DEF’s Third Annual GOOD Awards – 2014

The Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) held its third annual GOOD Awards ceremony on January 9th, 2014, at the Empire Penthouse Lounge, at 230, Fifth Avenue, New York City. The annual GOOD Awards recognize individuals and corporations for outstanding leadership in the area of good corporate citizenship, sustainability, and promoting opportunity in Africa. The 2014 GOOD Awards recipients were Global luxury brand from De Beers Forevermark, JCK and Fred Meyer Jewelers. The CEO of Forevermark Stephen Lussier accepted the award on behalf of his company. Yancy Weinrich, group vice president JCK Events and Mark Smelzer, JCK publisher accepted the award on behalf of JCK and Peter Engel, President Fred Meyer Jewelers on behalf of his company.

Stephen Lussier - CEO of Forevermark
Stephen Lussier – CEO of Forevermark
Mark Smelzer and Yancy Weinrich of JCK
Mark Smelzer and Yancy Weinrich of JCK
Peter Engel - President of Fred Meyer Jewelers
Peter Engel – President of Fred Meyer Jewelers

New York disc jockey M.O.S. with the uncanny knack of playing classic hits and mixing it with some of the most current beats, provided music for the awards night keeping the mood high and the crowd dancing throughout the night.

Empowerment-Circle-infinity-level-forevermarkInfinity Level


The main highlight of the GOOD Awards ceremony 2014 was the announcement by the CEO of Forevermark, Stephen Lussier, of a multi-year partnership with the Diamond Empowerment Fund, joining the DEF’s Empowerment Circle at the highest level “Infinity” and obtaining the “Empowerment Circle Seal,” DEF’s highest level of membership. The Empowerment Circle was created by the DEF to enable companies within the diamond jewelry industry to support DEF’s mission of empowerment through education in the countries in which diamonds are sourced, and thereby helping to develop the next generation of leaders in such nations. There are three levels of Empowerment Circle partnerships :- 1) Infinity  2) Perennial  3)Meridian.  Infinity is a multi-year major contribution. Perennial is an annual major contribution and Meridian an annual supporter contribution.

Stephen Lussier, CEO Forevermark with Phyllis Bergman, President DEF and DEF   Scholar Nadine Zoro
Stephen Lussier, CEO Forevermark with Phyllis Bergman, President DEF and DEF Scholar Nadine Zoro

”With an aligned mission of bringing sustainable benefits to the people and communities in diamond producing nations in Africa, our partnership with D.E.F. will help us further deliver on our commitment to responsible sourcing,” said Stephen Lussier, CEO of Forevermark. An immediate outcome of Forevermark acquiring membership of the Empowerment Circle was the announcement that Forevermark in association with the D.E.F. will launch the Forevermark Promise Scholars Program in 2014. Through this program students from D.E.F’s three beneficiary organizations, Johannesburg-based CIDA City Campus, and the African Leadership Academy and Botswana’s Top Achievers will be supported through their academic journey.

DEF GOOD Awards Night-2014
DEF GOOD Awards Night-2014

Commenting on this initiative, D.E.F.’s president, Phyllis Bergman said, “This partnership is an effective way for Forevermark and D.E.F. to provide scholarships to young emerging leaders, exemplifying the good that diamonds can do.”

Forevermark was selected as an honoree for the GOOD Awards 2014 for their global leadership and making a positive difference for communities around the world.

Forevermark is the diamond brand from the De Beers group of companies, which has a history of diamond expertise reaching back 125 years. Every Forevermark diamond comes with a promise it is beautiful, rare and responsibly sourced. Forevermark diamonds are hand-selected for their beauty and their rarity. Less than one percent of the world’s diamonds are eligible to become Forevermark, and be inscribed with the Forevermark icon and individual number. Each Forevermark diamond is also responsibly sourced, originating at a carefully selected mine that benefits the people, community and country where it is located. Forevermark traces each diamond along its journey, ensuring strict business, environmental and social standards are met at every step. Every Forevermark diamond receives a unique inscription, a brand icon and an individual number, a symbol of the Forevermark promise of beauty, rarity and responsible sourcing, that ensures that Forevermark diamonds are a force for good, benefiting the people, communities and countries from which they originate. This promise means you can be proud to own and wear your Forevermark diamond forever.

D.E.F. is a global non-profit organization based in New York City that raises money to fund education initiatives in African diamond-producing nations. 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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