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WJA Foundation Announces Recipients of Platinum Guild USA-Sponsored Responsible Business Education Grant

This will give these two WJA members the opportunity to enroll in a top-rated sustainability course.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — The Women’s Jewelry Association Foundation announces the first recipients of its new Responsible Business Education Grant: Megan Cochran and Mary Enright. This new grant, sponsored by Platinum Guild International USA, will give these two WJA members the opportunity to enroll in a top-rated sustainability course at New York University’s Stern School of Business Executive Education online program.

Megan Cochran is a multi-faceted, independent designer and jeweler based in Oceanside, CA. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and a Graduate Jeweler diploma and CAD / CAM certification from the Gemological Institute of America. With over fourteen years of experience as a designer and product developer for international brands and retailers, jewelry and design are her unequivocal passions. In 2020, she started her own business, Megan Cochran Jewelry Design, offering design and production services to small jewelry businesses invested in a more ethical approach to design and sourcing. She is a proud member and volunteer with Ethical Metalsmiths and the Women’s Jewelry Association, serving as Treasurer of the San Diego chapter.

Jewelry Designer and Master Goldsmith Mary Enright has almost two decades experience in the jewelry industry, both as designer and business owner. The success of her boutique style jewelry gallery and workshop in Ireland brought her much critical acclaim both nationally and internationally which led to a successful solo exhibition in New York in 2016. Shortly thereafter Mary moved to New York City and worked at Tiffany & Co as a model maker in their Jewelry Design and Innovation Workshop, Mary is currently a CAD/CAM Instructor at GIA. Mary is a member of the Women’s Jewelry Association, serving on the Diversity and Communication committees of the New York Metro chapter.

Jennifer Markas, WJA’s executive director, commented “WJA Foundation is optimistic about its forward-looking and innovative charitable approach with a focus on sustainability education. A partnership with Platinum Guild International USA extends the opportunity to support and develop more sustainability leaders within the industry.”

“PGI is proud to support WJA Foundation’s Responsible Sourcing & Sustainability Fund and its business education grant towards NYU programs,” shared Jenny Luker, president of Platinum Guild International USA. “We feel it is important for our industry to make a continued commitment toward sustainable practices in all levels of business, and the first place to start is education. We are excited to see the positive impact these opportunities will have on the recipients’ businesses.”

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Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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