WJA Honors Anna Martin

Anna Martin—a long-time, distinguished industry leader, past Women’s Jewelry Association president, and senior vice president and region head Americas of ABN AMRO bank—was presented with the WJA Hall of Fame Award during the organization’s annual gala.

The 24th annual “Awards for Excellence” gala was held July 29 at Pier Sixty, the Chelsea Piers. More than 550 members of the industry’s elite attended.

Terry Burman, chief executive officer of Signet Group plc and chairman of Sterling Jewelers Inc., presented the award to Martin, and commended her longstanding leadership and commitment to the industry. Burman stated that Martin was unique in the financial world for her insightful knowledge of the business and her ability to relate to the principals in the jewelry industry.

In accepting the award, Martin praised the work of the WJA, especially its support of the next generation through scholarships. She said that there were many aspects of the jewelry industry that were close to her heart, but made special mention of the industry’s strong commitment to charitable causes, such as Jewelers for Children. She recognized Victor van der Kwast, CEO of ABN AMRO’s International Diamond & Jewelry Group, for his strong support and his vision to expand the bank’s role in the industry.  

The individual 2007 “Awards for Excellence” were awarded to:

* Designer, Fine Jewelry & Watches – Paula Crevoshay, president, Mellika Co., Inc.

* Manufacturer/Dealer/Supplier, Fine Jewelry, Gemstones, Metals & Watches – Eve Goldberg, vice president, William Goldberg Diamond Corp.

* Retail (More Than 15 Stores) – Tryna Kochanek, senior vice president, Sterling Jewelers Inc.

* Retail (Fewer Than 15 Stores) – Susan Eisen, Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry & Watches

* Sales – Janet Goldman, CEO, Fragments

* Marketing & Communications – Diane Warga-Arias, Educationalist & Business Consultant, DWA Communications, Inc.

* Editorial/Reporting/Publishing – Kathleen Fitzpatrick, jewelry editor, Veranda

* Specials Services – Susan Elliott, dean of Students, Gemological Institute of America

A Silent Auction raised funds for WJA’s Scholarship and Grant Programs. Hearts On Fire hosted a “Champagne Sparklers” raffle where guests had the opportunity to buy a glass of champagne and win a HOF diamond. All proceeds went to the WJA Scholarship Fund.    

In her opening speech, WJA national president Ann Arnold thanked the members “for your continued and constant support. I am grateful every day that we get to do what we love to do the most, to recognize the valued women in the industry.”  

Top sponsors of the evening gala included Platinum Guild International, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, Gem Certification and Assurance Lab and American Gem Laboratories, Signet/Sterling, Hearts On Fire, JCK Events, JCK Publishing, Jewelry.com, and Rio Tinto Diamond.