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WJA Announces Newly Elected 2023 International Board Members

Executives from David Yurman & De Beers Group join the board of directors.




WJA Announces Newly Elected 2023 International Board Members

(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK h— This week, the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) welcomed a new slate of members to its international Board of Directors. 

Seven newcomers have been elected to serve on the WJA Board in 2023. These new members include: Rebecca Boyajian, Director of Business Development at GIA; Monica Elias, CEO of Elias World Media; Rachel Goldflam, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at David Yurman; Lilly Mullen, President and CEO of Springer’s Jewelers; Lotanna Amina Okpukpara, Director and Gemologist of Mina Stones; Ivette Nersesyan-Stephanopoulos, Vice President of Code of Origin and Trade Services at De Beers; and Ted Taylor, Director of Individual Giving at Harlem School of the Arts.

Gabrielle Grazi, Vice President of Retail Strategy at Natural Diamond Council has also joined the board as ex-officio in the position of WJA Foundation President.

“By launching an open call for board nominations last fall, we were able to attract more diverse leaders from inside and outside our industry. Our board members are serving the organization at a pivotal time, and we are confident our esteemed board will help WJA continue to advance its fundraising and membership goals, and deliver high-impact programming to the industry in the years to come,” shares Susan Chandler, WJA president through 2023.

Over the past few years, WJA has transformed its member benefits by adding content-rich programming. Last year, for example, the organization organized its Women’s Executive Leadership Forum around Gen-Z research specifically for the jewelry and watch industry. WJA gathered executives to network and consider forward-looking ideas and innovative perspectives to embed into their businesses. Other programs include WJA’s Generating Community Impact diversity education breakfast launched at JCK Vegas in 2022, WJA’s online Masterclasses, and WJA’s nationwide business development program, the Jewelry Loupe Project. WJA board members will be instrumental in developing high caliber events, such as these, to attract and retain members, and to meet the changing needs of the industry.

WJA also honored its outgoing board members who completed their terms: Brandee Dallow 
Chief Communications & Sustainability Officer at Grandview Klein Diamond Group; Myriam Gumuchian-Schreiber of Gumuchian; Jen Cullen Williams of Jen Cullen Williams Communications + Consulting; and Sara Yood of Jewelers Vigilance Committee.


Visit here to see a full list of WJA’s current board members.



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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