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WJA Unveils Shortlists for Annual Awards

Jun 9, 2016 9:44 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) announced the nominees for its annual Awards for Excellence for professionals who demonstrate “significant” achievements throughout their careers.

Winners will be announced July 25 in the Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center, New York. The time and location will be convenient for attendees as several jewelry trade shows are taking place at the same time, the WJA said.

The Awards for Excellence gala will also celebrate three WJA Hall of Fame honorees: Sissy Jones, owner of Sissy's Log Cabin (pictured), who will receive the WJA Lifetime Achievement Award; Peter Engel, president of Fred Meyer Jewelers, who will get the Ben Kaiser Lifetime Achievement Award; and Ben Bridge Jewelers, which will be given the WJA Corporate Award.

The 2016 WJA Awards for Excellence nominees are:

Category 1 - Design, Fine Jewelry and Watches: Malak Atut, owner/designer, ZAIKEN Jewelry; Wendy Brandes, owner/president, Wendy Brandes Jewelry; Jennifer Dawes, principal/designer, Jennifer Dawes Design; Claudia Kretchmer, president, Steven Kretchmer; Ilaria Lonzoni, design director, Hearts on Fire.

Category 2 - Manufacturer, Dealer, Supplier: Nina Cooper, chief creative officer and president, Nina Designs Ltd.; Donna DeLucia, chief commercial officer, North America, Intercontinental Jewellery Manufacturing, PCL (Thailand); Tiffany Kay of Tiffany Kay (nominated for her work as former vice president of merchandising, Scott Kay); Grace Terezian, vice president and creative director, Kirk Kara.

Category 3A - Retail, 15 or More Doors:
Jacqueline Cassaway, divisional vice president, Helzberg Diamonds; Marta Nowakowski, VP divisional merchandise manager (DMM), Jewelry, Watches, and Home, Saks Fifth Avenue; Toby Ritchie, marketing director, Harry Ritchie's Jewelers; Jamie Singleton, senior vice president, Signet Jewelers.

Category 3B - Retail, 15 or Fewer Doors: Soraya Cayen, CEO, Cayen Collection; Jennifer Gandia & Christina Gandia Gambale; co-owners, Greenwich St. Jewelers; Alexis Padis, director of operations, Padis Jewelry; Trish Roberson, owner, Roberson's Fine Jewelry.

Category 3C - Retail, Non Traditional: Ivka Adam, founder & CEO, Iconery; Kate Fordham, operations manager, Ritani; Beth Gerstein, co-CEO/founder, Brilliant Earth; Kris Kulesza, senior vice president merchandising, Jewelry Television.

Category 4 - Sales and Merchandising: Ramona Genao-Archibald, executive vice president, sales and merchandising, Richline Group; Rachel Jackson, jewelry director, The Knot; Maren Rosen, vice president, merchandising, Stuller, Inc.; Nikki Siegel, executive vice president, Armenta.

Category 5 - Marketing and Communications: Ashley Brown, executive director, marketing and public relations, Stuller, Inc.; Jen Cullen Williams, managing director, Luxury Brand Group; Hayley Henning, vice president, sales, marketing, and development, True North Gems; Donna Jolly, director, marketing, American Gem Society.

Category 6 - Editorial Media: Shane Clark, senior fashion & accessories editor, Brides; Hannah Connorton, retailer account manager, Luxury & Luxury Prive, Reed Exhibitions (nominated for her work as former senior editor, National Jeweler); Barbara Palumbo, founder/editor-in-chief, Adornmentality; Syl Tang, contributor, Financial Times Watches & Jewellery, CEO, HipGuide.

Category 7 - Special Services: Dona Mary Dirlam, director of RTL Library and Information Center, Gemological Institute of America (GIA); Debbie Hiss, Owner, Debbie Hiss Consulting; Kristie Nicolosi, president & CEO, The Kingswood Company; Kate Peterson, president/CEO, Performance Concepts, Inc.

Category 8 - Watches: Stacie Orloff, former president, Bell & Ross, the Americas; Michelle Peranteau, former director of marketing and communication, Baume et Mercier; Ellen Seckler, vice president- marketing, Citizen Watch Company of America.
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