Gem-A unveils new board following tense election process

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Members of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain have elected new board members in the wake of months of turmoil documented by Professional Jeweller

Members cast a total of 375 votes and the results were calculated by Gem-A Auditors Hazlems Fenton LLP.

Among the selection are seven members from the UK with two members from the United States of America.

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The new board members are…

  • Former vice-president of the American Gemmologists Association (AGA), Gem-A and ICA member and lifelong gemmologist with varied experience across the industry: Kathryn Bonanno FGA
  • Premium jewellery and watch professional, former member of NAG Educational Committee and Professional Jeweller WatchPro Hot 100 Brand Champion: Justine Carmody FGA.
  • Managing director of Bentley & Skinner, boasting 30 years of jewellery retail experience: Paul Greer DGA
  • Former Secretary of Gem-A’s South West Branch, contributor to Gem-A’s trade publication Gems&Jewellery and ODL tutor: Kerry Gregory FGA DGA
  • Head of Earth Science collections at the Natural History Museum, with a range of curatorial and management experience with The Smithsonian, The American Museum of Natural History and Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris: Alan Hart FGA DGA
  • Author of the recently released Visual Optics and Gem Testing Technique, developer of the visual optics technique and president of the Scottish Gemmological Association: Alan Hodgkinson FGA DGA
  • Former Gem-A and NAG CEO, former Secretary General to CIBJO and internationally respected academic: Dr Jack Ogden FGA DGA
  • Jewellery dealer, valuer and former auctioneer, founding member and chair of South West branch since inception in 2001 and trustee of the South West Trust: Richard Slater FGA DGA
  • President of the American Gemological Laboratories (AGL), former Director of the Gübelin Laboratory in Luzern, Switzerland, past director of Identification Services for the GIA Laboratory in New York, and former winner of the Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology: Christopher P Smith GG, FGA

They will join existing board members Nigel Israel, Miranda Wells and Mary Burland.

Michael Hoare, who has been active in promoting positive changes at the beleaguered organisation, says: “I wish the new Board well. The days to come will be about reconciling differences, challenging mis-perceptions, and healing the wounds that have been inflicted on the status of the Association and the morale of those employed at Ely Place. The Board, CEO, and Secretariat will have to move swiftly – and as a team – to stabilise the internal mechanisms of the organisation and put it back where it belongs, at the forefront of international gemmology.

“The last few weeks have strengthened my belief that members really care about their association in a visceral way. I want to see that energy put to good use in achieving Gem-A’s stated mission of advancing the understanding of gemstones through education, and the encouragement of best practice; with the vision to be the most trusted and respected gemmological education and membership brand.”

Gem-A’s board of trustees initially described the council election as a referendum on whether they acted correctly in the treatment of former CEO James Riley and his subsequent dismissal for gross misconduct. It is alleged that Mr Riley visited a massage parlour on three occasions in Melbourne while on a business trip for Gem-A, and paid for the sessions using a Gem-A credit card.



Tags : gem-agemmological association of great britain
Sarah Jordan

The author Sarah Jordan


  1. We would have appreciated, as a former Board and new Board supporter, to receive an official statement by mail or any other mean… nothing. We read the results on the opponent’s Facebook page and on your website.Quite disappointing!

  2. Evolution not revolution. The New board has a mix of the old and the new. Their job is huge and I urge all member to have a little patience for them to achieve. Some things will be evident and others will be behind the scenes.

    To all the members who are unhappy about the election result I say the following: throw your support behind the Association you love. The way to strengthen and grow Gem A will be by retaining your membership, and getting a least one other gem enthusiast to join us.
    Ronnie Bauer

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