WJA Names 2017 Hall of Fame Honorees

WJA Names 2017 Hall of Fame Honorees

Poughkeepsie, N.Y.–The Women’s Jewelry Association has announced the Hall of Fame honorees for its annual Awards for Excellence gala this summer.

Cecilia Gardner, president and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award; Michael Pollak, CEO of Hyde Park Jewelers, will receive the Ben Kaiser Award; and Day’s Jewelers will receive the Corporate Award.

Gardner has been with the JVC for almost two decades, and her leadership helped put the association at the forefront of some of the industry’s most complex issues surrounding compliance and ethics.

She led the organization in its efforts around the under-karating of precious metals, the disclosure of diamond and gemstone treatments, standards used by appraisers, the enactment of anti-money laundering programs and a comprehensive review of the FTC Guides for the jewelry, precious metals and pewter industries.

Gardner also served as general counsel to the World Diamond Council from 2000 to 2015, became general counsel for the United States Kimberley Process Authority (USKPA) and served on many industry boards.

Ben Kaiser Award recipient Pollak has more than 40 years’ experience in retail management, developing a total of seven luxury jewelry and watch stores, with a focus on a combination of business strategy and vision, philanthropy, and the future of retail and omnichannel.

He founded Diamonds in the Rough, raising nearly $2.5 million to support the efforts of youth-based nonprofits and local charities, and is a former president of Luxury Jewelers Resource Group.

Pollak was inducted into National Jeweler’s Retailer Hall of Fame in 2008 and was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999. He has served on the boards of Diamond Empowerment Fund, Jewelers of America and the Natural Color Diamond Association.

WJA Names 2017 Hall of Fame HonoreesWaterville, Maine-based Day’s Jewelers be honored with the Corporate Award at this summer’s WJA Awards for Excellence. Pictured here, from left, is the store’s executive team, Jim Corey, David Harris, Kathy Corey and Jeff Corey. 
Corporate Award honoree Day’s Jewelers, meanwhile, is a family-owned jewelry chain with seven jewelry stores throughout Maine and New Hampshire.

The company has been in business for more than 100 years and has been owned by Jim, Kathy and Jeff Corey since 1988, with David Harris now serving as president.

The WJA said Day’s is a “standout in the jewelry industry for its integrity, transparency and responsible business practices.

The jeweler is a certified member of Responsible Jewellery Council and has received a number of honors including the 2016 “Retailer of the Year” award from the the Retail Association of Maine, recognition as one of America’s Best Jewelers by National Jeweler, and the WJA’s 2009 Retailer of the Year award.

The WJA’s 2017 Awards for Excellence will be held Monday, July 24, returning to the Chelsea Piers in New York.

During the event, the WJA also will present awards in retail, design, manufacturing, sales, marketing and communications and editorial categories. The nominees in those categories haven’t been announced yet.

The Awards for Excellence also serves to help raise money for scholarships and grants for deserving women entering or working in the jewelry industry. A silent auction will be held to raise additional funds.

Tickets and sponsorships for the gala will go on sale later this year.

“It is my utmost pleasure to be a part of honoring such a distinguished group of individuals during the 2017 Awards for Excellence,” WJA President Brandee Dallow said. “Returning to Chelsea Piers with this trio of award winners is most certainly going to make for a fabulous evening.”

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