WJA Recognizes Shining Stars on March 10

At WJA In The Spotlight evening celebration, 
association recognizes outstanding volunteers 

The Women's Jewelry Association announces the winners of its 2016 Shining Star awards, which annually recognize a member from each regional chapter who has given extraordinary service to her chapter in the previous year. The winners receive an expenses-paid trip to New York City, where they will be honored on March 10 at a special In The Spotlight evening event at Convene, 730 Third Avenue, 27th Floor, New York City, from 5:30-7:30 pm.

Convene is also the venue for the 2016 WJA In The Know Conference, WJA's signature, day-long educational event. Tickets for both events can be obtained here.

"Congratulations to WJA's dedicated volunteers, who give of their precious time to help women in the jewelry and watch industries advance and develop professionally through networking, education, and leadership development," says WJA President Brandee Dallow. "These individuals embody WJA's mission and we look forward to honoring them."

The Shining Stars for 2016 are listed below in alphabetical order, by chapter:

Martha Seely - Boston
Martha Seely of Martha Seely Designs earned her MFA in Costume Design from Carnegie Mellon University, and began her design career as a costume designer and wardrobe stylist for theater, film and television. Her understanding of clothing and fashion translates into jewelry designs that harmonize and enhance a woman's style. Her jewelry design goal is to create wearable elegance for today's woman. Abstract, elegant and refined with a bit of fun and movement, her jewelry speaks to the success of the wearer in her many varied roles in life. Seely's work in jewelry and metal evolved through training begun in 2007. Martha has studied with master jewelers exploring and refining the techniques of fold forming, hammering, stone setting, wire weaving and cold connections. Since 2012 her work has been carried in galleries and at various retail events and venues. For WJA Boston, Seely serves as co-chair of the events committee.

Rebecca Hinrichs Reynoso - Chicago
Rebecca Hinrichs Reynoso of A.VER.FOTO came to the jewelry industry in 2007 by the referral of friends after years in restaurant management. She began pursuing photography, a legacy from her landscape photographer father. Jewelry and photography was a difficult challenge, but a skill she felt was worth pursuing in the industry. Accentuating designs and bringing gems to life, she feels, gives her a chance to "make light do its best work in the smallest of details. I love both the challenge and the opportunity to get to know each work of art at a level only the artist and the buyer will ever know." Hinrichs Reynoso also enjoys the passion of the industry, the strong sense of community, and the appreciation of tradition in the craft. She launched A.VER.FOTO in January 2015, and opened a studio in Chicago's Jewelers Row. Her clients' photos have been published in international, national, and local press releases, and in a variety of art, trade & charity magazines such as Chicago magazine, Eclat International, the Chicago Sun-Times' Splash, and Mid-America Jeweler.

Jackie Brooks - Colorado
Jackie Brooks of Bottom Line Marketing started her career in the jewelry industry at 21. Coming out of Northwood University with a degree in fashion marketing, she landed in New York City with two suitcases, a little luck, and an extremely snazzy cover letter. Her first job in jewelry was in 2006 when she was hired in the wholesale division of H. Stern. Brooks then joined Beny Sofer to lead the curation of Sofer Jewelry, then worked for retailer Diamond Cellar as a fashion jewelry buyer. Today Brooks works in her family's advertising business, Bottom Line Marketing, where she oversees the jewelry division and creative department. Bottom Line works for both wholesale and retail brands with an emphasis on custom digital and traditional media. Brooks chairs the scholarship committee for WJA Colorado.

Robert Loving - Dallas
Robert Loving is the Vice President of Sales at Time Delay Corp., Dallas, TX, a thirty-seven year old company servicing the watch industry. Loving joined the family business in 1991 after being in pharmaceutical sales for 20 years. He enjoys playing golf and traveling in his spare time away from the jewelry show circuit

Sabrina Bindra - Los Angeles

Sabrina Bindra is director of sales and marketing at B&B Fine Gems, a company her father started over 30 years ago. B&B is a primary source for exceptional and rare gems servicing some of the largest jewelry houses in the world. Bindra is a Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) and an Accredited Jewelry Professional, both titles earned at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). She is highly active in trade organizations and believes in giving back to the community that has given her so much. Currently the co-president of the WJA Los Angeles chapter, she previous served as its event and social chair. While a student at GIA, Bindra was a committee member of the WJA San Diego chapter. She is also an active member of the 24 Karat Club of Southern California, the GIA Alumni Association, and the Indian Diamond and Colored Stone Association.

Jennifer Heebner - New York Metro
Jennifer Heebner is JCK magazine's market editor, covering new jewelry and trends for both the print magazine and JCKonline.com. She travels to major fine jewelry shows around the world to stay current with design, follows international fashion week trends to interpret the relationship between jewelry and clothes, and then explains how they work hand-in-hand for the seasons ahead. She is an award-winning journalist, writing about jewelry-industry-specific business issues as they relate to retailers.

Sarah Thomas - NorCal

Sarah Thomas of Jahan Diamonds on the Square is a GIA Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) working in the San Francisco jewelry industry. She has been selling luxury jewelry and interacting with leading designers for the past 9 years. Thomas is currently working in client relations and business development for Jahan Diamonds. As an active board member with the Northern California WJA chapter, Thomas focuses her efforts on special events and improving the member experience. She enjoys attending lectures and networking with the local Golden Gate chapter of the GIA Alumni Association.

Meg Carroll - OH/KY
Meg Carroll of Meg C Jewelry Gallery has been honing her skills as a metalsmith and designer of fine jewelry for 10 years. Originally from Long Island, Carroll graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York with a degree in jewelry design. She continued her studies at several trade schools, including New Approach School for Jewelers. She opened her own store, Meg C Jewelry Gallery, in 2012, now a part of Lexington's thriving downtown arts scene. Carroll routinely works with platinum, gold, silver, and one-of-a-kind ethically sourced stones. In addition to her collection, she creates custom-designed pieces for clients. Her gallery offers five distinct collections of jewelry in addition to her own, and you can almost always find her working at the bench alongside her one-of-a-kind pieces at Meg C Jewelry Gallery. For WJA OH/KY, she serves as publicity/communications chair.

Maureen Murphy - Providence
Maureen Murphy earned her A.S. in accounting and B.S. in management from Bryant College, and began working for Lee's Manufacturing, a precious metals findings company, the same year she graduated in 1978. After working the first few years as office manager, she took on a role of inside sales and customer service and held that position for over 20 years. Murphy enjoyed the interaction with the customers, and the job enabled her to thoroughly learn and become familiar with the product line. For the past four years, she has been vault supervisor, overseeing inventory control, shipping, and invoicing. Murphy has been a member of the WJA Providence chapter for four years, serving on the board first as program and now as secretary.

Pheap Lorn-Canossi - San Diego
Pheap Lorn-Canossi is founder of Phenomenon Jewels, an award-winning custom jewelry design business incorporating bold, colorful gems cut by gem artists. Born in Thailand, she immigrated to the U.S. at the age of four. At 15, she realized her childhood dream of giving back to her community through non-profit work, when she founded and successfully ran Creative Options K.I.D.S. (knowledge, integrity, determination and success), a leadership-training program for youth. In college, she worked part-time at Mark Schneider Design where she discovered a passion for colored gemstones, sales and jewelry design. Lorn-Canossi then worked for a large bridal company in the San Gabriel Valley as department manager, where she oversaw customer service, special orders and repairs. With a growing interest in jewelry and design, she completed her GIA Graduate Diamonds diploma in 2013 and received her diploma for Jewelry Design & Technology on campus in 2014. She recently received a Gemmy award from Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist for her "Majestic Sunset" ametrine ring. Lorn-Canossi currently serves as WJA San Diego's secretary and public relations chair.

Jessica Neiwert - Seattle
Jessica Neiwert is an internationally recognized fine jewelry designer, known for her eye for aesthetics and a history of successful design collaborations with esteemed bridal and luxury brands. Her artistic vision is deeply rooted in her life-long admiration for the natural world, which inspired her study of gemology and fine jewelry manufacturing at the Gemological Institute of America. Her self-taught creative process contributes to her unique aesthetic. In addition to her work with jewelry, Neiwert freelances in graphic design, photography and illustration. Neiwert founded the Seattle chapter of the Women's Jewelry Association and continues to serve on its board.

Carol Brady - Twin Cities
Carol Brady earned a college degree in sales and marketing and pursued her dream of working in the jewelry industry at a local family-owned jewelry store where she began in sales and then added the role of goldsmith to her resume. In 1992 she joined Exclusively Diamonds in Mankato MN. Carol has continued to take classes through the Gemological Institute of America and the American Gem Society. Brady believes the foundation of her effectiveness is networking and supporting the industry. She serves on the boards of the Minnesota - North Dakota Jewelers Association, the Women's Jewelry Association-Twin Cities Chapter, and has served on the board of the GIA Alumni Association. "I live and breathe jewelry. In my free time I enjoy building relationships with customers and thrive on for filling their jewelry wants and desires, " she says. She also serves on many local boards and is very active with many organizations in her community.
About the Women's Jewelry Association
WJA's mission is to help women in the jewelry and watch industries advance and develop professionally through networking, education, leadership development, and the provision of member services. For more information, visit www.womensjewelryassociation.com
Lauren Thompson
WJA Public Relations Coordinator
(646) 658-5817


Women's Jewelry Association | 80 Washington Street | Suite 205 | Poughkeepsie | NY | 12601