I was happy to be there to applaud my friend in the business, the beautiful and always competent Helena Krodel, from the Jewelry Information Center, who received the Award for Excellence in Marketing and Communications.
Other awards were given to industry masterminds like Susan Jacques, president of Borsheims, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award; James Courage, chief executive of Platinum Guild International (PGI), who received the Ben Kaiser Lifetime Achievement Award; and Fiona Tilley, who co-launched Gurhan with her husband, the brand’s namesake designer, who took home the award in the category of Manufacturer/Dealer/Supplier.
Jewelry designer and powerful entrepreneur Ivanka Trump presented the Corporate Award for Excellence to JCK Events and JCK Magazine. Trump’s jewelry line, Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, has been a smashing success with expansion into the wholesale business and news that handbags and shoes are next, according to Women’s Wear Daily.
Other WJA category winners include:
- Sarah Graham, the designer behind Sarah Graham Metalsmithing, won the award in the category of Design: Fine Jewelry and Watches.
- Aida Alvarez, senior vice president of merchandising for Birks and Mayors, won for the category of Retail: 15 stores or More.
- Lula Halfacre, owner of Traditional Jewelers in Newport Beach, Calif., won in the category of Retail: Fewer than 15 stores.
- Shayne Kiesbuy, national sales director for Erica Courtney, was the winner in the category of Sales and Merchandising.
- Tanya Dukes, director of fashion, accessories and fine jewelry coverage for Elite Traveler won in the category of Editorial/Reporting/Publishing.
- Ruth Batson, executive director and chief executive officer of the American Gem Society won in the Special Services category.