Jewelry Designer Joan Hornig to Receive 2014 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, May 10
Philanthropist and jewelry designer Joan Hornig will receive the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award presented annually by The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) to Americans who have made it their mission to share with those less fortunate their wealth of knowledge, indomitable courage, boundless compassion, unique talents and selfless generosity; all while maintaining the traditions of their ethnic heritage as they uphold the ideals and spirit of America. The awards will be presented May 10 on historic Ellis Island at an elegant ceremony and dinner that embodies the spirit of America in their celebration of patriotism, tolerance, brotherhood and diversity. Scroll down for photos of Joan and her work!
A successful Wall Street professional for over 20 years, philanthropist & jewelry designer Joan Hornig is founder of her own jewelry line which donates'' 100% of the profits from her sales to the charity of the purchasers choice through her own Joan B. Hornig Foundation. To date, the Joan B. Hornig Foundation has donated to more than 800 worthy initiatives around the world addressing issues such as education, medical research, social services, the arts, animal rights, and environmental protection. True to form, Ms. Hornig upon learning of her nomination offered to create a special collection to support the efforts of NECO in preserving Ellis Island based on the torch held by The Statue of Liberty.
Ms. Hornig along with TV host, author and financial expert Maria Bartiromo, FOX hit reality series So You Think You Can Dance creator and celebrity judge Nigel Lythgoe, U.S. Representative Ed Royce, Fashion Designer Elie Tahari, Secretary of State Senior Advisor and Former United States Ambassador to Italy David Thorne, National Guard Bureau Gen. Frank J. Grass, USA, TV host and humanitarian Yue-Sai Kan, Cosmetics Entrepreneur Victoria Jackson and more than 100 other distinguished Americans will gather to receive the Ellis Island Medals of Honor. The Ceremony will be followed by a Gala Dinner in the historic Great Hall. Emmy-winning WPIX-11 Senior Correspondent Marvin Scott and renowned entertainer Tom Dreesen will be the Masters of Ceremony.
Ms. Hornig joins a very impressive club of Medal of Honor recipients. Since the Medal was founded in 1986, they have honored such distinguished and diverse Americans including: six Presidents of the United States, Nobel Prize recipient Elie Wiesel, Generals Norman Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell, Hon. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sen. John McCain, Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Walters, Mike Wallace, Quincy Jones, Mia Farrow, Bob Hope, Renee Fleming, Tony Blair, Michael Bolton, Joe Di Maggio - just to name a few - all who have distinguished themselves through their significant contributions to this country. The Ellis Island Medal of Honor ranks among the nation''s most prestigious awards. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have officially recognized the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, and each year the recipients are listed in the Congressional Record. As always, NECO remains dedicated to the maintenance and restoration of America''s greatest symbol of its immigrant history, Ellis Island.
After a brief foray teaching art to elementary school children, Ms. Hornig became a fund-raiser at Harvard University and went on to become director of corporate relations and external affairs at Columbia Business School. In 1985 - and for nearly 20 years thereafter - she was a prominent figure in finance. All the while, she was creating jewelry inspired by her own knowledge of art history and the decorative arts.
Since the launch of her jewelry line in 2003, Joan now offers a collection for everyone: the Signature Collection of 18k gold, precious and semi-precious stones, the Silver Lining Collection, the Boldly Brass Joan Line, the Horn (Increase Giving), the Tools for Giving Collection, as well as chic and practical iPhone accessories and regenerated leather items. Most recently, in November 2013, Joan launched her fashion jewelry line, Giving Rocks on HSN. As with all Joan Hornig pieces, 100% of her profit is donated to charity, continuing Joan''s mission to make philanthropy a part of everyone''s life.
Limited-edition pieces, which Joan designed exclusively for organizations and individuals such as The United States Department of State, First Ladies, The Girl Scouts, UNICEF, The ASPCA, The Association of Junior Leagues International, Circle of Women, HELP USA, the New Orleans Museum of Art, Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless and JustWorld International, continue to make a lasting difference. On April 23, 2012 in recognition of Joan Hornig Jewelry''s philanthropic contributions, Joan was asked to close the New York Stock Exchange. For NECO, Ms. Hornig has designed a collection of pieces featuring the Liberty Torch,- cufflinks, pendant and pin.
It is this generosity and commitment that led NECO to Honor Ms. Hornig who fits perfectly the individuals, Nasser J. Kazeminy, Chairman of NECO cites when stating: "NECO is about investing in the power of caring, where people from all cultures and walks of life stand together arm in arm to make a real difference in our world through shared compassion and philanthropy. Each of these honorees represent traits that I admire in great Americans: the vision of a better world for all; the tenacity to overcome great adversity; the leadership and imagination to blaze their own trail. And most importantly, they have the humility and self-reflection to appreciate the amazing opportunities the America has given them. They inspire me; and we Honor them so they can inspire others as well."