Lawrence Ma and Kent Wong, longstanding pillars of the global jewellery industry, are the Recipients of JNA Awards 2020's highest accolade – the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Recognised for helping shape and transform not only Hong Kong's jewellery industry but that of the global jewellery community, Ma and Wong dedicated their lives to finding new ways to create a richer, more sustainable and forward-thinking jewellery sector. Their bold ambitions and vision went beyond simple profit-making; they endeavoured to affect positive change within their organisations and the communities they serve through leadership and action.
The JNA Awards' spotlight will shine on Ma, Chief Executive Officer of Lee Heng Diamond Group, and Wong, Managing Director of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, during the much-anticipated virtual awards ceremony, which will be broadcast live at 8pm (Hong Kong time) on 27 October — the first day of the first edition of the three-day B2B virtual event, Jewellery & Gem Digital World (J&G Digital World).
"Lawrence and Kent are both legendary figures who have thrived through the many ups and downs of the jewellery industry in the last four decades. They have undoubtedly achieved commercial success for their respective organisations, but what makes them truly stand out are their tremendous contributions to the growth and prosperity of Hong Kong's jewellery industry, all of which have had a massive impact and influence on jewellery hubs around the world. It is indeed a great honour and privilege to celebrate their lifetime achievements by conferring them the highest accolade of the JNA Awards," said Letitia Chow, Chairperson & Founder of JNA Awards at Informa Markets – Jewellery.
Starting his career in the jewellery industry four decades ago, Ma founded MaBelle Jewelry in the early 1990s, a diamond jewellery brand that speaks to a broader market comprising largely of aspirational consumers. This initiative also marked a turning point in the long-term vibrancy of Hong Kong's diamond jewellery retailing industry.
A founding president and current chairman of the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong (DFHK), Ma was instrumental in the promotion and implementation of ground-breaking initiatives that fortified Hong Kong's unique position as a global diamond and jewellery trading centre. He also led the charge in creating a culture of integrity and excellence in the city's jewellery market, which to this day, remains the operational guidepost for every jewellery retailer in Hong Kong.
Commenting on the award, Ma said, "I am overwhelmed and excited to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the JNA Awards this year. I have been very blessed and privileged to be surrounded by loving family members, brilliant mentors, capable and loyal colleagues and partners, as well as genuine and caring friends. I appreciate the great contributions and achievements of all previous Recipients of this honour and I am delighted to be one of them. I promise to keep on doing what I believe is vital in my life journey: To bring the best out of myself and of all the incredible people around me."
Wong has devoted himself to the industry and company for over four decades, joined Chow Tai Fook in 1977 as an apprentice and promoted to Managing Director in 2011. As the key advocator, he drives the evolution into an exciting, innovative, diversified and trend-setting Group. Under his leadership, Chow Tai Fook being the first Hong Kong-based Jewellery group to open the first store in Mainland China in 1998 and further expanded its global presence, he successfully turned the business from a homegrown brand to a modern and progressive enterprise, now, with over 4,000 points of sale around the world.
Indeed, his bold leadership style and open-minded tone not only made the Group's transformation possible, also broke new and innovative grounds that benefited the industry and customer as a whole. In the 2000s, as an industry first, the Group is spearheading the digital revolution of the industry by enlisting patented Smart Tray with RFID, blockchain technology diamond grading report that serve as brilliant examples to win the customers' trust.
Wong is a courageous trailblazer who dedicated most of his life to the advancement of the jewellery industry. He serves as chairman of the Hong Kong Jewellers' & Goldsmiths' Association, chairman of the supervising committee of the Hong Kong & Kowloon Jewellers' & Goldsmiths' Employees' Association Ltd, a permanent honourable president of the Kowloon Gold Silver and Jewel Merchants' Staff Association and a board member of the World Diamond Council.
"I am very honoured and grateful to be the Recipient of this year's Lifetime Achievement Award. Thank you JNA Awards for this prestigious tribute. Having spent 43 years in an industry that I love, I am immensely proud and humbled to have not only witnessed the incredible developments within our industry but also to have worked alongside so many inspiring individuals in our community. Let us all continue to shine on and share the exquisite beauty and joy of jewellery to the world," Wong said.
The prestigious JNA Awards was launched by Informa Markets Jewellery in 2012. Serving as a benchmark of excellence, innovation and best business practices in the jewellery industry, the Awards celebrates the achievements of exceptional individuals and companies whose actions have a far-reaching and positive impact on the global jewellery trade and society, regardless of their scale of operations, areas they serve and fields of expertise.
JNA Awards 2020 is supported by Headline Partners Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, Shanghai Diamond Exchange, and DANAT, alongside Honoured Partners KGK Group and Guangdong Land (Shenzhen) Limited.