During the last week of July, I had the opportunity to travel to NYC for work (and for fun – how can you be in New York and not have fun?). The week began early Monday morning with the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) National Board meeting. This wonderful organization supports women in the jewelry industry by offering mentoring, scholarships and networking opportunities throughout the world. I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of this organization.
The WJA Board meetings are always stimulating for me, and this time was no exception. As I looked around the table, I saw friends, acquaintances and talented women from across the country. I saw women with vision for the organization and women with the skills to execute that vision. I saw doers and leaders; mothers and daughters; entrepreneurs and corporate CEOs. I saw women who inspire others to participate, to give, to lead, to mentor, to serve and to grow.
And as I took in all the talent and dedication in the room, I also recognized the gift of time. In a world where everyone is so, so, so, so, so busy, the commitment of these women to serve others, to give selflessly of their time and talent, was and is inspiring.
That evening, the annual WJA Awards of Excellence dinner was held on Chelsea Pier in Manhattan. Widely recognized as one of the best networking events in the industry, the dinner brings together established executives, successful entrepreneurs and aspiring women and men from all aspects of the retail jewelry industry nationwide. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit with customers, both new and old, to see long-time friends, and make a few new ones. It was a wonderful evening that celebrated the successes and hard work of many women across the country, and it was a delight to share in the success. The team effort required to pull off such a successful event with such style and power was awesome.
Congratulations to all of the winners celebrated that evening, and to all of the other nominees in each of the categories. And, kudos to the women of the WJA for establishing an event that not only celebrates the success of women throughout the industry, but which creates an opportunity for new relationships to flourish – all while raising many thousands of dollars for scholarships. For more information about the WJA, visit here. More on the rest of my trip later…
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