INDUSTRY NIGHT: It was a rowdy bunch at the 29th annual Women’s Jewelry Association Awards for Excellence Gala, “A Night to Remember,” held Monday evening at Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers in New York City. In her introductory remarks, International WJA president Tryna Kochanek tried to calm down the boisterous crowd — which included more than 600 guests who ranged from Ivanka Trump to executives from event sponsors Sterling Jewelers Inc., JCK Nielsen Jewelry Group, Rio Tinto Diamonds, Jewelers Mutual Insurance and Le Vian.
During the dinner, recipients for WJA’s student scholarships and member grants were revealed, as well as awards for excellence named in categories such as Design — Fine Jewelry & Watches (Kara Ross); Manufacturer/Dealer/Supplier for Fine Jewelry/Gemstones/Metals/Watches (Andrea Hansen, former chief executive officer of Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry); Retail for 15 Doors or More (Kohl’s Laura Swan), Fewer than 15 Doors (Cornell’s Jewelers’ Olivia Cornell) and Non-Traditional (QVC’s Debra Puzio); Sales & Merchandising (Frederick Goldman Inc.’s Jan Goldman); Marketing & Communications (Forevermark USA’s Lisa Cochin); Media (WWD’s senior accessories editor Roxanne Robinson-Escriout) and Special Services (AGTA’s Mary Lou Keen).
Other awards were presented to those the WJA recognized as especially supporting women in the industry. The 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award went to marketing director of Roberto Coin SpA, Pilar Cabo Coin; the Corporate Award for Excellence to Rio Tinto and the 2012 Ben Kaiser Lifetime Achievement Award to former president and ceo of Birks & Mayors, Thomas A. Andruskevich.