WJA Announces Nominees for its 21ST Awards for Excellence

Twenty outstanding women in six industry categories have been nominated by the Women’s Jewelry Association membership for their 21st Awards for Excellence gala to be held on July 25, 2004, at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, in New York City.

The WJA Awards for Excellence recognize the accomplishments and milestones of women in the jewelry industry, and winners are selected by member ballots. Like the Oscars, 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 nominees are:

Design: Cathy Carmendy, jewelry designer, Cathy Carmendy; Judith Ripka, chairperson/CEO, Judith Ripka; Robin Garin, VP of design and merchandising, Verigold Inc.

Manufacturer/Dealer/Supplier for Fine Jewelry and Watches: Gena Alulis, CEO and co-founder, Superfit Inc.; Elsa Martinez-Phillips, president and co-owner, Roberto Martinez Inc.; Joy Toback-Galicki, co-owner and VP of manufacturing, Myron Toback Inc.; Rachel Wertheimer, executive VP, JewelAmerica Inc.

Retail: Sissy Jones, CEO, Sissy’s Log Cabin; Laurie Kirkman, senior buyer, Ben Bridge Jewelers; Laura Stanley, VP, Stanley Jewelers Gemologists.

Sales and Marketing: Carol Brodie, global director of communications, Harry Winston; Terri Eagle, COO, David Yurman; Pat Henneberry, regional sales manager, JCK magazine; Marilyn Liebman, account executive, AJM.

Editorial/Reporting/Publishing:Carmen Borgonovo, accessories director and editor, W and W Jewelry; Victoria Gomelsky, senior editor, National Jeweler; Amber Michelle, editor-in-chief, Rapaport Diamond Report.

Special Services and Education:Jenny Luker, director of trade relations, Platinum Guild International-USA; Charlotte Preston, president, Charlotte Preston Catalysts; Irene Spector, VP, diamond and jewelry group, J.P. Morgan Chase.

The WJA Hall of Fame honoree, Mary Forté, president and CEO of Zale Corporation, was announced earlier.

Sponsors for the Awards for Excellence include: Platinum Level – ABN Amro Bank, Graff Jewelers, M. Fabrikant & Sons, Platinum Guild International, and Tiffany & Company; Gold Level – Harry Winston; Silver Level – Cartier, Harper’s Bazaar, Johnson Matthey, Kerwin Communications, and Vicenza Trade Fair; and Bronze Level – Designworks Jewelry Group, EGL USA, Kwiat, Ron Saltiel Productions, Suberi Bros., and VNU Expositions.

Tickets for the event are $210 for members and $250 for non-members, available by calling WJA headquarters at (973) 575-7190 or online at www.womensjewelry.org.

Founded in 1983 and headquartered in New York City, with a network of 10 regional chapters, the WJA benefits members by offering educational and networking opportunities, mentoring, scholarships, design competitions, and recognition programs across the country. For information on becoming a WJA sponsor call (973) 575-7190.