JCK’s Schupak to receive WJA’s Hall of Fame Award; Signet’s Burman to receive Ben Kaiser Award

The Women’s Jewelry Association will honor two industry leaders at WJA’s 23rd Annual Awards for Excellence dinner, at Pier Sixty in New York City on Sunday, July 30. Hedda Schupak, editor-in-chief of the JCK International Publishing Group, will be the recipient of the prestigious WJA Hall of Fame Award.

Terry Burman, Group ceo of Signet Group plc and executive chairman of Sterling Jewelers Inc., will be honored with the Ben Kaiser Award, an award given to men in the jewelry industry who have demonstrated a deep commitment to the advancement of women.
“We are thrilled to honor Hedda Schupak and Terry Burman, two of the most highly visible and accomplished leaders in our industry,” said Ann Arnold, WJA president. “We applaud their dedication to the advancement of women and WJA.”
Hedda Schupak joined JCK more than 20 years ago as a production editor and general reporter. She became JCK’s fashion editor in 1991 and, in the ensuing years, became the editor of JCK’s LuxuryInternational, was the founding editor of JCK’s first fashion-focused jewelry trade publication, TRENDZ, and in 2000 became editor-in-chief and editorial director of the JCK International Publishing Group.

She is a popular lecturer in the jewelry industry and has been quoted about the jewelry industry in the consumer media many times, including television programs in Europe and the United States, and important newspapers such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Schupak is a longtime member of the WJA National Board, the NCCJ Jewelry and Watch Industry New Leadership Division general committee, Fashion Group International, and has served on the Alumni Steering Committee of her Alma Mater, Albright College in Reading, Pa. 

In 2003, she was named one of Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business and has won numerous awards both for journalism and in the jewelry industry, including being named Trade Press Editor of the Year by the Jewelry Information Center in 2004 and a WJA Award for Excellence in Editorial/Reporting in 1995. 

“I’m touched and honored to be named to the WJA Hall of Fame alongside the many great and notable women who’ve been inducted over the years,” said Schupak. “Although I’ve been very blessed to have had supportive mentors throughout my career, I know many women struggled to have their talent recognized.”

Terry Burman began his career in the jewelry industry in 1980 when he joined Barry’s Jewelers, Inc. as vice president of Operations. He was later promoted to president and appointed a board director. In 1992, Burman assumed the additional responsibilities of ceo. 

In 1995, Burman joined Sterling Jewelers Inc., the U.S. division of London-based Signet Group plc, as chairman and ceo. One year later, he was appointed to the board as a director of Signet Group plc. With the company’s continued growth and success, he was promoted to Signet Group ceo in 2000.  

Over the past ten years, under Burman’s leadership as CEO, Sterling increased sales from $915 million to over $2.3 billion. Sterling is now the nation’s largest specialty retail jeweler, and “Kay Jewelers” is the number one specialty retail jewelry brand in the U.S. 

Burman holds board, trustee and advisory positions with several organizations including: ACCESS (Akron Homeless Shelter), Jewelers for Children, Jewelers of America, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Board of Governors/ALSAC Board of Directors. He is also a member of the World Presidents’ Organization. In 2005, he was selected to receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations for exemplifying a life dedicated to the American way of hard work, self-improvement, and community service.

A graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in finance, Burman currently resides in Akron, Ohio, with his wife of 38 years, Bonnie. 

“It is an honor to be recognized along with the past recipients of this award.  I am proud to help further women’s advancement in the industry and I’m committed to continuing my support,” said Burman. 

The Ben Kaiser Award was named after the chairman of Baume & Mercier, who received the first award in 1996, and it is not an annual award.  Burman will be the fourth recipient, following Ralph Destino, now Chairman of GIA, and William Boyajian, President of GIA. 

The WJA 23rd Annual 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, established in 1984, recognize outstanding women professionals in seven different categories: design; manufacturer/dealer/supplier for fine jewelry; manufacturer/dealer/supplier for watches; retail; sales and marketing; editorial/reporting/publishing; and special services. These awards will be announced at the July 30 event.

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