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WJA Opens Awards for Excellence Gala Ticket Sales with Early-Bird Pricing through September 2021

The fundraiser will directly support WJA’s diversity, equity and inclusion programs, and responsible business and sustainability education scholarships for its members.




(PRESS RELEASE) On October 20, 2021, the Women’s Jewelry Association will host its annual Awards for Excellence Gala at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York City. The VIP fundraiser will dazzle with an exclusive, in-person event as well as offer hundreds more the opportunity to tune-in virtually for an evening of networking and to celebrate its two Visionary Award winners: Karen Goracke, CEO of Borsheims, and Fern Mallis, creator of New York Fashion Week.

Tickets are currently available on the WJA website for the in-person and virtual events with early-bird pricing in effect through the end of September. A portion of the ticket sales will directly benefit The Women’s Jewelry Association Foundation, Inc. a 501(c)3 corporation created to support WJA’s mission of providing educational scholarships and business grants that allow women to reach their full career potential.

Sponsorships are also available to support the fundraising event and WJA’s myriad of programs, including its Conversations on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion events, and WJA’s Masterclass leadership development series.

During the event, WJA will share the importance of operating a responsible and sustainably-minded business and will showcase how its industry partners have embraced this business model. WJA Foundation will invite guests to learn more about its innovative and forward-looking Responsible Sourcing & Sustainability Fund which enables industry leaders, emerging designers and students to apply for scholarships to attend New York University’s world-renowned, online sustainability programs.

In-person attendees can expect an extended cocktail hour, theater-style awards program, and an after-party offering ample time to mingle with industry leaders and colleagues. The virtual Awards for Excellence Gala will include the full in-person program, including the awards ceremony. Participants will also hear from a special keynote speaker, Tensie Whelan, the former President of Rainforest Alliance and the current Director of New York University’s Center for Sustainable Business. She will outline the growing importance of sustainability practices in business, and the opportunities that exist for the jewelry and watch industry to embed these practices in its business models.

In-person and virtual tickets are available at:


WJA invites companies that foster responsible business practices to join as sponsors for its gala. More information can be found here:

Donations to WJA Foundation can be made directly here:

An additional way to support WJA is through its online auction opening on October 1, 2021. Details will be forthcoming.



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

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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