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WJA Foundation Establishes the Hedda Schupak-Baum Memorial Media and Communications Scholarship

The new scholarship aims to support aspiring media and communications professionals pursuing careers in journalism, PR, communications and media.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) Foundation announces the establishment of the Hedda Schupak-Baum Memorial Media and Communications Scholarship in honor of the late Hedda Schupak-Baum, a leader and legend in the jewelry industry. With her remarkable contributions as a journalist, Hedda left an indelible mark, captivating audiences with her insightful articles and unwavering dedication to storytelling. Hedda, aged 62, passed away on October 3rd, 2023, due to complications from lung cancer, leaving behind a legacy of love and dedication that touched countless lives. As a tribute to her legacy, WJA is launching a memorial scholarship, coinciding with Women’s History Month, in honor of a member who broke barriers and was both recording and making history.

The new scholarship aims to support aspiring journalists, media professionals, content creators, and communicators. Eligible candidates will be encouraged to apply their skills in the fine jewelry and watch industries, infusing fresh talent and expertise into the field. “As we launch this scholarship in her memory, we are reminded of Hedda’s invaluable contributions to our industry, her unwavering commitment to storytelling, and her enduring impact on the lives she touched….in honoring Hedda’s memory, we honor the power of storytelling to inspire, inform, and connect us all,” says Nikia Levesque, VP of Marketing for Day’s Jewelers and WJA Foundation Vice President.

Hedda’s influence extended beyond her roles as the longtime editor-in-chief of JCK magazine and later The Centurion newsletter. Colleagues remember her style, yet it was her warmth, wit, and spirit that endeared her to many. Beyond her undeniable charm, Hedda possessed an insatiable curiosity about jewels. She championed young designers and tirelessly worked to elevate the industry through her writing and advocacy. Her integrity was unwavering, earning her respect and admiration from her peers.

The namesake scholarship, funded for $25,000 over a five-year period, is made possible through the generous contributions of sponsors who share a commitment to nurturing talent and fostering diversity within the industry. Sponsors will have the opportunity to participate in the selection process, ensuring that recipients embody Hedda’s spirit of excellence and dedication. Contributors include: Jim Baum, Howard and Patti Hauben, Elias World Media, JCK, Instore, Cliq Jewelry, Jewelers of America, National Jeweler, FIT Alumni Association, Jewelers Collective, Russell Shor, and Bill Boyajian. “We are proud to establish the Hedda Schupak-Baum Memorial Media and Communications Scholarship, honoring a trailblazer whose passion for storytelling enriched the jewelry industry,” said Gena Alulis, CEO of Cliq Jewelry. “Hedda’s exemplary career and commitment to women’s empowerment serve as an inspiration to future generations of journalists and communicators.”

Reflecting on Hedda’s profound impact, Linda Orlick, Co-Founder of WJA, remarked, “Hedda Schupak was one of the very first journalists I met early on in my over 40-year career in the fine jewelry industry. Hedda’s passion and love for the industry was inspiring to all who crossed her path. I will cherish the friendship that grew over the years. Her journalistic influence in the world of fine jewelry was far-reaching and continues.”

Jim Baum, Hedda’s husband, expressed gratitude, stating, “Hedda was a journalist whose coverage of the jewelry industry educated and informed a generation of retailers and designers. She was passionate about this industry and proud of the role that women leaders played in its success. WJA was near and dear to Hedda’s heart and to know that her legacy will live on through this scholarship would have meant the world to her as it does to me.”

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Hedda Schupak-Baum left behind a legacy of warmth, wit, and dedication to her craft. As a journalist and editor, she earned numerous accolades and was inducted into the Women’s Jewelry Association’s Hall of Fame in 2006. The Hedda Schupak-Baum Memorial Media and Communications Scholarship will continue Hedda’s legacy of excellence and serve as a beacon of inspiration for future generations of journalists and communicators in the jewelry and watch industries.

To inquire about contributing to this fund or other WJA scholarships and grants, email info@womensjewelryassociation.com to be put in contact with Jim Baum or Linda Orlick.

About the Women’s Jewelry Association

The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) is a trailblazing organization dedicated to empowering and advancing women within the jewelry and watch industries. In 1983, WJA was founded on the belief that women could create lasting change by connecting, mentoring, and recognizing one another’s accomplishments. Today, WJA stands as a global network of professionals spanning diverse roles, from designers and manufacturers to retailers and media representatives. The organization’s mission is to facilitate professional growth through networking, education, leadership development, and a wide range of member services. Through its numerous chapters across the U.S. and around the world, WJA offers a spectrum of benefits, including networking events, educational programs, mentoring initiatives, scholarships, and grants. For more information about WJA, or to become a member, visit www.womensjewelryassociation.com.

About the Women’s Jewelry Association Foundation

The WJA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA), dedicated to furthering the organization’s mission of providing women in the jewelry and watch industries with educational and business opportunities to help them achieve their full career potential. The Foundation operates as a 501(c)(3) corporation, actively engaging individuals and corporations to contribute and make meaningful impact through the distribution of scholarships and grants.

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