RAPAPORT… The Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) announced a new “Good Award” to honor four individuals and their companies for leadership and commitment to helping empower residents of African nations where diamonds are a natural resource.
Recipients of the Good Award will be recognized January 5, 2012, at the Empire Hotel rooftop in New York City. The evening event will be hosted by DEF’s president Phyllis Bergman, and founder Russell Simmons, along with the group’s board of directors, and will include a performance by Grammy-nominated singer Melanie Fiona.
Varda Shine, the chief executive of the Diamond Trading Company, will be recognized for her “outstanding contribution to the economic development of Africa,” as well as her company’s decision to move its current London sorting base to Gaborone, Botswana by year-end 2012.
Also receiving an award, Edward Hrabak, the senior vice president of merchandising at Sterling Jewelers Inc., will be recognized for his efforts at promoting industry-wide product development models benefitting DEF that help fund educational initiatives and leadership development for African youths.
Rebecca Foerster, the vice presient of Rio Tinto Diamonds U.S., will be honored for her company’s efforts on education and sustainability in Africa.
Ivanka Trump, who branded her own jewelry line, will receive a Good Award under the “new and brightest” for her company’s commitment to using sustainable materials in her diamond bridal line, as well as her personal commitment to championing philanthropic causes such as ”Girl Up” and the UN Foundation.
Nancy Orem Lyman, DEF’s executive director, expressed her excitement for the award ceremony. ”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.”
Simmons added, ”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.”