WJA presents its ‘Awards for Excellence’

The Women’s Jewelry Association recognized the accomplishments of a diverse group of jewelry and watch industry professionals during WJA’s 22nd annual “Awards for Excellence” gala. More than 600 members of the industry attended the event held Sunday at Pier 60 of the Chelsea Piers.

The 2005 Awards for Excellence were presented to:

Design, Fine Jewelry & Watches: Judith Ripka, designer, Judith Ripka Companies

Manufacturer/Dealer/Supplier for Fine Jewelry & Watches: Rachel Wertheimer, executive VP, JewelAmerica

Retail (more than 15 stores): Nancy Skinner, senior VP, Zale Corp. & president, Zales Outlet

Retail (less than 15 stores): Robin Levinson, co-owner, Levinson Jewelers

Sales & Marketing: Carol Brodie, chief luxury officer, Curt Co Media

Editorial/Reporting/Publishing: Tania Riddell, accessories editor, Modern Bride

Special Services & Education: Nirupa Bhatt, marketing manager, Rio Tinto

WJA also presented two special awards: the 2005 Hall of Fame Award to Phyllis Bergman, president of Mercury Ring, and a past WJA President; and the Ben Kaiser Award to William E. Boyajian, president of the Gemological Institute of America.