WJA Launches First Canadian Chapter
The association also announced WJA Toronto’s board of directors.
Last September, WJA hosted its first Toronto event at the Arcadia Studio, in partnership with the Canadian Jewellers Association (CJA). Of the 75 in attendance, many expressed interest in chapter leadership positions, WJA said.
The association has since conducted interviews with potential candidates, selecting Alanna Campbell and Shelbey Dodds as WJA Toronto’s inaugural presidents.
“I’m delighted to welcome our newest WJA Toronto chapter. Our co-presidents, Alanna Campbell and Shelbey Dodds, are building a board to bring the WJA mission to the Canadian jewelry industry,” said WJA President Susan Chandler.
“We are grateful for the Canadian Jewellers Association who shared our vision and helped us last fall kick off our latest international initiative. I look forward to all that the Canadian chapter will accomplish in the next many years.”
Campbell has been a WJA member since 2021 and served as a board member of the New York Metro chapter in 2022 and 2023. She owns AC Appraisals, which provides independent jewelry appraisal services in the region of Ottawa, Ontario, as well as membership coordinator for CJA.
She started in the jewelry industry in 2013 as a sales representative for a local fine jewelry store and in 2016, earned her Graduate Gemologist diploma from GIA. Campbell earned her Registered Master Valuer designation in 2018.
She is delighted to support WJA’s entry into Canada with Dodds, the association said.
Dodds is a Toronto-based jeweler and is a partner in metal casting company Triocast, which she joined as casting assistant in 2021, the year it launched. She later rose to lead and principal caster and eventually to her current role with the company.
In her role, she has propelled Triocast into over a million dollars in sales, the association said, as well as prepared curriculum and taught casting intensives, most recently in Edmonton, Alberta.
She graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2015 with her BFA in jewelry design and metalsmithing, followed by several artist residency programs, including one with the Harbourfront Centre in 2017.
Dodds has also received grants from the Arts Nova Scotia and the Ontario Arts Council and participated in exhibitions nationally and internationally.
Co-presidents Campbell and Dodd are joined by fellow 2024 WJA Toronto Board Members:
Communications Co-Vice President, Sydney Abrams of Fair Trade Jewellery Co;
Membership Co-Vice President, Gada Alejlo of Williams Distinctive Gems;
Treasurer, Anita Bhandari of Aarkish Diamonds;
Communications Co-Vice President, Sanaz Doost of Sanaz Doost Fine Jewelry;
Programming Vice President, Ari Fudim of York International Gems Ltd; and
Membership Co-Vice President, Ashley McFarlane of Omi Woods.
“We are overwhelmed by the positive response following the WJA Toronto launch event that took place in September 2023. We have the support of a diverse and extremely talented board. We are incredibly fortunate to have the support of these and other volunteers to assist in bringing WJA Toronto to life,” said Campbell.
Dodds added, “2024 will be focused on establishing a solid foundation for WJA Toronto. We look forward to hosting a selection of WJA’s signature events as well as growing our membership.”
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