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 updated biography yet.

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.

Julia Griffith, FGA, DGA, EG

Julia Griffith FGA DGA EG is a gemmologist and educator within the jewellery industry. Known for her engaging teaching style, she has entertained gem enthusiasts at national and international events with presentations on specialist gemstone topics since 2016. Two years ago, she launched her own gemmological school The Gem Academy, which currently specialises in educating the trade about laboratory-grown diamonds.

Julia honed her teaching skills at the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A), where she worked as a main tutor for 5 years. She continues to be an examiner for the Gem Diamond Diploma theoretical examinations. She instigated Gem-A’s successful webinar series ‘Gem-A LIVE’ during the first covid-19 lockdown in 2020. To date, these webinars have gathered nearly 150,000 views on YouTube.

Julia’s interest in gemmology expands beyond the classroom to include lapidary and mineral collecting. Her experience with The Gem Academy has thrown her into video creation and photography for her online courses and YouTube channel. This is Julia’s debut as a main speaker at an international conference, and she is honoured to share her passion and research with you.

Ray Hill

Ray Hill, is president of Opalus, a custom jewellery firm. He is also the  founder and manager of Gemquest, a non-profit , non-partisan, online gem education program since November 2020, which has been viewed by hundreds of gem and jewellery professionals across the globe.

He started by collecting minerals at age 9 and taught himself to cut cabochons at age 16, while studying gemology and silversmithing.  At 16 he also made his first commercial jewellery pieces and has not looked back since.

He was interviewed by Peter Gzowski on the CBC morning show about birthstones, and as well, has published series of articles on birthstones in the Hamilton Spectator and the Entertainment magazine and Canadian Children’s Annual. He was a guest on Hamilton Ontario’s Channel 11 for 13 months talking about gems, as well as hosting his own cable show on gems and minerals. He has been a keynote speaker at the Tucson as well as the Denver gem and mineral shows, and is a Distinguished Toastmaster.

For more than 50 years he has been slowly acquiring what some say, is the largest private gem collection in Western Canada, the bulk of which is comprised of rare and almost unobtainable gems.

He was invited to create an exhibit of his gems in the “Vault” of the Geology museum at UBC, and so, for almost a year the loaned exhibit “Precious”, shared a portion of his gem collection with the visiting public at the museum.

His passion for finding rare mineral gems and getting them cut for his collection has never waned. Some of his cut rare gems now reside in the Smithsonian and the Rice museums as well as the museum at Colorado School of mines and the vault at Pala Gems, and in the collection of the late Bill Pinch.

He will share with you some insights he has learned over the past 50 years, into this fast growing sector of the gem world, rare gems.

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).

Gary A. Roskin GG (GIA), FGA

Gary Roskin is the Editor in Chief of the Roskin Gem News Report, recent CEO of the International Colored Gemstone Association, and the 2022 recipient of the Accredited Gemologists Association’s Antonio C. Bonanno Award for excellence in gemology.

A gemologist, gemology instructor, journalist, and photographer, Gary has shared his knowledge and enthusiasm for gems and gemology for over four decades. As Gemstone Editor for JCK Magazine, the Baselworld Daily News, and for the Roskin Gem News Report, as well as reporter for the Gem Industry Laboratory Conference (GILC) and InColor Magazine, he has covered the international colored gems industry, as well as gemological subjects on diamonds, and the estate gemstone/jewelry market.

Gary Roskin began his career as a fourth-generation retail jeweler at Gilbert Roskin Jewelers in Marion, Indiana. In 2001, Gary was the recipient of the International Society of Appraisers’ Media Award. In 2004, Roskin was awarded several Richard T. Liddicoat Journalism Awards Honorable Mentions from the American Gem Society. And in 2011, Roskin and others were awarded 2nd place in Gems & Gemology’s 2010 Dr. Edward J. Gübelin Most Valuable Article Award, as a co-author of “Synthetic Gem Materials in the 2000s: A Decade in Review.” Among his many gemstone reports, Gary has covered and photographed Rio Tinto’s Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, as well as the 2010 study of the Hope and Wittelsbach-Graff Blue diamonds at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

Stuart Robertson, Graduate Gemologist (GIA)

Stuart Robertson, GIA GG., is an award-winning gemologist and appraiser. He is currently vice president of Gemworld International, Inc., and serves as research director for the company’s publication GemGuide. Stuart is a Senior Member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers. He is also the immediate past-president of the Accredited Gemologists Association. Stuart is a recipient of the prestigious Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology (2011.) He received the AIJV Valuer of the Year Award in 2014 and The Scottish Gemmological Association’s Catriona Orr McInnes Award in 2019.

Kelly Ross

Kelly Ross is a security specialist and expert in the criminal use of diamonds gemstones and precious metals. He worked in the RCMP as their subject matter expert on diamond and
jewellery based crimes, relating to fraud, theft, money laundering and counterfeiting. He has conducted investigation on a national and global scale and represented the RCMP to foreign
police agencies and anti-money laundering agencies.

He is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist and holds gemological designations from several schools including the Canadian Gemmological Association and completed a Masters of Arts degree researching the criminal use of diamonds and jewellery.

He has several vocational passions and works on financial crimes investigations in the banking sector, as a security consultant to the jewellery industry, and a viticulturist.

Emily Waterfall

Based in Los Angeles, Emily Waterfall is the Director of the Jewelry Department for Bonhams Auction House. With over 17 years of experience, Emily is responsible for business-getting, client development, appraisals and sourcing property for jewelry sales in Los Angeles and in New York.

Emily began her career as an intern in London at an auction house where she caught her first glance of exquisite things in 2004. Once completing her internship, she worked in New York as a jewelry cataloguer for a leading international auction house for seven years working on several important jewelry auctions including the jewels of Kelly and Calvin Klein, Eunice Gardiner, Lucia Moreira Salles and others. Prior to joining Bonhams, Emily worked for a prominent jewelry buying firm based in Atlanta, GA from 2012 to 2018.

A native of San Diego, CA, Emily graduated with an undergraduate degree in Art History from Brigham Young University and has completed courses at the Gemological Institute of America and published articles in the American Society of Jewelry Historians newsletters.