National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

WJA names 2014 Awards for Excellence winners

By Brecken Branstrator

July 29, 2014

Winners, from left: Desiree Hansen, Chana Regev, Fran Pennella, Amy Jackson, Michelle Graff, Heather Moore, Rosanna Sarcona-Doherty, Jennifer (Peck) Arthur, and Kim Adams, with WJA President Andrea Hansen fourth from right

New York--The Women’s Jewelry Association honored the winners of its 31st annual Awards for Excellence Monday night in New York, recognizing innovative and successful leaders in the industry in a number of categories.

The WJA added an extra element of surprise to this year’s event, held as always at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, by keeping the winners a secret until they were announced last night.

The winners and the categories in which they won were as follows:
--Heather Moore, Heather Moore Jewelry (Design)
--Chana Regev, Carelle (Manufacturer/Dealer/Supplier)
--Kim Adams, Reeds (Retail - 15 doors or more)
--Cathy Calhoun, Calhoun Jewelers (Retail - Fewer than 15 doors)
--Jennifer (Peck) Arthur, Amazon (Non-Traditional Retail)
--Amy Jackson, Fragments (Sales)
--Fran Pennella, Benali Consulting (Marketing & Communications)
--Michelle Graff, National Jeweler (Editorial Media)
--Desiree Hansen, JCK (Special Services)
--Rosanna Sarcona-Doherty, Cartier (Watches)

At the annual gala, the WJA also honored American Gem Society Executive Director and CEO Ruth Batson and Jewelers of America CEO Dave Bonaparte with lifetime achievement awards, while the Corporate Award went to Richline Group.

The event also includes a silent raffle and auction to raise money for scholarships and grants for women in the jewelry industry, which included the chance to bid on such items as Broadway shows, restaurants, hotels, museums, beauty salons, and spas.

It wrapped up with a dessert and dancing after-party sponsored by the World Gold Council’s Love Gold initiative.

“WJA congratulates our distinguished 2014 honorees, and celebrates the winners of our Awards for Excellence,” said WJA President Andrea Hansen. “We also extend our heartfelt thanks to all of the attendees and sponsors who supported our signature event by their attendance and donations to the gala, silent auction and raffle. Because of you, many more women will receive WJA grants and scholarships to enter or further their careers in the jewelry industry.”

The WJA has held its Awards for Excellence gala since 1984. It brings together industry leaders to honor the best and raises money for scholarship and grants.

The organization recently gave a total of $16,000 in scholarships to eight students studying jewelry and metalsmithing at various colleges across the country, as well as a total of $13,000 to 26 members across the country to contribute to the ongoing education of women in the jewelry industry.