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WJA Announces 2018 Awards for Excellence Visionaries




The gala will be held July 16.

The Women’s Jewelry Association has announced its new 2018 Visionary Award honorees for the association’s annual Awards for Excellence gala, to be held Monday, July 16, 2018. The gala will once again take place at Pier 60 on the Chelsea Piers in New York City. It will mark WJA’s 35th anniversary in the jewelry industry.

“The WJA Board voted to introduce its Visionary Awards as a way to mark our anniversary and to recognize individuals and organizations making a difference in the cause of women’s equality,” said Jenny Luker, WJA board president. “Our four awards will go to women who are the first to hold their high positions of leadership in their companies, and to organizations that are providing support and mentorship to women.”

The three individual WJA Visionary Awards will be bestowed on: Mercedes Abramo, president and CEO of Cartier North America; Caryl Capeci, president of Hearts On Fire; and Nadja Swarovski, the first female member of the executive board of Swarovski.

The fourth award will be given jointly to De Beers Group and UN Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. In 2017, De Beers Group announced a three-year partnership with UN Women to accelerate the advancement of women across its organization, in its diamond producing countries, and in its marketing. Accepting the award on behalf of their organizations will be Elizabeth Nyamayaro, head of UN Women’s “HeForShe” movement, as well as David Prager, executive vice president of corporate affairs for De Beers Group.

WJA Announces 2018 Awards for Excellence VisionariesMercedes Abramo began her career at Cartier as director of the flagship Fifth Avenue mansion after several years in luxury hospitality. She then served as assistant vice president of New York retail – overseeing all New York Cartier boutiques – and then as vice president of retail for all of North America. She was appointed president and CEO of Cartier North America in 2014. She serves on the board of directors of Jewelers of America and the advisory board of the Luxury Education Foundation, a public not-for-profit organization that focuses on educational programs for students in design and business. She is also a key advocate for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, an international business plan competition for women entrepreneurs, created in 2006 to identify, support, and encourage projects that solve contemporary global challenges.

Caryl Capeci began her career at N.W. Ayer and J. Walter Thompson, where she worked to create demand for diamond jewelry in the U.S. for De Beers Group. After joining Hearts On Fire as vice president, marketing, then chief marketing officer, she was named president of the company in 2015. Capeci is responsible for all company operations around the world and oversees the integration of HOF into the 2,200-door retail network of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, which acquired Hearts On Fire in 2014. She serves on the boards of Jewelers for Children and the Diamond Empowerment Fund. She is also a member of the Twenty-Four Karat Club of the City of New York.


Nadja Swarovski is the first female member of the executive board of Swarovski. She is the great-great-granddaughter of Daniel Swarovski, who founded the company in Austria in 1895. She leads the company’s global branding and communications, celebrating crystal through creative collaborations across fashion and jewelry, architecture and design, and stage and screen, as well as driving conscious luxury through the Atelier Swarovski brand, which created a charity bracelet with UN Women in 2016.

Swarovski also oversees the company’s sustainability agenda and chairs the Swarovski Foundation, both of which have a strong focus on promoting women’s empowerment.

She is an ambassador for Women for Women International, and, under her leadership, Swarovski has signed up to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles and the UN Global Compact.

WJA Announces 2018 Awards for Excellence Visionaries
Nadja Swarovski

 WJA Announces 2018 Awards for Excellence Visionaries
Caryl Capeci




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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