CGA Gem Conference 2022

Conference 2022 Speakers

Celebrate our 64th year as a Canadian Association!
To open up our Conference on Saturday morning we have Mr. Mark Cullinan.
Also, here is a list of some of our confirmed Speakers.
More Speakers are being confirmed every week.  Please keep checking back.
Click on name to be taken to Speaker Biographies and Photos.
If the speaker name is not lit up by a link we do not have any update biography yet.

Mark Cullinan
Charles Carmona
Lisa Elser
Dr. Lee A. Groat
JP Jutras

Shane McClure
Duncan Parker
Jon Phillips
Stuart Robertson
Gary Roskin

Charles Carmona GG, ASA

Charles Carmona, GG, ASA is President of Guild Laboratories, Inc. (, which he established in Los Angeles in 1980.  As a professional gemologist/numismatist/appraiser/consultant, he works with international and national government agencies, attorneys, accountants, insurance companies, the jewelry trade and the public.  Partner companies, Guild Gem Laboratories, opened in Shenzhen, China (2016) and Bangkok, Thailand (2018).

Beginning as a young rockhound and amateur gem cutter, and then as an importer of gemstones from South America and Asia, he earned his Graduate Gemologist diploma in 1978, and his Accredited Senior Appraiser designation in 1986.

He has served on committees and boards of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the GIA Alumni Association, the American Society of Appraisers, the International Colored Stone Association, the American Gem Trade Association and the Diamond Club West Coast.  Other industry affiliations include the Gem-A, Women’s Jewelry Association, 24 Karat Club, Accredited Gemologists Association and National Association of Jewelry Appraisers.

He has led gem tours to Brazil, Germany, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and Madagascar, as well as numerous North American destinations.  He has performed gemology and/or appraisal assignments in 24 U.S. states and territories and 10 foreign countries and has appeared as an expert gemologist/appraiser on more than a dozen local, national and international television programs.

He has been a consultant to the World Bank for two projects setting up schools in Madagascar (2006-2008) and Tanzania (2014-2016) to teach gemology, gem cutting & carving and jewelry making.

He is author of The Complete Handbook for Gemstone Weight Estimation, published in 1998, a standard reference for the industry and has written articles and reviews for Gems & Gemology and Journal of Gemmology and numerous other trade journals.

Lisa Elser

Lisa Elser living in the Vancouver, BC area.  She spent 25 years in IT working for companies like Bell Laboratories, NCR and Sun Microsystems and consulted to some of the largest banks and insurance companies in the world.

Lisa holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Rutgers University, as well as advanced courses on Finance from Edinburgh School of Business.    She has lectured around the world on using technology to achieve business goals and was a sought after speaker for conferences and corporate meetings.

She began cutting gems as a hobby when she moved from consulting to managing consultants, finding that it gave her a satisfaction to create something with her own hands.

Lisa trained in gemcutting in Montreux, Switzerland and did her Graduate Gemologist degree with the GIA in Carlsbad, CA.   After a number of years of cutting as a hobby she retired from IT and with her husband Tom founded Custom Cut Gems.  Lisa now works with custom goldsmiths and jewelry designers in North America and Europe.  She and her husband travel the world to buy rough gems.  As the business grew, she and Tom began making grants to support economic development in gem producing countries.  They continue to put a percentage of the profits into projects like well, sanitation, women’s business cooperatives and education.

She’s published articles on topics including rough buying techniques, sawing, faceting “off the diagram” and on the heat treatment of tourmaline.    In addition to her own publications, Lisa has been featured in More Magazine, Jewellery Business Canada, The Gem Guide, and her work appears in Renee Newman’s “Rare Gemstones.”

In 2013, she won the a prestigious American Gem Trade Assoc (AGTA) Spectrum award for her 14.24ct red Tourmaline.  The gem is now in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

JP Jutras

Mr. Jutras is a professional mineral exploration geologist with over 30 years of experience in the mineral exploration industry. He has worked in over 15 countries on four continents, with numerous public companies including Placer Dome, Prism Resources, Golden Star Resources, Tyler Resources Inc. and now, Jade Leader Corp.

In the late 1980’s while working in Northern British Colombia, Canada, Mr. Jutras had an opportunity to take some jade samples home from a mine visit. This became the beginning of a parallel avocation to his mineral exploration career now spanning over 30 years as a student and collector of jades from all over the world, gemstone carver, faceter and metalsmith. It was this parallel path which led to Mr. Jutras being invited to participate and compete numerous times as an International carver at the prestigious Zi Gang Bei Jade and Gemstone carving exhibition, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, where by now he has received both silver and bronze medals for his competition entries.

While competing in China, the scale of recent changes in the Jade industry became obvious, and a one month initial research journey to some of the major Jade carving centers and markets in China was undertaken. This led to the creation of Jade Leader Corp. as it entered the International Jade space and began taking steps to establish itself as a leader in Jade research, exploration and production.

Shane McClure GG (GIA)

Shane F. McClure is Global Director of Colored Stone Services for the GIA Laboratory, based in Carlsbad, California, USA.  A frequently requested speaker at national and international conferences and trade shows with more than 44 years experience in the field of gemstone identification and treatments, he has been a contributing author on many articles published in GIA’s quarterly journal Gems & Gemology as well as many other publications.

He has won Gems and Gemology’s Most Valuable Article Award nine times on topics such as diffusion-treated sapphires, the identification of filled diamonds, and gemstone enhancement and detection in the 1990’s and has twice been an author on articles that have won the American Gem Society’s Richard T. Liddicoat award for outstanding journalism in the jewelry trade.

In 2007 he was the recipient of the Antonio C. Bonanno award for excellence in gemology. Mr. McClure is also a co-editor of the Gem Trade Lab Notes section of Gems & Gemology and an accomplished gem and jewelry photographer and photomicrographer.

Duncan Parker

Duncan Parker is vice president at Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers in Toronto. He provides assessment, valuation, consultation, and specialized jewellery and gemmological advice to enable a global client base to make informed decisions in the acquisition and disposition, at auction, of luxury jewels and timepieces.

Past president of Jewellers Vigilance Canada, a national independent industry ethics watchdog organization, Duncan chaired the committee that wrote, in collaboration with Industry Canada, Canada’s Jewellery Appraisal Guidelines, and the Guidelines with the Respect to the Sale and Marketing of Diamonds Pearls and Coloured Gems

An educator, Duncan is the past president and instructor at The Canadian Gemmological Association, the principal gemmological educational organization in Canada. He has also written and taught gem and jewellery programs at George Brown College and at the Life Institute at Toronto Metropolitan University, and has developed and written training programs for staff at several retail jewellery organizations.

He has worked as a jewellery valuer and diamond and coloured gem specialist for 30 years. He is a regular columnist on appraising, antique jewellery and gemmological subjects for several journals, and a regular speaker at international conferences

Jon Phillips GG (GIA), CG (AGS)

Jon has been in the jewellery business for over 40 years and worked in all of its “facets”. He is currently the Divisional Manager for Canadian Diamonds at Corona Jewellery Company Ltd. in Toronto, Canada. Part of Jon’s responsibilities includes managing the rough to polish systems for Canadian Diamonds including purchasing of the rough directly from mining companies to working with diamond polishing factories to produce the final product.

Jon is also the lead instructor for Corona and travels worldwide to promote Canadian diamonds and gold. Jon also does presentations on diamond market conditions and on synthetic diamonds in the jewellery industry. He is Corona’s first contact for anti-money laundering (AML) and Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) compliances.

He has worked for BHP Billiton Diamonds as a Marketing Manager in both Vancouver and Antwerp and as a service Manager for Birks in Vancouver. He was a part time instructor at Vancouver Community College in the Jewellery Art and Design program. Jon and his wife Carol ran their own custom jewellery business in Vancouver for fifteen years which is where Jon obtained his training as a journeyman goldsmith. Jon currently writes the Diamond Market News for the Gem Guide’s bi-monthly newsletter out of Chicago.

Jon is a Certified Gemologist (CG) from the American Gem Society (AGS) and a Graduate Gemologist (GG) from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Jon currently sits as the chair of the Assurance Committee of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) and is a past member of the Standards Committee.  Jon is a past vice-president of the diamond commission for CIBJO and currently is the past President of the Canadian Diamond Code of Conduct Committee (CDCC).