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The WJA Chicago Chapter focuses on helping members advance and develop careers in the jewelry and watch industry. Throughout the year, we host educational and social events with opportunities to network and to learn more about various facets of the industry.

Our members come from both city and suburbs. They include a mix of those involved in retail and wholesale businesses, design, marketing, sales, support services, and other aspects of the industry. To facilitate professional growth of members, the chapter supports and promotes grants and scholarships, offers opportunities for mentoring, and participates in national and chapter recognition programs.


Upcoming Events 

Mix & Mingle 

Thursday, January 24, 2019
Please join us for an evening of networking at the 404 Wine Bar Co. located at 2852 North Southport Ave in Chicago. 



Mix & Mingle

We gathered at the Queen Mary Tavern in Chicago for an evening of networking. 

Pearl Update with Renée Newman

New Types, Fakes, Treatments and Jewelry Styles
On October 22, 2018, WJA Chicago gathered to learn from Renée Newman about what's new related to cultured freshwater pearls, including new types, fakes, treatments, and jewelry styles.

2018 in the Know Conference & Jewelry Night Out

Both events were on September 13, 2018.

in the Know Conference

The in the Know (ITK) Chicago Conference featured a full day dedicated to educational advancement and communal collaboration between peers, speakers, and friends alike. Events included presentations and panel discussions about current topics and trends pertaining to diamonds, colored gemstones, and issues impacting the jewelry industry at large. Esteemed speakers included:

  • Hannah Becker (Creative Director & CEO, Diamondoodles)
  • Brandee Dallow (Fine Girl Luxury Brand)
  • Peggy Jo Donahue, conference moderator (Writer ― Content Creation & Social Networking: Editing, Blogging, Website Writing)
  • Beth Gerstein (Brilliant Earth)
  • Sarah Gorvitz (Diamond Producers Association)
  • Billie Hughes (Lotus Gem•ology)
  • Eryn Patton (Wendy Brandes Jewelry)
  • Louis Price (M. Geller)
  • Shelly Sergent (Somewhere in the Rainbow)
  • Goeffrey Watt (Mayer & Watt)
  • Susan Wheeler (Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference)
  • Sara Yood (Jewelers Vigilance Committee)



Jewelry Night Out

In the evening, WJA Chicago celebrated the annual membership event. We brought together members and others in the jewelry industry to share in their passion for the work they do all year long. Some of the most recent AGTA Spectrum Awards™ winning pieces were on display. We viewed a glass-blowing demonstration by staff of Ignite (the venue for both events).

An Evening with Eve J. Alfillé at Her Gallery

WJA Chicago met with with Eve J. Alfillé in Evanston to tour her gallery, visit her studio, and learn more about pearls.

How to Bid and Win at Auction
hosted by Heritage Auctions Chicago 

WJA Chicago welcomed four new and renewing members during the networking session that started the evening. 

During the program Ruth Thuston, Director of Fine Jewelry, described the auction process, how to prepare for an auction, and tips about bidding. Roberta Kramer, Auctioneer and Managing Director, conducted a mock jewelry auction.



Our 2018 Shining Star!

Olivia Zale 

      Thank you, Olivia, for your
      extraordinary volunteer service
      to WJA Chicago!




Thank You to Our Sponsors!

  • Anonymous
  • Diamond Producers Association (DPA)
  • Finest Casting Inc.
  • Gem2000
  • Heritage Auctions
  • Jewelers Center at the Mallers Building
  • Jewelers Mutual
  • Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC)
  • Malca-Amit
  • Mid-States Recycling & Refining
  • N. Green & Sons
  • Platinum Alley
  • Professional Gem Sciences Laboratory (PGSL)

We are so grateful for our sponsors 
and could not operate without them! 

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please email us at


Join us!

Become a WJA member.

Membership in Women’s Jewelry Association offers
tools you can use to advance professionally.

Participate with our chapter.

Join us for the fun as we learn, connect, and grow professionally by participating in local educational and networking events. Venues include wonderful stores, galleries, studios, museums, and other industry-related companies throughout the Chicago area. We offer special member pricing for events. 

Attend one of our upcoming events and learn firsthand about the Chicago Chapter.

To learn about becoming
a WJA member and about the Chicago Chapter, contact Olivia Zale (our Membership Chair) at


Connect with us!



2019 Board

Susannne Siegel

Vice President / President-Elect: 
Olivia Zale

Vice President:
Susan Wheeler Geraghty

Sue Rosengard

Stephanie Wishnoff

Jeanette Park

Events / Fundraising:
Denise Hartman

Communications / Eblasts / Website:
Rachel Akmakjian

Susan Wheeler Geraghty
Ann Flick

Grants / Scholarships:
Jill Cotone

Social Media / Events:
Jennifer Santi
Jeanette Park

Karla Lewis

Ann Flick
Karla Lewis