Nominations were made across eight categories including design (nominees pictured here), manufacturing, retail (which is split into three sub-categories), sales, marketing, editorial, special services and watches.

New York--The Women’s Jewelry Association has released its list of nominees for their annual “Awards for Excellence.”

Awards will be given out across eight categories, including design, manufacturing, retail, (which is split into three sub-categories), sales, marketing, editorial, special services and watches. Three to five nominees were chosen in each category or sub-category.

“Each nominee exemplifies the great power, incredible work ethic, intellect and talent of women throughout the jewelry and watch industries,” said Brandee Dallow, president of the Women’s Jewelry Association. “These women are the leaders, mentors and influencers that will propel our business into the future.”

Awards will also be given to three WJA Hall of Fame honorees: a WJA Lifetime Achievement Award to Sissy Jones, owner of Sissy’s Log Cabin; a Ben Kaiser Lifetime Achievement Award to Peter Engel, president of Fred Meyer Jewelers’ and a WJA Corporate Award to Ben Bridge Jeweler.

The awards will also provide an opportunity to raise funds, via a silent auction and raffle, for the WJA Foundation, which gives scholarships and grants to women in the jewelry industry. Last year, the WJA raised a total of $60,000 at its gala.

WJA members and industry professionals voted online to nominate industry members for the awards during the month of January. A panel of past winners selected the final nominees, and will choose the winner of each category, to be announced at the Awards for Excellence gala on Monday, July 25.

This year, the gala will take place at the Hammerstein Ballroom on 34th Street, in close proximity to the JA New York trade show, which will be held at the Javits Convention Center.

See below for a full list of nominees.

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, 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 and 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 at 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 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

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.