Panel of Judges Reconvenes for JNA Awards 2017

Hong Kong: The annual JNA Awards celebrates its sixth year with a stellar panel of judges consisting of five distinguished experts from the jewellery and gemstone industry.

Organised by JNA, the JNA Awards recognises and honours companies and individuals that have demonstrated excellence, innovation and outstanding business performance to shape the growth and development of Asia’s jewellery industry.

An independent panel of industry leaders representing key sectors of the jewellery trade is carefully selected to ensure that the judging process is independent, robust, transparent and intellectually rigorous.

The judges for JNA Awards 2017 are:

  • Albert Cheng, Advisor to the World Gold Council and former Managing Director, Far East (WGC)
  • James Courage, former Chief Executive of Platinum Guild International (PGI) and former Chairman of the Responsible Jewellery Council
  • Lin Qiang, President and Managing Director of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE)
  • Nirupa Bhatt, Managing Director of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in India and the Middle East
  • Yasukazu Suwa, Chairman of Suwa & Son, Inc

Letitia Chow, Founder of JNA, Director of Business Development – Jewellery Group at UBM Asia, and Chair of the JNA Awards Judging Panel, remarked, “The judging panel is an integral part of making the JNA Awards an authoritative, fair and successful event. These individuals have been chosen not only for their expertise in the jewellery and gemstone industry, but also for their dedication and contribution to the advancement of the sector.”

“Although we saw a seven-year low for jewellery demand in 2016, we have witnessed the resiliency of the jewellery sector – thanks to the gradual corporatization of family-owned companies, and the adoption of state-of-the-art management know-how and IT application by enterprise owners and their teams to their manufacturing, retailing and marketing processes. We encourage these forward thinkers and innovators to share their best business practices through the JNA Awards,” added Albert Cheng, Advisor to the WGC and former Managing Director of WGC – Far East.

James Courage commented, “It has been a privilege and a responsibility to have been involved in the judging of the JNA Awards for the last five years since its inception. I have observed increased levels of investment and engagement by our industry in developing employees, improving environmental considerations, raising standards and making technical advancements, which are all well-covered by the focus of the JNA awards.” Courage is currently a consultant to the jewellery industry, having recently retired from his roles as Chairman of the Responsible Jewellery Council and Chief Executive of PGI.

“It’s my honour and pleasure to serve as a judge and contribute to the JNA Awards for the sixth consecutive year. In the past five years, I’ve witnessed marked progress in terms of the quality of participants, the attention it has attracted, and the positive influence it has wielded in the industry as a whole. I believe that the JNA Awards will continue to surprise, delight and impress me in new ways,” added Lin Qiang, President and Managing Director of the SDE.

Nirupa Bhatt, Managing Director of GIA for India and the Middle East, said, “Year after year, the JNA Awards has grown in stature and become synonymous with recognising excellence in the jewellery and gemstone industry. This platform encourages businesses to share their best practices that contribute towards accelerating the pace of innovation in the industry. It has been my honour to be associated with JNA Awards since 2013.”

Yasukazu Suwa, Chairman of Suwa & Son, Inc, added, “I am grateful to share the same passion and commitment with my fellow judges in promoting best business practices in the jewellery and gemstone industry. We hope that this year’s awards will continue to see more qualified entries and first-time entrants joining our community.”

JNA Awards 2017 is supported by Headline Partners Rio Tinto Diamonds and Chow Tai Fook (CTF), together with Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE), Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange, and Guangdong Land Holdings Limited (GDLAND) as Honoured Partners.

A complete description of the award categories, as well as a detailed explanation of the judging criteria and entry rules, may be reviewed after registering online. Entry submission will start in early March and the deadline for the submission of nominations is on 5 May 2017.