding owner, Fragments. 

• Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide. 

• Kendra Scott, founder of Kendra Scott Design.

The one day event will conclude with a networking cocktail reception at 5 p.m., where the 2009 WJA “Shining Stars” will be honored. These WJA members, to be announced, are all accomplished in their own careers and have demonstrated outstanding service and commitment to their chapters.  

“Early bird” pre-registration for the conference costs $200 for WJA members (prior to Feb. 27) and $225 for non-members and is available from the WJA Web site, www.womensjewelryassociation.org, or by calling WJA Headquarters at 708-361-6266.