WJA names ‘Awards of Excellence’ nominees

Twenty women in seven industry categories have been nominated by the Women’s Jewelry Association membership for their 20th Awards for Excellence gala to be held on July 27 at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, New York. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the national organization.

The WJA Awards for Excellence recognize the accomplishments and milestones of women in the jewelry industry. Winners are selected by member ballots. Like the Oscar’s, the results are announced at the gala event, creating suspenseful excitement for nominees and the 600 WJA members and industry guests who attend the annual event.

“This year’s event will be a celebration of these accomplished women as well as this milestone year in WJA’s history,” said Michelle Orman who co-chairs the dinner with her business partner, Jessica Milstein.

The 20th Awards for Excellence nominees are: Design: Cathy Carmendy of Cathy Carmendy; Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney, Inc.; Robin Garin, Kwiat.

Manufacturer/Dealer/Supplier/Jewelry/Gems/Metals: Norma Hass, ENH International, Inc.; Elsa Martinez-Phillips, Roberto Martinez Inc.; Joy Toback-Galicki, Myron Toback, Inc.

Manufacturer/Dealer/Watches: Linda Malias Passaro, Montblanc (Ms. Passaro received over 94% of the nominations and been declared the winner by acclamation, according to WJA’s Nominations Committee).

Retail:Laurie Kirkland, Ben Bridge Jewelers, Seattle; Marie Helene Morrow, Reinhold Jewelers, San Juan, PR; Laura Stanley, Stanley Jewelers Gemologists, Inc., North Little Rock, Ark.

Sales & Marketing: Shirryl Bayless, JQ Publishing, Inc.; Pat Henneberry, JCK; Diane Mattioli, Vogue Magazine; Caroline Stanley, Red Jewel, Inc.

Editorial/Reporting/Publishing: Ellyn Chestnut, Elle Magazine; Amber Michelle, Rapaport Diamond Report; Heather Bracher Severs, Town & Country Magazine.

Special Services & Education: Bev Hori, Ben Bridge Jewelers, Seattle; Jenny Luker, Platinum Guild International; Charlotte Preston, Charlotte Preston Catalysts.

The WJA Hall of Fame honoree, Juell Kadet, of Rogers & Holland Jewelers, was announced last month. That award is designated by the WJA Board of Directors and is the only one announced prior to the event.

Sponsors for the Awards for Excellence include at the “Platinum Level”: ABN Amro Bank; EGL USA; L.I.D. Ltd.; Rosy Blue Inc.; Tiffany & Co. At the “Silver Level”: Cartier; Johnson Matthey; M. Fabrikant & Sons; Platinum Guild International. At the “Bronze Level”: Amikam/Paras; Graff Jewelers; Impex/Jewlex; Kerwin Communications; Kwiat; Leo Schachter-World Diamondaire; Prestige Jewelry International; VNU Exposition; and Vicenza Trade Fair.

The Awards dinner includes a Silent Auction that benefits the WJA Scholarship Fund. For more information about the WJA Awards dinner, tickets, sponsorship opportunities or how to participate in the Silent Auction, contact WJA Headquarters at 973-575-7190.

Tickets for the event are $210 for members and $250 for non-members.