Awards for Excellence: Visionaries 2018

Each summer, the Women's Jewelry Association celebrates jewelry industry leaders at its annual Awards for Excellence. The gala event is WJA’s primary channel to raise funds for its scholarships and grants. The 2017 gala raised nearly $30,000 for the WJA Foundation's 2018 scholarship and grant program. 

2018 Awards for Excellence

JULY 16, 2018 | Pier 60, New York



THe 2018 WJA Visionaries

Mercedes Abramo began her career at Cartier as director of the flagship Fifth Avenue mansion, after several years in luxury hospitality. She then served as assistant vice president of New York retail – overseeing all New York Cartier boutiques – and then as vice president of retail for all of North America. She was appointed president and CEO of Cartier North America in 2014. She serves on the board of directors of Jewelers of America and the advisory board of the Luxury Education Foundation, a public not-for-profit organization that focuses on educational programs for students in design and business. She is also a key advocate for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, an international business plan competition for women entrepreneurs, created in 2006 to identify, support, and encourage projects that solve contemporary global challenges.

Caryl Capeci began her career at N.W. Ayer and J. Walter Thompson, where she worked to create demand for diamond jewelry in the U.S. for De Beers Group. After joining Hearts On Fire as vice president, marketing, then chief marketing officer, she was named president of the company in 2015. Capeci is responsible for all company operations around the world and oversees the integration of HOF into the 2,200-door retail network of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, which acquired Hearts On Fire in 2014. She serves on the boards of Jewelers for Children and the Diamond Empowerment Fund. She is also a member of the Twenty-Four Karat Club of the City of New York


Nadja Swarovski
is the first female member of the executive board of Swarovski. She is the greatgreat-granddaughter of Daniel Swarovski, who founded the company in Austria in 1895. She leads the company’s global branding and communications, celebrating crystal through creative collaborations across fashion and jewelry, architecture and design, and stage and screen, as well as driving conscious luxury through the Atelier Swarovski brand, which created a charity bracelet with UN Women in 2016. Swarovski also oversees the company’s sustainability agenda and chairs the Swarovski Foundation, both of which have a strong focus on promoting women’s empowerment. She is an ambassador for Women for Women International, and, under her leadership, Swarovski has signed up to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles and the UN Global Compact.

De Beers Group, established in 1888, is a member of the Anglo American group. Together with its joint venture partners, it employs more than 20,000 people across the diamond pipeline and is the world’s largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. In regard to gender equality, it has committed to achieving parity in the appointment of women and men into senior leadership roles at De Beers by 2020, is investing in women micro-entrepreneurs and STEM students in its diamond producing countries, and is working to ensure “De Beers’ brands are a positive force for supporting gender equality through all its marketing campaigns,” according to the diamond company. It has already initiated a review of talent attraction and development processes, the roll-out of unconscious bias training, the establishment of a senior management-led reciprocal mentoring program, and a review of policies and recruitment guidelines. 

UN Women
is the UN entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. Its “HeForShe” solidarity movement provides a systematic approach and targeted platform where a global audience can engage and become change agents for the achievement of gender equality. Commenting on De Beers’ three-year partnership, UN Women Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said: “We are delighted to have De Beers Group on board as a UN Women partner. With global organizations like De Beers joining [us], we are able to reach new and greater audiences to further build global awareness and support for advancing women’s empowerment.”