Industry experts return to JNA Awards 2016 judging panel
HONG KONG, 26 April 2016 – The JNA Awards is excited to announce the return of five highly respected names in the international jewellery scene to the judging panel as the Awards celebrates its fifth edition this year.
The JNA Awards is organised by JNA, the flagship jewellery publication of UBM Asia. The annual awards programme recognises and celebrates excellence and achievement in the jewellery and gemstone industry, with a focus on the advancement of the trade in Asia.
An independent panel of distinguished industry leaders and veterans from different countries representing key sectors of the industry is carefully selected to ensure that the judging process is fair, transparent and intellectually rigorous.
The judges for the fifth edition of the JNA Awards are:
– Albert Cheng, Advisor to the World Gold Council, Far East (WGC)
– James Courage, former Chief Executive of Platinum Guild International (PGI)
– 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 in Japan
The judging panel will be chaired by Letitia Chow, Founder of JNA and Director of Business Development – Jewellery Group at UBM Asia Ltd. “The JNA Awards is celebrating a five-year milestone this year, and it is my greatest pleasure to invite back this group of distinguished experts to our judging panel. This year stands to be more challenging than before since we are anticipating a record number of entries, requiring even more attention and expertise from our judges,” Chow remarked.
Albert Cheng, Advisor to the WGC and former Managing Director of WGC – Far East, said, “I am honoured to be appointed as one of the members of the judging panel again. This is my fifth year into this role and I can see a gradual improvement in the quality and number of participants. I look forward to seeing more qualified entries and first-time entrants sharing their best business practices and innovative approaches to advance the development of the trade.”
James Courage commented, “My engagement in the judging process over four years has, alongside my broad knowledge of the jewellery markets given me a closer understanding of the evolving changes in the international jewellery industry and the leadership many companies and organisations have demonstrated. In recent years I have had the opportunity to see much of this change at first hand.
“The JNA Awards has become widely recognised as pioneers and I am honoured to have been invited to be a judge again for the JNA Awards 2016.” Courage has been involved in the jewellery industry for many decades as a former Chief Executive of PGI and former Chairman of Responsible Jewellery Council, and with many years of international experience with De Beers.
“I feel very honoured to have been invited to take part in the JNA Awards judging panel for the fifth consecutive year. Despite challenges posed to the jewellery industry, I believe that the industry can grow and prosper by encouraging continuous innovation and management improvement, like what the JNA Awards has always promoted. It is my pleasure to be able to share my experiences and knowledge with other industry experts as a way to contribute to the advancement of the trade,” Lin Qiang, President and Managing Director of the SDE, remarked.
Three of the above-mentioned experts have committed to their judging role since the inauguration of the Awards in 2012.
Returning as a judge for the fourth consecutive year, Nirupa Bhatt, Managing Director of the GIA in India and the Middle East, commented, “I am very honoured to be associated with the JNA Awards and to contribute to efforts to raise industry standards. The prestigious event has gained in stature with increased involvement from many outstanding businesses since its inception in 2012. The significant efforts of the JNA team to reach industry members across Asia have helped heighten interest in innovation and progress within the jewellery sector.”
Yasukazu Suwa, Chairman of Suwa & Son, Inc, added, “It is indeed my honour to be invited again to join the judging panel this year. Last year marked my first time as a judge and I was impressed by the quality of the entrants, the professionalism of the organiser and the mission of the JNA Awards. It brings me great pleasure to be in a room with colleagues and peers who all share the same passion and positive energy I have for this industry.”
The JNA Awards 2016 has Rio Tinto Diamonds and Chow Tai Fook (CTF) as its Headline Partners, with Diarough Group, Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI), Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE), and Guangdong Land Holdings Limited (GDLAND) serving as Honoured Partners.
The JNA Awards 2016 is now accepting entries and interested parties can access the entry forms on the JNA Awards official website. Due to the high level of interest among first-time entrants, the organiser has extended the deadline to 23:59 (Hong Kong time) of 8 May 2016. The judging process will commence immediately after the deadline until mid-June.
The Honourees or shortlisted entrants will be announced on 23 June at a press conference held on the first day of the June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, and will be feted together with the Recipients or winners on 14 September at the JNA Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner during the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair.