WJA Establishes Scholarship & Mentorship Award
in Memory of Cindy Edelstein

The two honors continue Cindy Edelstein's legacy of unmatched dedication to the WJA and designers in the jewelry industry

Poughkeepsie, NY - The Women's Jewelry Association has announced the Cindy Edelstein Jewelry Design Scholarship in memory of one of the jewelry industry's most beloved and respected members who passed away a year ago today.

Edelstein was a champion of the jewelry design community and especially understood the unique challenges that newcomers to the field faced. In honor of her tireless pursuit of educating, mentoring, and coaching jewelry designers, the scholarship will fuel the educational needs of women who are emerging fine jewelry designers or artisans. The scholarship continues Cindy's mission to make designers better in their craft and masters of their businesses.

The Cindy Edelstein Jewelry Design Scholarship will be given annually in the amount of $5,000, with first-year submissions accepted May 1-June 23, 2017. A link to the scholarship application form will be posted on the WJA website by May 1. WJA will announce the winner at its Awards for Excellence gala on July 24, 2017, in New York City.

In memory of Edelstein's equally unwavering commitment to WJA and the careers of women, only women who are current WJA members are eligible to apply. The recipient can pursue either design or business courses, providing they are focused on improving her artistry and/or her designer jewelry business. Initial funding for the scholarship comes from The Future of Design Jewelry Education Fund at the New York Community Trust; as well as from contributions by individuals; the WJA New York Metro chapter; the American Gem Trade Association; and the Contemporary Jewelry Design Group.

The committee members who will oversee the scholarship and choose the yearly recipient include: Edelstein's husband Frank Stankus, president of Jeweler's Resource Bureau; jewelry designers Malak Atut and Judi Powers; writer Jennifer Heebner; and marketing /business development consultant Fran Pennella. More information is available at www.womensjewelryassociation.com/grantscholarship.

In addition to the scholarship, WJA has established a Cindy Edelstein Mentorship Award in memory and celebration of Edelstein's unmatched mentorship and dedication to the development, encouragement, and enrichment of the talents and lives of others.

"The development of the Cindy Edelstein Mentorship Award and Jewelry Design Scholarship are the most fitting ways I believe we can celebrate Cindy, her life, and her legacy," says Brandee Dallow, WJA President. "To say that Cindy is missed is an understatement, but as we can all vouch, she left an enduring mark on this industry and the Women's Jewelry Association will never be the same without her."

To receive this special honor, male or female candidates must show a commitment to mentorship and reflect Cindy's standards of selflessness and altruism in the pursuit of success for those around them. WJA will present this award only when a candidate is identified who meets the standards of mentorship that Cindy set; not necessarily on an annual basis.

Nominations for the inaugural award, to be given at the 2017 Awards for Excellence, are being accepted now through March 30. For details and the nomination form, go to www.womensjewelryassociation.com/cindy-edelstein-award.

For more information on how you can contribute and support The Cindy Edelstein Jewelry Design Scholarship, contact Bernadette Mack, Executive Director, WJA at Bernadette@womensjewelryassociation.com.

Cindy Edelstein

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