WJA Announces 2015 Awards for Excellence Nominees

The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) has announced the nominees for its 2015 Awards for Excellence, the ceremony of which will be held July 27 in New York City.

The annual awards were founded in 1984 to honor women in the jewelry industry. The event also serves as a fund-raiser for scholarships and grants for female jewelers. In addition to the nominees in 10 categories covering retail, design, sales, and more, three preselected honorees have also been announced. Pam Mortensen, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of fine jewelry for J.C. Penney, will receive the WJA Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award. Gumuchian will receive the WJA Hall of Fame Corporate Award. Clayton Bromberg, president of Underwood Jewelers, will receive the Ben Kaiser Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors men in the industry who have committed to the advancement of women.  

Among the nominees in the Special Services category is JCK’s own associate publisher Donna Borrelli. Borrelli joined JCK in 1999 as director of operations and was promoted to associate publisher in 2000.

The full list of nominees is below.

Category I: Design      

Emily Armenta, Armenta

Pamela Froman, Pamela Froman Fine Jewelry

Suzanne Kalandjian, Suzanne Kalan

Monica Rich Kosann, Monica Rich Kosann

Category II:  Manufacturer/Dealer/Supplier      

Karishma Javeri, SDC Designs

Sylvie Levine, Sylvie Collection

Zina Sherman, Zina Sterling

Laurie Watt, Mayer & Watt      

Category IIIa: Retail—15 doors or more      

Lisa Bridge, Ben Bridge Jewelers

Eve Rogers, Graff

Category IIIb:  Retail—Fewer than 15 doors      

Ellen Hertz, Max’s

Veronica Guarino, Louis Anthony Jewelers

Tara Silberberg, The Clay Pot

Melissa Quick, Steve Quick Jeweler

Category IIIc:  Nontraditional Retail      

Alexis Clarbour, Portero

Amy Jain and Daniella Yacobovsky, BaubleBar

Beth Gerstein, Brilliant Earth

Deborah Nicodemus, Moda Operandi

Ruth Thuston, Circa 

Category IV: Sales        

Amy Levine, Gurhan

Tina Bruno, Stephen Webster

Jennifer Shanker, MUSE

Category V: Marketing & Communications      

Kirsten Darrow, Fred Meyer

Donna Jolly, American Gem Society

Rebecca Moskal, Communiqué 

Colby Shergalis, Forevermark 

Category VI: Editorial Media      

Sarah Lisitski-Gerrish, Redbook magazine

Eileen McClelland, Instore magazine

Danielle Miele, Gem Gossip

Monica Stephenson, idazzle      

Category VII: Special Services      

Donna Borrelli, JCK magazine

Cindy Chandler, SMART Jewelry Show

Becka Johnson Kibby, The Edge Retail Academy

Heather Smith Nuñez, Cartier

Category VIII: Watches      

Audrey Bogdonoff, Gucci

Agnes Campanile, Swatch Group/Omega

Jeanine Drtina, Cartier

Michelle Peranteau, Baume & Mercier