Tuesday, May 25, 2010

WJA announces nominees for Awards for Excellence

The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) announces 33 nominees for its eight Awards for Excellence categories. The nominees and award recipients will be recognized at the association’s annual gala on Monday, July 26 at Chelsea Piers, Pier 60 in New York City.

Each year, WJA solicits its membership for nominees who excel in various areas of the jewelry industry. The categories and nominees for 2010 include:

Design - Fine Jewelry & Watches
Emily Armenta – Armenta, Houston, Texas
Coomi Bhasin – Coomi, Secaucus, N.J.
Maeve Gillis – MaeVona, New York, N.Y.
Sarah Graham - Sarah Graham, La Quinta, Calif.
Janel Russell – Janel Russell Designs, St. Paul, Minn.

Lita Asscher - Royal Asscher Diamond Co., New York, N.Y.
Marjorie Blank - Joseph Blank, Inc., New York, N.Y.
Michele Kwiat Siegel – Kwiat, New York, N.Y.
Fiona Tilley – Gurhan, New York, N.Y.

Retail – 15 stores or more
Aida Alvarez - Birks & Mayors, Inc., Tamarac, Fla.
· Caroline Grousi-Scheufele – Chopard, Geneva, Switzerland
Lisa Kazor - Neiman Marcus, Dallas, Texas
Debbie Sloane - Cartier North America, New York, N.Y.

Retail – Fewer than 15 Stores

· Christina Gandia Gambale & Jennifer Gandia - Greenwich Jewelers, New York, N.Y.

· Lula Halfacre - Traditional Jewelers, Newport Beach, Calif.

· Charlene Hudson - Fink's Jewelers, Roanoke, Va.

· Nancy Moeller - RF Moeller Jeweler, St. Paul, Minn.

· Sarah & Rachel Read - Lee Read Jewelers, Meridian, Idaho

Sales and Merchandising

· Sandy Haymann Marks - Leo Schacter, New York, N.Y.

· Shayne Kiesbuey - Erica Courtney, Los Angeles, Calif.

· Dawn Mcguire - Sterling Jewelers, Akron, Ohio

· Corrie Silvia – Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America, Attleboro Falls, Mass.

Marketing and Communications
Lisa Cochin - Diamond Promotion Service, New York, N.Y.
Rebecca Foerster - Rio Tinto Diamonds, New York, N.Y.
Helena Krodel - Jewelers of America, New York, N.Y.

Sophia Chabbott –Women’s Wear Daily, New York, N.Y
Tanya Dukes - Elite Traveler, New York, N.Y.
Jennifer Heebner - JCK Magazine, New York, N.Y.

Special Services

· Ruth Batson - American Gem Society, Las Vegas, Nev.

· Ellen Haddigan - Diamond Empowerment Fund, New York, N.Y.

· Andie Weinman - Continental Buying Group, Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

A WJA committee will make the final selection of award recipients based on contributions to the jewelry industry and the Women’s Jewelry Association. WJA president, Kendra Bridel Weinman, said, “These women have successful careers, yet all of them have found ways to give back to our industry and their communities. They serve as role models for all of us.”

WJA also will honor Susan Jacques, president and CEO of Borsheims in Omaha, Neb., with its Lifetime Achievement Award; James Courage, CEO of Platinum Guild International, with the Ben Kaiser Award; and JCK Events and JCK Magazine, with its Corporate Award for Excellence.

The WJA Awards for Excellence will be July 26 at Chelsea Piers, Pier 60 in New York City. For tickets, visit www.womensjewelryassociation.com

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