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Jewelry Group Names Hall of Fame Honorees




They’ll be recognized on July 24.

(Press Release) POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – The Women’s Jewelry Association has announced its Hall of Fame honorees for the association’s annual Awards for Excellence gala, to be held July 24. The gala will return to Pier 60 on the Chelsea Piers in New York City. 

  • Cecilia Gardner, president, CEO, and general counsel of the 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 the Corporate Award.

Gardner has served the Jewelers Vigilance Committee for nearly two decades. Her leadership of the not-for-profit trade association helped put JVC at the forefront of some of the most complex issues related to compliance and ethics in the jewelry industry. INSTORE GardnerGardnerGardner served as general counsel to the World Diamond Council from 2000-2015, an industry group that worked with governments and non-governmental organizations to craft the Kimberley Process and System of Warranties. She also became general counsel for the U.S. Kimberley Process Authority. During her tenure, Gardner also led the JVC in efforts concerning the under-karating of precious metals, the disclosure of diamond and gemstone treatments, the standards used by appraisers, the enactment of anti-money laundering programs, and a comprehensive review of the FTC Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries. She also served on many industry boards.

With over 40 years in retail management, developing seven luxury jewelry and watch stores, Pollak has focused most of his resources on a combination of business strategy and vision, philanthropy and the omni-channel future of a disrupted retail marketplace. INSTORE PollakPollakPollak also founded Diamonds in the Rough, raising nearly $2.5 million to support the efforts of youth-based non-profits and local charities. He was named a National Jeweler Retailer Hall of Fame award winner in 2008, and an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999. He has served on the boards of Diamond Empowerment Fund, Jewelers of America and Natural Color Diamond Association, and he is a former president of Luxury Jewelers Resource Group.

Day’s Jewelers is a family-owned jewelry chain with seven jewelry stores throughout Maine and New Hampshire. The company has been in business for over 100 years and since 1988 has been owned by Jim, Kathy and Jeff Corey, with David Harris serving as president. INSTORE DayThe executive team at Day’s Jewelers (L-R): Jim Corey, David Harris, Kathy Corey and Jeff Corey.Known for its core set of values, Day’s Jewelers is a standout in the jewelry industry for its integrity, transparency and responsible business practices and is a certified member of Responsible Jewellery Council. The company has received several honors, including: the 2016 “Retailer of the Year” by the Retail Association of Maine, America’s Best Jewelers recognition by National Jeweler, and the 2009 WJA Awards for Excellence Retailer of the Year.
At its annual gala, WJA also will present Awards for Excellence in retail, design, manufacturing, sales, marketing and communications and editorial categories.

“It is my utmost pleasure to be a part of honoring such a distinguished group of individuals during the 2017 Awards for Excellence,” said Brandee Dallow, WJA President. “Returning to Chelsea Piers with this trio of award winners is most certainly going to make for a fabulous evening.”

At its gala, WJA brings together industry leaders for a social evening that raises money for scholarships and grants for deserving women entering or working in our industry. A Silent Auction will again be mounted to raise additional funds for these important causes. Tickets and sponsorships will go on sale later this year.




She Wanted to Spend More Time with Her Kids. She Called Wilkerson.

Your children are precious. More precious than gold? Absolutely! Just ask Lesley Ann Davis, owner of Lesley Ann Jewels, an independent jewelry store that — until the end of 2023 — had quite a following in Houston, Texas. To spend more time with her four sons, all in high school, she decided to close her store. Luckily, she was familiar with Wilkerson and called them as soon as she knew she wanted to move on to bigger, better and more family-focused things. Was she happy with her decision? Yes, she was. Says Davis, “Any owner looking to make that life change, looking to retire, looking to close, looking for a pause in their career, I would recommend Wilkerson. Hands down!”

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