WJA Announces 2016 Awards for Excellence Nominees

This year the awards will be held at a new venue

The Women’s Jewelry Association has announced its nominees for the association’s annual Awards for Excellence. The awards are given to female professionals in the jewelry and watch industries that have demonstrated significant achievements throughout their careers.

The awards will be presented on July 25 at the annual WJA Awards for Excellence gala, which this year will be held at a new venue—the Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center in New York City.

The nominees are:

Design, fine jewelry and watches: Malak Atut, owner and designer, Zaiken Jewelry; Wendy Brandes, owner and president, Wendy Brandes Jewelry; Jennifer Dawes, principal and designer, Jennifer Dawes Design; Claudia Kretchmer, president, Steven Kretchmer; Ilaria Lonzoni, design director, Hearts On Fire.

Manufacturer, dealer, supplier: Nina Cooper, chief creative officer and president, Nina Designs Ltd.; Donna DeLucia, chief commercial officer, North America, Intercontinental Jewellery Manufacturing, PCL (Thailand); Tiffany Kay of Tiffany Kay (nominated for her work as former vice president of merchandising, Scott Kay); Grace Terezian, vice president and creative director, Kirk Kara.

Retail, 15 or more doors: Jacqueline Cassaway, divisional vice president, Helzberg Diamonds; Marta Nowakowski, vice president and divisional merchandise manager for jewelry, watches, and home, Saks Fifth Avenue; Toby Ritchie, marketing director, Harry Ritchie’s Jewelers; Jamie Singleton, senior vice president, Signet Jewelers.

Retail, 15 or fewer doors: Soraya Cayen, CEO, Cayen Collection; Jennifer Gandia and Christina Gandia Gambale, co-owners, Greenwich St. Jewelers; Alexis Padis, director of operations, Padis Jewelry; Trish Roberson, owner, Roberson’s Fine Jewelry.

Retail, nontraditional: Ivka Adam, founder and CEO, Iconery; Kate Fordham, operations manager, Ritani; Beth Gerstein, co-CEO and founder, Brilliant Earth; Kris Kulesza, senior vice president of merchandising, Jewelry Television.

Sales and merchandising: Ramona Genao-Archibald, executive vice president, sales and merchandising, Richline Group; Rachel Jackson, jewelry director, The Knot; Maren Rosen, vice president, merchandising, Stuller; Nikki Siegel, executive vice president, Armenta.

Marketing and communications: Ashley Brown, executive director, marketing and public relations, Stuller; Jen Cullen Williams, managing director, Luxury Brand Group; Hayley Henning, vice president of sales, marketing, and development, True North Gems; Donna Jolly, director of marketing, American Gem Society.

Editorial media: Shane Clark, senior fashion and accessories editor, Brides; Hannah Connorton, retailer account manager, LUXURY and LUXURY Privé, Reed Exhibitions (nominated for her work as senior editor of National Jeweler); Barbara Palumbo, founder and editor-in-chief, Adornmentality; Syl Tang, contributor, Financial Times Watches and Jewellery, and CEO and founder of HipGuide.

Special services: Dona Mary Dirlam, director of RTL Library and Information Center, Gemological Institute of America; Debbie Hiss, owner, Debbie Hiss Consulting; Kristie Nicolosi, president and CEO, the Kingswood Company; Kate Peterson, president and CEO, Performance Concepts.

Watches: Stacie Orloff, former president, Bell & Ross, the Americas; Michelle Peranteau, former director of marketing and communications, Baume et Mercier; Ellen Seckler, vice president of marketing, Citizen Watch Company of America.

JCK News Director