New York–The Women’s Jewelry Association has elected Brandee Dallow, director of the Rio Tinto Diamonds North America Representative Office, as the new president of its international board of directors while PGI USA President Jenny Luker is the new president-elect.
Dallow succeeds Luxe Intelligence’s Andrea Hansen, who served as WJA president for two years.
Joining Dallow, Luker and Hansen on the 2016/2017 WJA Board’s Executive Committee are Kristie Nicolosi of The Kingswood Company as treasurer, Michelle Peranteau of Baume & Mercier as vice president of administration and Desiree Hanson of the NPD Group as vice president of chapter affairs.
Dallow said it was an honor to be chosen to lead the WJA for the next two years.
“I am looking forward to working alongside such a fantastic, diverse group of board members to further the mission of our great organization–developing creative and impactful programs and initiatives that inspire the next generation of female leaders in our industry,” she said.
The WJA also elected three U.S. regional directors to further bridge communications between the international board and each of the WJA chapters: Danielle Ingwer Cohen of Leo Ingwer (eastern region); Sara Commers of Commers Custom Jewelry (central); and Clare Ullman of Clare Ullman Designs (western.)
In addition, for the first time in the organization’s history, the WJA has elected two men to its board.
Craig Danforth of the Gemological Institute of America and Ben Smithee of The Smithee Group join Cohen and Commers on the board along with Monica Elias of Elias World Media (EWM); Rebecca Moskal of Communique; Erin O’Donnell of Emerald Expositions; Maren Rosen of Stuller; Lauren Thompson of Jewelers of America; and Deborah Yonick of Yonick Writing Co. Yonick is director of WJA Unplugged, a group formed to link WJA members not geographically located near any chapter.
WJA Board members continuing for additional two-year terms include: Lita Asscher of Royal Asscher, international affairs co-chair; Ruth Batson of the American Gem Society; Katie Dominesey of JCK Events; Peggy Jo Donahue of Donahue Communications, communications chair; Cindy Edelstein of Jeweler’s Resource Bureau, membership co-chair; Suzan Flamm of Jewelers Vigilance Committee, bylaws co-chair; Hayley Henning of True North Gems, international affairs co-chair; Debbie Hiss of Debbie Hiss Consulting, mentorship chair; Natalie Humphrey of Forevermark, events co-chair; Becka Johnson Kibby of The Edge Retail Academy, new chapter development chair; Regina Leadem, luxury goods consultant; Allison Neumann of Allison Neumann Studio, bylaws co-chair; Michelle Orman of Last Word Communications; and Fran Pennella of Benali Consulting, membership co-chair.
Serving as director ex-officio is Lisa Slovis-Mandel of Lisa Slovis Metalsmiths, WJA Foundation president, who also is taking on the latter role for the first time.
Retiring board members include WJA Past Presidents Ann Arnold, Phyllis Bergman, Kendra Bridelle, Tryna Kochanek, Anna Martin, and Yancy Weinrich. Other members rotating off the board include Lisa Cochin, Peggy Kirby, Nancy Moeller, Janel Russell, and Diane Warga-Arias. Arnold also concluded her two-year term as president of the WJA Foundation.