Awards for Excellence

Click on the image below to watch our 2021 Awards for Excellence Program Recording

Click on the image below to view our
 2021 Awards for Excellence Photo Gallery

Click on the image below to view our 2021 Awards for Excellence Journal


2021 Awards for excellence gala

On Wednesday, October 20th, the Women's Jewelry Association held its Awards for Excellence fundraiser at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York City and virtually across our 25 chapters in North America. The evening showcased this year's event theme, Building Resilience through Responsible Business, and highlighted our innovative programming focused on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Responsible Sourcing & Sustainability, and Leadership Development.

The VIP fundraiser gathered together 200 guests in-person and hundreds more virtually for an evening of networking and to celebrate the accomplishments of our two honorees, Karen Goracke (President and CEO of Borsheims) and Fern Mallis (Creator of New York Fashion Week).


Karen Goracke has had a lengthy and distinguished career at Borsheims Fine Jewelry and Gifts, one of the country’s largest independent jewelry stores.  Before being named President and CEO by Warren Buffett, Karen served in a variety of roles focused on inventory management and sales.  She possesses an intricate depth of knowledge not only of Borsheims, but of the worldwide jewelry industry. Karen is also a Director with Mountain Province Diamonds of Canada and Chair of Remuneration Committee and Governance Committee.  She serves on the Executive Board of Directors for Jewelers of America and is the Chair of the Investment Committee in conjunction with JP Morgan.  Karen is a Director with Jewelers for Children and serves on the Fundraising Committee.  Karen participates as a Panelist on the Federal Reserve, Bank of Kansas City and has previously served as a Director on the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.  In 2018, after being nominated by her colleagues, she was recognized by the Women’s Center for Advancement as one of the 10 outstanding women in Omaha and served as Honorary Chair in 2020. Karen was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska.  She resides in Omaha with her husband, Bruce and together they have 3 sons.

Hailed as the award-winning creator of NEW YORK FASHION WEEK, Fern Mallis has been called an industry titan, Fashion doyenne, and the godmother of Fashion. After two decades at the CFDA and IMG Fashion, Fern is currently President of her own fashion and design consultancy and serves on the board of the FIT Foundation. She also famously hosts the acclaimed 92Y interview series "Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis." She is the author of Fashion Lives with Fern Mallis and working on a sequel Fashion Lives that will be published in Spring 2022.


Thank you to our 2021 event sponsors

Thank you to our 2021 AUCTION sponsors

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact WJA Executive Director, Jennifer Markas, at