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Diamond Empowerment Fund announces new board members

on Friday,June 04,2010 16:06

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The Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) has announced the election of seven new board members representing a cross-section of the jewelry industry.

DEF is a nonprofit international organization established by the individuals and businesses in the diamond and jewelry industry committed to the empowerment of communities and countries where diamonds are a natural resource.

The new board members include Lita Asscher, President, Royal Asscher of America; Elliot Tannenbaum, partner, Leo Schachter Diamonds; Cathy Calhoun, president, Calhoun Jewelers; Yancy Weinrich, Industry vice president; Jewelers' Circular Keystone (JCK), the jewelry industry's leading trade publication.

Board members were formally welcomed at a breakfast presentation to the jewelry industry on "Empowerment through Education for Africa," during the JCK conference in Las Vegas.

DEF will also be recognizing Flaviana Matata, former Miss Universe Tanzania as its new Africa's Angel Ambassador as well as Hasheem Thabeet of the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies as DEF's new Athlete for Africa Ambassador.

"The international diamond jewelry industry has a great opportunity for enlightened self-interest to align with the rising global consciousness of consumers," commented DEF Founder and advisory board chairman Russell Simmons. "With 60 percent of the world's diamonds coming from Sub-Saharan Africa, helping empower young Africans through access to education is a perfect fit. I am thrilled we have seven industry leaders joining DEF's Board who I know will make a tremendous positive difference for this cause so near to my heart."

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