WJA Appoints Jennifer Markas as New Executive Director
The Women's Jewelry Association (WJA) has moved its headquarters back to New York City and appointed a new executive director, Jennifer Markas, who begins work Sept. 10. Bernadette Mack, the outgoing executive director, will work with Markas during her transition until the end of the month.
“We thank Bernadette for her excellent work helming WJA and for her long service to the association, and we wish her well as she embarks on a new life in Virginia,” says WJA President Jenny Gates Luker. “We took this opportunity to move WJA’s headquarters back to New York, and to appoint an executive director here. We’re delighted that Jennifer Markas will be joining us.”
Markas was most recently responsible for sustainability reporting and communications at Tiffany & Co. Her role focused on developing an effective communications strategy to help consumers, investors, and employees better understand the retail brand’s sustainability efforts, including workplace diversity and inclusion, human rights in the supply chain, and global conservation efforts. Markas was also an event leader in Tiffany’s first-ever employee resource group for women.
The new executive director was also previously vice president at Citi Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Citibank, where she managed an $86 million annual budget and worked on a grants compliance program that distributed funds to various inclusion initiatives, including ones supporting micro-entrepreneurship. She also founded and headed development for Damsels in Design, a networking organization that fostered professional and educational opportunities for women in the design industry in New York City and beyond.
Markas has also managed finance and operations at several other companies and non-profits, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the architecture firm Thomas Phifer & Partners. Her current pro bono work includes service on her local community board in New York City.
“Jennifer’s passion for women’s issues coupled with an understanding of the jewelry and design industries uniquely prepares her to support our members and partners and lead WJA’s efforts to advance equality and diversity in the fine jewelry and watch industries,” says Luker.
Markas has a Bachelor of Science degree in business management-finance from Boston University, and a Master of Arts in decorative arts and design history from Parsons School of Design at The New School in New York City.