NEW YORK — The intense heat and humidity last week didn’t stop the jewelry crowd from hitting the town for parties and events held in conjunction with the JA New York Summer Show.The festivities began last Sunday night, when retailers, jewelers and executives hobnobbed at the Women’s Jewelry Association dinner gala, which included a silent auction and awards ceremony. The annual event drew a lively crowd of more than 500 people, including jewelry designers such as Judith Ripka, Doris Panos, David Yurman and Stephen Webster.Every year, the WJA presents Awards for Excellence to women designers and executives in seven categories and inducts one woman into the WJA Hall of Fame.This year’s winners were:Barbara Berk, owner of Barbara Berk Designs for Design.Ann Schonwetter Arnold and Isabella Schonwetter Fiske, vice president and vice president of marketing for Lieberfarb Inc., based in Orange, N.J., for Manufacturer, Dealer or Supplier for Fine Jewelry, Gemstones or Metal.Stacie Orloff, president at Corum USA for Manufacturer, Dealer or Supplier for Watches.Mary Todd McGinnis, vice president at Ben Bridge Jeweler for Retailing.Elizabeth Florence, executive director at the Jewelry Information Center for Sales and Marketing.Jill Newman, jewelry editor, for Editorial, Reporting and Publishing.Gillian Schultz, vice president at Metronet Safe & Sound for Special Services and Education.Harriet Schreiner, who has just retired as executive vice president and general merchandise manager at the Sterling Jewelers chain, was this year’s Hall of Fame inductee. A well-regarded merchant in the industry, Schreiner has spent more than 40 years in the world of jewelry, rising through the ranks at Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Barry’s Jewelers before joining Sterling in 1996.In her speech, Schreiner noted the importance of looking ahead in life."It is remarkable to look back at our accomplishments and success and remember the good old days," she said. "But it’s also important to work hard for the future. I hope all of you will explore every new horizon."On Monday night, a cross section of jewelry designers and executives came out to celebrate Gold Virtuosi 2, a dinner and gala event. Held at the Hammerstein Ballroom here, the event celebrates the winners and designs from Gold Virtuosi 2, a global contest for gold jewelry designs, which this year drew more than 5,000 entries from around the world and resulted in 34 winners."The winning designs demonstrate a deep appreciation and understanding of the intrinsic versatility of gold as a design material," said John Calnon, senior vice president of jewelry for the Americas for World Gold Council, a co-sponsor of the GV2.Models floated around the ballroom wearing gold creations from designers such as Robert Lee Morris, Roberto Coin, Orlando Orlandini, Robert Bruce Bielka and Zoltan David.The event drew more than 400 designers and executives from throughout the jewelry and watch world, including Peter Webster of Roberto Coin, Daniel Bogue of Eurotime and Ben Feigenbaum of Locman Corp.Also at the event, the Italian Trade Commission gave out the Italian Jewelry Awards to press members and merchandisers in the U.S. jewelry community. This year, the award winners were Hal Rubenstein of In Style, Carmen Borgonovo of W magazine, Lorraine DePasque of Lustre magazine and Sue Atherhold of QVC.
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