Women in the Know West Coast Conference

Information and inspiration will be at the top of the agenda of the Women’s Jewelry Association’s second Annual West Coast “Women in the Know” conference, to be held Aug. 15 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

The day-long conference, sponsored by Jeweler’s Mutual, Platinum Guild International, and David Yurman, and supported by the JCK Industry Fund, will bring together industry professionals from all areas of the jewelry and related industries, with presentations focusing on leadership skills, entrepreneurship, life balance, luxury marketing strategies, and jewelry manufacturing expertise. 

WJA’s “Women in the Know” conference will directly precede the West Coast Jewelry Show, which runs Aug. 16-18 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.  

“We’re pleased to once again team together with the West Coast Jewelry Show to create an important trade weekend for jewelry professionals in the western states,” said Fran Pennella, WJA vice president of Education and director of Marketing and Public Relations of Maurice Lacroix USA. “Since launching our first ‘Women in the Know’ exclusively in New York City five years ago, the conference has become so successful, we’ve replicated the format in two markets, in L.A. and Chicago, on Oct. 24. Each conference has its own unique flavor and distinctive speakers.”

Dana Meyer-Maxwell, the West Coast “Women in the Know” conference co-chair said, “Women in particular today are running companies, running their kids to school, and then running to pick up dinner. This conference will give attendees a 360-degree panorama of their lives. We’re not just getting down to business—we’re getting personal.”

The morning keynote speaker will be Susan Rothman, co-founder of Hearts On Fire, who will share how she and her husband, Glenn, went from peddling Moroccan leather goods on the streets of Boston to creating the world’s most recognized and successful diamond jewelry brands.

Laurie Hudson, co-founder of Luxury Brand Group, will follow with a general session presentation on “Marketing Luxury.” As the founder and president of PGI from 1992 to 2002, Hudson was responsible for repositioning and building the current market for platinum jewelry in North America. 

Afternoon keynote speaker Maria T. Bailey, founder and chief executive officer of BlueSuitMom.com, will share innovative solutions for everyday challenges. Named “One of America’s Best Work/Life Balance Resources,” Bailey has made it her mission to provide the information and tools women need to help balance their family responsibilities while maintaining a career.

Breakout sessions are small, interactive presentations that are offered twice during the day, enabling attendees to choose the topics that meet their needs and interests.  Breakout Session speakers include:

Amy Levy, President of Amy Levy Public Relations, will provide proven PR strategies to reach a target audience and raise awareness.

Maria Bailey, of BlueSuitMom.com, will explain how women spend approximately $2.1 trillion on everything from diamonds to diapers, and what marketing strategies will help attendees hit the mother load. 

Alan E. Robbins, CLU, ChFC, CFP, Investment Specialist for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, will provide tips on how to survive the “sandwich”— a situation 60% of women find themselves in as parents age and children grow up. 

Mark Maxwell, CMBJ, jewelry design and manufacturing instructor at the Gemological Institute of America  and Vilma Vallillee, Ph.D., a School of Business Instructor at the GIA, will team up to provide manufacturing and economic techniques to make metal and money go further.

Edward Boehm, President, JOEB Enterprises & Laboratory Services, will lead attendees on an adventure as he shares gemstone mining stories and reveals the culture and commerce of the international mining industry.

The final session is the “Women of Excellence” roundtables, where attendees have the  opportunity to meet WJA Awards for Excellence winners face-to-face and communicate in an intimate, not intimidating, environment.  Roundtable participants include: Erica Courtney, owner, Erica Courtney, Inc.; Susan Elliott, dean of students, Gemological Institute of America; Victoria Gomelsky, editor of Couture International Jeweler; Jeanne Larson, executive director of The Collector Fine Jewelry, and Susan Rothman, co-founder of Hearts On Fire.

The conference will end with a networking and cocktail reception.

“Every year the ‘Women in the Know’ conference grows in size and stature, thanks to the enthusiasm of our members, our hardworking conference committees, and the generosity of our industry sponsors, said Yancy Weinrich, WJA President and Luxury by JCK President.

Advanced tickets for the conference are $170 for WJA members and $195 for non-members and are available from the WJA website, www.womensjewelry.org, or by calling WJA headquarters at 708-361-6266. Onsite registration will be available with ticket prices at $200 for members and $225 for non-members.