The Women’s Jewelry Association has announced its nominees for the association’s annual Awards for Excellence.
The winners will be announced at the group’s annual gala, which will be held this year at Pier 60 in New York City on Monday, July 24.
This year’s nominees are:
Design Category: Wendy Brandes, owner/president, Wendy Brandes Jewelry; Deirdre Featherstone, founder, Featherstone Fine Jewelry; Annie Koenig, president, Annie K. Jewelry; and Pippa Small, owner, Pippa Small.
Manufacturer, Dealer, Supplier Category: Maureen Murphy, group director of customer service, Lee’s Manufacturing; Betty Sue King, owner, King’s Ransom; and Gabriella Harvey, director of procurement and product services, Gemfields.
Merchandising & Product Development Category: Anna Samsonova, assistant fashion buyer, Ben Bridge Jeweler; Nan Lung Palmer, owner and managing director, FACEts Jewelry Consulting; and Laura Klemt, president, Artistry, Ltd.
Business Services Category: Pat Henneberry, vice president of learning and development, Hearts On Fire; Jo-Ann Sperano, paralegal/mediation specialist, Jewelers Vigilance Committee; Judith Shechter, director of global business development, Gemological Institute of America; and Rachel Jackson, vice president of client solutions, ERCBPO, and former director of jewelry, XO Group.
Large-Scale Retail Category: Carol Pennelli, president and chief commercial officer, David Yurman; Judy Fisher, senior vice president of merchandising, Signet Jewelers; and Lisa Bridge, vice president of education, and designer, Ben Bridge Jeweler.
Independent Retail Category: Alexis Padis, director of operations, Padis Jewelry; Jan Rose, owner, Rose Jewelers; Tara Silberberg, owner, The Clay Pot; and Melissa Quick, president, Steve Quick Jeweler.
Open-Format Retail Category: Nadine Kahane, founder & CEO, Stone & Strand; Beth Gerstein, co-CEO, Brilliant Earth; and Sophie Kahn & Bouchra Ezzahraoui, cofounders, AUrate New York.
Marketing and Communications Category Olga González, CEO/founder, Pietra PR; Donna Jolly, director of marketing, American Gem Society and AGS Laboratories; Megan Whitmire, marketing manager, American Gem Trade Association; and Monica Elias, CEO, Elias World Media.
Editorial Category: Eileen McClelland, managing editor, Instore magazine; Brecken Branstrator, senior editor, National Jeweler; Barbara Palumbo, founder/editor-in-chief, Adornmentality; and Severine Ferrari, editor in chief, Engagement 101.
This year’s categories were overseen by a committee led by WJA Awards and Ballots chair Jennifer Heebner.
“An eligible nominee must have a reputation for integrity, honesty, high ethical standards, and credibility, according to the new WJA Awards for Excellence criteria,” says Heebner in a statement. “She also must devote time and effort to help women in the jewelry industry excel.”
(Image courtesy of Women’s Jewelry Association)