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Friday, January 17, 2014

DEF Presents GOOD Awards to Jewelry Industry Leaders

GOOD Award recipients with sponsors and DEF officials

The Diamond Empowerment Fund, a global non-profit organization that raises money to fund education initiatives in African diamond-producing nations, recently honored diamond industry leaders who are committed to corporate social responsibility and promoting education, empowerment, and prosperity in diamond-producing countries. The event was held at the Empire Penthouse Lounge in New York.

The DEF GOOD Awards were given to industry leaders Forevermark, JCK, and Fred Meyer Jewelers. Stephen Lussier, CEO of Forevermark, Peter Engel, president of Fred Meyer Jewelers, and Yancy Weinrich, JCK group vice president of events, and Mark Smelzer, publisher of JCK magazine and JCKOnline.com, accepted on behalf of their organizations. 

The event kicked off with an African ceremonial dance by native Batswana dancers. D.E.F Scholar Nadine Zoro from Cote d’Ivoire, who is attending university at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., affirmed the importance of higher education to help transform the economies of diamond producing countries, and thanked the diamond industry’s support of the Diamond Empowerment Fund. Ambassadors from Namibia and Botswana were in attendance, as well as representation by the Democratic Republic of Congo.  

“We are thrilled and encouraged by the fabulous success of the 2014 GOOD Awards,” said Phyllis Bergman, DEF board president.

DEF beneficiaries include: CIDA City Campus, South Africa’s first non-profit university offering a four-year business degree; African Leadership Academy, a university preparatory school in Johannesburg, South Africa, founded on the belief that ethical leadership is the key to sustainable development, and the Botswana Top Achievers program that provides the top high school students the opportunity to study at a university of their choice worldwide and then return to Botswana to contribute to its economic diversification and growth.

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