National Jeweler Senior Editor Brecken Branstrator (pictured top left) is one of four nominees up for a Women’s Jewelry Association Award for Excellence in the media category. Winners will be revealed July 24 in New York at the Awards for Excellence gala.

Poughkeepsie, NY--Across nine categories, 33 individuals have a chance of nabbing a Women’s Jewelry Association Award for Excellence next month.

The Women’s Jewelry Association released its list of potential winners Monday. Earlier this year, WJA members and jewelry industry professionals were able to nominate their colleagues through an open, online submission process.

The pool was whittled down by a committee of past winners, headed by jewelry editor and former winner of an Award for Excellence in the Media Excellence category, Jennifer Heebner. This year, the committee honed and refined its criteria for selecting the final nominees.

"An eligible nominee must have a reputation for integrity, honesty, high ethical standards, and credibility, according to the new WJA Awards for Excellence criteria," Heebner explained. "She also must devote time and effort to help women in the jewelry industry excel."

The committee will go on to select the winner of each category, which will be announced live at the WJA Awards for Excellence gala on July 24 in New York at Chelsea Piers, Pier 60.

Here are the 2017 nominees:

Design



Manufacturer, Dealer, Supplier



Merchandising and Product Development



Business Services



Large-Scale Retail



Independent Retail



Open-Format Retail



Marketing and Communications



Editorial



President of WJA, Brandee Dallow, commented "WJA congratulates our 2017 WJA Awards for Excellence nominees, each of whom has demonstrated significant achievements throughout their careers. We look forward to applauding our honorees and nominees at the WJA Awards for Excellence gala on July 24."

In addition to the nine awards being given out at the Awards for Excellence gala, three other awards will be given to industry heavyweights for their contributions over the years.

As previously announced, Cecilia Gardner, president, CEO, and general counsel of Jewelers Vigilance Committee, will receive the WJA Lifetime Achievement Award. Michael Pollak, CEO of Hyde Park Jewelers, will receive the Ben Kaiser Award. Day's Jewelers will receive this year’s WJA Corporate Award.

Besides honoring industry leaders, the gala’s purpose is to raise funds to go toward WJA scholarships for women in the jewelry industry. A silent auction and raffle at the gala will aid this pursuit.

"The Awards for Excellence Gala is our prime opportunity to raise funds for our scholarship and grants program," said WJA Executive Director Bernadette Mack. "We are grateful to all of our honorees, nominees, attendees, and sponsors for their dedication in participating in this event, to invest in the new women entrepreneurs, veterans, and students who win our grants and scholarships. Last year, the WJA Awards for Excellence Gala raised $40,000 for these cash awards. Our goal is to top that amount in 2017."

Those interested in sponsorship opportunities this year may contact Mack at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or obtain additional information on the WJA website.

Gala tickets may also be purchased on the site.

|Subscribe >
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.