Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) Launches Annual “Good Award” January 5, 2012, Recognizing Industry Leaders

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The Diamond Empowerment Fund announced today a new award to honor four individuals and their companies for outstanding leadership.

The Diamond Empowerment Fund announced today a new award to honor four individuals and their companies for outstanding leadership in the area of good corporate citizenship and helping to communicate the diamond industry’s commitment to helping individuals through education in African nations where diamonds are a natural resource.

The 2012 Good Awards will be held Thursday, January 5, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Empire Hotel Rooftop, 44 West 63rd Street, New York City.

The four inaugural honorees for the 2012 Good Awards will be:

1.    Ms. Varda Shine and Diamond Trading Company (A De Beers Group Company): The global leadership of Varda Shine, CEO of the Diamond Trading Company (DTC) is unparalleled in the industry. The De Beers Family of Companies continues to make an outstanding contribution to the economic development of Africa, and 2012 will mark the beginning of DTC’s move from its current London base to Gaborone, Botswana, thus furthering beneficiation on the continent. As a founding member of the Board of Directors of DEF, Ms. Shine champions the education, skills transfer and sustainable development of southern Africa, especially in communities where diamonds are a treasured natural resource
2.    Edward Hrabak, SVP Merchandising and GMM, Sterling Jewelers Inc.: With considerable support from Sterling, Ed Hrabak has promoted industry-wide product development models benefitting DEF that help fund educational initiatives and leadership development for youths in diamond producing countries in Africa. Mr. Hrabak’s commitment to the DEF mission is further example that ‘diamonds for good’ is not just an industry message, but also opportunity for an industry call-to-action.
3.    Ms. Rebecca Foerster and Rio Tinto Diamonds: Together with the Sales and Marketing Team at Rio Tinto Diamonds, Rebecca Foerster has helped communicate...and lead... Rio Tinto Diamond’s commitment to education and sustainability, evident through Rio Tinto Diamond’s contributions to social wellbeing, environmental stewardship, and economic prosperity, all within strong governance systems. Rio Tinto Diamonds demonstrates good corporate citizenship throughout its mining communities in Australia, Canada and Africa by supporting education initiatives, access to healthcare, agricultural skill building, and capacity building programs.
4.    Ms. Ivanka Trump and Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry: Under the ‘New and Brightest’ category of the inaugural Good Awards, Ivanka Trump has made a commitment to using only sustainable materials in her diamond bridal line – the company is striving towards 100% sustainability in the near future. Ms. Trump uses her celebrity to champion causes, including ‘Girl Up’ and the UN Foundation. Girl Up supports girls around the world by giving them the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted, and positioned to be the next generation of leaders. As part of this support, Ms. Trump designed a ‘Girl Up’ bracelet with all proceeds going towards the “Girl Up’ organization.

Hosted by Phyllis Bergman, Russell Simmons and the Board of Directors of the Diamond Empowerment Fund, the Good Awards will take place on January 5, 2012 from 6:30pm to 9:30 p.m. at the Empire Hotel Rooftop in New York, and will bring together industry members, celebrity tastemakers, socialites and philanthropists from all walks of life. Grammy nominated singer Melanie Fiona will give a special performance, and music will be played throughout the evening by DJ M.O.S.

“We are thrilled to recognize the good works of leaders in our industry who are helping make a difference both in their own communities and in African communities where diamonds are a natural resource” says Nancy Orem Lyman, DEF executive director.

Adds founding board member Russell Simmons, “Diamonds are a precious resource, and through good governance by the industry they can contribute to the development of Africa’s other precious resource, its people”.

Tickets are $195 and digital journal ads are $400. For ticket and journal information please contact Kafia Ahmed at kahmed(at)diamondempowerment(dot)org or visit DEF’s website at http://www.diamondempowerment.org to purchase online.

About the Diamond Empowerment Fund
The Diamond Empowerment Fund is a New York based non-profit organization (EIN# 20-5967103) that raises money to support education initiatives in African nations where diamonds are a natural resource. It was established in 2007 by a group of individuals and businesses in the diamond and jewelry industry, with the belief that education is essential to empower both individuals and society to reach their fullest potential.


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Kate Bedrick
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