WJA-Midwest Honors Members

The Women’s Jewelry Association-Midwest Chapter held a Membership Celebration recently to honor those individuals who have made a significant impact on the jewelry industry in the Midwest. The event was held at the Evanston (Ill.) Golf Club, just outside of Chicago.

The following members were recognized: Ruth Batson, executive director and CEO, American Gem Society; Robert Bridel, president, Robert Bridel & Associates; Isaac and Hadasa Dekalo, presidents, Orli Diamonds Inc.-Division of Steinmetz; Cindy Edelstein, president, Jeweler’s Resource Bureau; Cecilia Gardner, executive director and general counsel, Jewelers Vigilance Committee; Ronald Harder, president and CEO, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co.; Susan Jacques, president and CEO, Borsheim’s Fine Jewelry & Gifts; Juell Kadet, executive vice president, Rogers Enterprises Inc.; Kathryn Kimmel, vice president, marketing and public relations, Gemological Institute of America; Pattie Light, executive director, Jewelers Charity Fund for Children; Matthew Runci, president and CEO, Jewelers of America Inc.; Myriam and Thomas Tashey, COO-CFO and CEO, Professional Gem Sciences Inc.; Barbara Mooty, vice president, brand development and industry relations, Charles & Colvard Inc. (moissanite); and Elena Weber, chairman, Oro International.

The evening also featured a tribute to past WJA-Midwest presidents Susan Crady, sales, ABC Diamonds; Anthea Slotar, vice president, Ernest Slotar Inc.; Helen Slotar Hovis, vice president, Ernest Slotar Inc.; Gillian Schultz, vice president, Metronet Safe & Sound; and Michelle Dené Reagan, president, Dené Design Studio.

Nominees for the “Woman Making a Difference” Award included Andrea Ansteth, general manager, Judith Ansteth Jewelers; Laura Haas, president/appraiser, Haas & Co. LLC; Karla Lewis, president, BestFriends Diamonds & Gems; Michelin Lentino, president, Contessa D’Oro; Michelle Dené Reagan, president, Dené Design Studio; and Penny Ruston, sales, Roberto Coin.

Nominees for the “Rising Star” Award included Tammy Adams, store manager, Helzburg Diamonds, Raleigh, N.C.; Elizabeth Buchert, designer/goldsmith, Crown Trout Jewelers, Lahesboro, Minn.; and Melissa Ranney, buyer, Bremer Jewelry, Peoria, Ill.