Tuesday, June 4, 2024
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WJA Foundation Introduces the Hedda Schupak-Baum Memorial Media and Communications Scholarship

The Women’s Jewellery Association (WJA) Foundation has unveiled the establishment of the Hedda Schupak-Baum Memorial Journalism Scholarship in memory of the esteemed Hedda Schupak-Baum, a luminary in the jewellery industry. Renowned for her impactful contributions as a journalist, Hedda’s legacy resonates through her insightful articles and unwavering dedication to storytelling. Sadly, at the age of 62, she passed away on October 3rd, 2023, due to complications from lung cancer, leaving behind a profound legacy of love and commitment that touched countless lives. In homage to her enduring influence, the WJA is launching a memorial scholarship during Women’s History Month, honoring a trailblazer who both recorded and shaped history.

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This newly established scholarship aims to support aspiring journalists, media professionals, content creators, and communicators within the fine jewellery and watch industries. Eligible candidates are encouraged to apply their talents, infusing fresh perspectives and expertise into the field. Nikia Levesque, VP of Marketing for Day’s Jewellers and WJA Foundation Vice President, reflects, “As we launch this scholarship in her memory, we are reminded of Hedda’s invaluable contributions to our industry, her unwavering commitment to storytelling, and her enduring impact on the lives she touched… in honoring Hedda’s memory, we honor the power of storytelling to inspire, inform, and connect us all.”

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Hedda’s influence extended far beyond her roles as editor-in-chief of JCK magazine and later The Centurion newsletter. Colleagues fondly recall her distinctive style, yet it was her warmth, wit, and spirit that endeared her to many. Moreover, Hedda possessed an insatiable curiosity about jewellery, advocating for young designers and tirelessly working to elevate the industry through her writing and advocacy. Her integrity was unwavering, earning her widespread respect and admiration.

The scholarship, endowed with $25,000 over a five-year period, is made possible through the generous contributions of sponsors committed to nurturing talent and fostering diversity within the industry. Sponsors will actively participate in the selection process, ensuring that recipients embody Hedda’s ethos of excellence and dedication. Notable contributors include Instore, Jim Baum, Howard and Patti Hauben, Elias World Media, JCK, Cliq Jewellery, Jewellers of America, National Jeweller, FIT Alumni Association, Jewellers Collective, Russell Shor, and Bill Boyajian. Gena Alulis, CEO of Cliq Jewellery, expresses pride in establishing the scholarship, underscoring Hedda’s transformative impact and dedication to women’s empowerment.

Reflecting on Hedda’s profound influence, Linda Orlick, Co-Founder of WJA, reminisces, “Hedda Schupak was one of the very first journalists I met early on in my over 40-year career in the fine jewellery industry. Hedda’s passion and love for the industry was inspiring to all who crossed her path.” Jim Baum, Hedda’s husband, expresses gratitude for the scholarship, affirming Hedda’s enduring commitment to the jewellery industry and women’s leadership.

Hedda Schupak-Baum’s legacy of warmth, wit, and dedication continues to resonate within the jewellery community. As a journalist and editor, she garnered numerous accolades, earning induction into the Women’s Jewellery Association’s Hall of Fame in 2006. The Hedda Schupak-Baum Memorial Journalism Scholarship embodies Hedda’s commitment to excellence and will serve as an enduring source of inspiration for future generations of journalists and communicators within the jewellery and watch industries.

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