WJA Announces Nominees for Awards for Excellence

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

The WJA Awards for Excellence recognize the accomplishments and milestones of women in the jewelry industry. Winners are selected by member ballots, and results are announced at the gala event.

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 was declared the winner by acclamation, according to WJA’s nominations committee).

Retail: Laurie Kirkman, Ben Bridge Jewelers, Seattle; Marie Helene Morrow, Reinhold Jewelers, San Juan, P.R.; 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, ElleMagazine; 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” award winner, 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.

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

The Awards dinner includes a silent auction that benefits the WJA Scholarship Fund. Tickets for the event are $210 for members and $250 for non-members. For information about the WJA Awards dinner, tickets, sponsorship opportunities or how to participate in the Silent Auction, call WJA at (973) 575-7190.

WJA, founded in 1983, is the preeminent association of professional women in the jewelry, watch, and related businesses. Through the national organization, headquartered in New York City, and a network of 10 regional chapters, members benefit from educational and networking opportunities, mentoring, scholarships, design competitions, and recognition programs. For more information, visit the WJA Web site at www.womensjewelry.org.