Panel of Judges


JNA Awards 2017

The JNA Awards organising committee selected a panel of judges among authoritative leaders from different countries representing key sectors of the jewellery industry. They are chosen for their widely recognised expertise and insight into specific industries or strategic areas of the business.

The judging process for the JNA Awards is independent, robust, transparent and intellectually rigorous. Judges play a pivotal role maintaining the rigour of the awards setting the standard for future years as well as ensuring that the very best performing organisations are recognised.


Nirupa Bhatt, Managing Director of Gemological Institute of America (GIA) India and the Middle East, has taken GIA services to over 60 locations in India, the Middle East and Turkey. She has received several global honours for her contributions to the gemstone and jewellery industry. Bhatt is a member of the Board of Directors of the All India Gem and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) and Gem and Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI). She is also an invitee to the marketing committee of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).

Albert Cheng joined the World Gold Council (WGC) in 1993 as Regional Manager, becoming Managing Director of Far East in 2003. He retired from the post in 2015 and was appointed Advisor to WGC since then. He was also appointed honorary CEO of Singapore Bullion Market Association in the same year and continues to serve on the panel of the 18 International Advisors to the Shanghai Gold Exchange since its inception in 2002. Albert's marketing career began with Dentsu Young & Rubicam in Hong Kong, then moved on to gold marketing when he joined the Royan Canadian Mint as Regional Manager for HK/Southeast Asia.


James Courage is currently a consultant to the jewellery industry, having recently retired from his roles as Chairman of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) and Chief Executive of Platinum Guild International (PGI). At PGI, he was responsible for the organisation's global jewellery programmes, including setting up the platinum jewellery development programmes in China and India. James previously worked for De Beers in Hong Kong where he set up their Consumer Marketing Division’s East Asian regional office. Before that, he ran large-scale marketing programmes in the US, Canada, East Asia, South Africa and in a number of major European markets.

Mark Lee, Research Director of Asia Pacific Institute for Strategy, has over twenty years of research and teaching experience in the areas of Innovation, Strategy and Leadership. Mark has worked with multinational and local enterprises, such as Chow Tai Fook, Amorepacific, IKEA, 7-Eleven, MTR, Sino Group, AXA and Crown Motor. He has also been invited as guest speaker by leading associations, including the American Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong Brand Development Council, the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong, GS1, the Hong Kong Exporters' Association, etc.

Lin Qiang was a pioneer in the establishment of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE) and has been the bourse’s President and Managing Director since 2000.

He has devoted his career to the management of the only official diamond trading platform in Mainland China and implementing effective governmental policies for the country’s diamond industry.

Yasukazu Suwa is Chairman of Suwa & Son, Inc., a Japanese gemstone dealer business established in 1908. Since becoming the first Japanese national to earn his Graduate Gemologist certification from the Gemological Institute of America in 1965, Mr. Suwa has traveled to gemstone mining, cutting, and distributions centers around the globe while establishing his firm as one of the premier gemstone dealers and manufacturers in Japan.

A strong proponent of educating both the industry and consumers regarding the quality and value of gemstones, Mr. Suwa has written four books on the subject and developed a system for verifying the quality and judging the value of the different varieties of gemstones.


Chair of Judges


Letitia Chow Mei Lai, Founder of JNA (Jewellery News Asia), is the Director of Business Development – Jewellery Group at UBM Asia. Letitia started her affiliation with the jewellery industry since 1980 when she was appointed Executive-in-Charge of the De Beers Diamond Promotion Service in Southeast Asia.

In 1983, she co-founded Jewellery News Asia, which became part of the UBM Group in 1994. Since then, the jewellery trade magazine expanded into a portfolio of trade publications and events, including the Chinese edition of JNA, SILVERSTYLES, online products, trade directories, show dailies, and award events.


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