New York—Designer Kara Ross, known for her luxury handbags, leathergoods and jewelry, received design excellence honors on Monday night during the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA)’s 29th Annual Awards for Excellence dinner.
Held at Pier 60 at the Chelsea Piers, the event honors jewelry industry leaders in nine categories as well as raises money for WJA’s scholarships and programs.
Besides Ross who was cited for her fine jewelry creations, Pilar Coin of Roberto Coin was named as the 2012 Hall of Fame honoree. Thomas Andruskevich, former chairman of Birks & Mayors received the Ben Kaiser Award and the Corporate Award for Excellence went to Rio Tinto Diamonds.
Among the other honored for “inspiring women around the world be to the best” were:
Manufacturer of Fine Jewelry: Andrea Hansen, former ceo at Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry
Retail (15 doors or more) Laura Swan, Kohl’s
Retail (Fewer than 15 doors): Olivia Cornell, Cornell’s Jewelers
Retail–Non-Traditional: Debra Puzio, QVC
Sales and Merchandising: Jan English, Frederick Goldman
Marketing and Communications: Lisa Cochin, Forevermark USA
Media: Roxanne Robinson, WWD
Special Services: Mary Lou Keen, American Gem Trade Association (AGTA)
Founded in 1983, WJA is the largest association of professional women in the jewelry, watch and related industries. Based in New York City, the WJA has 12 regional chapters in the United States, the India chapter and an international affiliate chapter in Italy. Members benefit from educational and networking opportunities, scholarships, grants, design competitions, an annual business conference and recognition programs such as the annual Awards for Excellence. womensjewelryassociation.com