By Michelle Graff
New York--Following its all-day conference on Wednesday, the Women’s Jewelry Association moved to the 44th floor of the Hearst Tower in Manhattan for the evening and recognized its 10 “Shining Stars” for the year.

The WJA’s Shining Stars awards are presented each year to a member from each of the WJA’s regional chapters who has provided exceptional service in her region. In addition to being recognized at Wednesday night’s event, the winners receive an expenses-paid trip to New York and discounted tickets to the In the Know conference.

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The 10 WJA members recognized as Shining Stars for 2014 were as follows.

Edith Wun, Northern California chapter: Wun does wholesale sales of natural fancy color diamonds and has worked for a Diamonds International Watch & Design store, as well as sold jewelry and watches at Neiman Marcus and Tiffany & Co.

Rebecca Moskal, Los Angeles chapter: Moskal is a partner at Communique, a Los Angeles-based boutique marketing firm that focuses on fine jewelry and watches. She has done marketing for Bulgari, David Yurman, Beaudry and Van Cleef & Arpels in the past. 

Lisa Slovis Mandel, San Diego chapter: Mandel owns Lisa Slovis Mandel Metalsmith in San Diego, and is a metalsmith, jeweler and teacher who has exhibited her work in galleries, museum and art shows across the country.

Penny Ruston, Midwest chapter: Ruston has been in the jewelry industry for 45 years and was a charter member of the WJA. She started her career in retail in and sold for Lagos, Ebel and Roberto Coin. She is now on the board as chair of the Midwest chapter’s mentorship program.

Kathy Carey, Twin Cities chapter: Carey has worked at Stebgo Metals, a refining company in South St. Paul, Minn., for more than 15 years and is a longtime active member of WJA. She joined the WJA Twin Cities board as membership chair in 2012 and is now the group’s treasurer.

Billie Sutter, Metro New York chapter: Sutter owns Luxe Alliances in New York City, which works to build strategic partnerships for brands across industries, including jewelry. She has been a member of the launch and repositioning teams for Vanity Fair, Connoisseur, Elle, The Four Seasons Hotel and the Social Register. 

Keri Campbell, New England chapter: Campbell is executive vice president of marketing and sales at Armbrust International in Providence, R.I. She is the president of the New England chapter.

Andrea Li, Colorado chapter: Li, of Andrea Li Designs, has been creating jewelry for 10 years. She has a hands-on approach to the entire process and never sketches her designs before the process of creation begins, with her hand-selected gemstones dictating the direction.

Diane Flora, Southwest chapter: Flora is the membership and education manager at the American Gem Trade Association, a graduate gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America and a certified gemologist appraiser of the American Gem Society. Prior to joining the AGTA, she was the AGS’ director of education and, before that, was an instructor at the GIA.

Debbie Hiss, Seattle Chapter: Hiss has an eponymous consulting company in Seattle that is currently working with the AGS, HRA/Crossworks, Canada’s largest diamond manufacturer, and MK Diamonds in Los Angeles. She also has worked at Lazare Kaplan International, Hearts on Fire and Forevermark.

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