(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK - The Women’s Jewelry Association elected Jenny Luker, president of Platinum Guild International, as the new president of the WJA International Board of Directors.
Joining Luker on the 2018 WJA Board's Executive Committee are newly elected officers: Sara Yood, senior counsel of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, as treasurer; Rebecca Moskal partner at Communique, as corporate secretary; and Lauren Thompson, associate director of communications and digital development at Jewelers of America, as vice president of chapter affairs. Also serving on the executive committee is immediate past president Brandee Dallow of Fine Girl Luxury Brand Building & Communications.
“I’m delighted to serve as the new president of the Women’s Jewelry Association,” said Luker. "We have a new executive committee and a board reflecting our diverse membership in terms of geography and segment of the industry. This gives us a chance to view our mission with fresh eyes. The range and depth of experience of our board members, and our strong regional chapters and affiliates are our greatest assets. I look forward to all that we will accomplish in the next two years.”
“Passion and commitment are hallmark characteristics of our dedicated board volunteers and chapter leaders,” said Bernadette Mack, WJA’s executive director. “WJA is fortunate to be the beneficiary of their professional and creative excellence.”
Four newcomers have also been elected to the WJA Board. They include Molly Bell, executive vice president of Rio Grande, a Berkshire Hathaway Company; Kendra Bridelle, director of sales at Frieda Rothman and former WJA president; Jacqueline Cassaway, vice president merchandising, watches and jewelry, Starboard Cruise Services, an LVHM Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Company; and Brenda Gamba, independent contractor at Brenda Gamba. Bridelle is serving as liaison to the board from the WJA Advisory Council. Gamba serves ex officio. She is the new president of the WJA Foundation board, which manages the grants and scholarships program as a separate 501(c)(3) organization.
The WJA board’s three U.S. regional directors bridge communications between the international board and each of the WJA chapters and include: Danielle Ingwer Cohen of Leo Ingwer (Eastern); Sara Commers of Commers Custom Jewelers (Central); and Jen Cullen Williams of Luxury Brand Group (Western).
Other WJA Board members continuing their service include: Regina Ciarleglio of Worthy; Craig Selimotic Danforth of GIA; Katie Dominesey of JCK Events; Peggy Jo Donahue of Peggy Jo Donahue, Writer; Monica Elias of Elias World Media; Rebecca Foerster of Leo Schachter & Co.; Myriam Gumuchian of Gumuchian; Desiree Hanson of Urban Expo; Hayley Henning of Greenland Ruby; Debbie Hiss of Debbie Hiss Consulting; Katy Jones of Signet Jewelers; Allison Neumann of Allison Neumann Studio; Kristie Nicolosi of The Kingswood Company; Erin O’Donnell of Emerald Expositions; Michelle Peranteau of Harry Winston; Maren Rosen of Stuller; Benjamin Smithee of The Smithee Group; Clare Ullman of Clare Ullman Designs; and Trina Woldt of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group.
WJA also honored its outgoing board members: Lita Asscher of Royal Asscher; Becka Johnson Kibby of The Edge Retail Academy; Fran Pennella of Benali Consulting; and Lisa Slovis-Mandel of Lisa Slovis Metalsmiths, former WJA Foundation president, who served ex officio.
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