WJA’s Annual Networking Conference Draws Crowd

This year marks the seventh edition of the Women’s Jewelry Association’s Women in the Know conference, sponsored by Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company. The theme of the event was Rethink, Renew, and Reinvent to address today’s business realities. Conference chair Brandee Dallow, director of marketing and communications at Julius Klein Group, explained to the press that seminar content aimed to help identify “tactics necessary to navigate the continuing headwinds of the challenging economic environment.”

To that end, speakers like Andrea Hill, CEO of Hill Management Consulting; Mike Song, CEO of Cohesive Knowledge Solutions; and Susan Engel, CEO of Portero Luxury shared their success stories, insights, and secrets with some 175 attendees, a sum equivalent to last year’s numbers. The one-day event featured 20+ speakers in total.

For attendees, highlights of the day included a keynote speech by Andrea Hansen, president, Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry (Trump herself had to bow out of the engagement at the last minute for a business trip, but she prepared a video statement much to the delight of attendees), and a panel discussion dubbed Adapting to the New Jewelry Industry, moderated by Carol Brodie, of HSN’s Rarities with Carol Brodie.

Prior to her participation on the panel, Jennifer Gandia, owner, Greenwich Jewelers, New York, told JCK that she didn’t believe that business in 2010 would differ much from last year. “Food prices are up, gas prices are up, and the way people have been living for the past year has not changed that much,” she said. “In our store, we have gone back to basics and are working closely with our core clientele and are paying attention to details.”

For Tiffany’s Deborah Kaufman, director of diamond acquisitions, this year marks her fourth conference. “I always leave feeling inspired by new concepts and ideas on how to manage people more effectively,” she said.

For more information about WJA, log onto www.womensjewelryassociation.com or call (212) 687-2722.


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Kendra Bridel Weinman, WJA president