DEF’s Second Annual Good Awards Saluted Global Leaders

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 in Events | One Comment

New York – NY; Last night at the ultra-hip nightclub LAVO, the Diamond Empowerment Fund joined with the international diamond industry to honor leaders committed to corporate social responsibility and promoting education empowerment and prosperity in Africa, where the majority of diamonds are mined.

DEF’s GOOD Awards were given to diamond industry legends Tiffany & Co. and Leo Schachter Diamonds (creator of the Leo Diamond), and to international model and humanitarian Noella Coursaris Musunka.

Good Awards Honorees

Russell Simmons, music mogul/entrepreneur and co-founder of the Diamond Empowerment Fund, emphasized the importance of the diamond industry to give back and empower the communities where their precious resources are found. “A strong Africa is an educated Africa. For the diamond industry to be sustainable in the future, empowerment of youth through education is essential.”


A distinguished and varied audience convened for the GOOD Awards, including celebrities from the music, film, and fashion worlds. Along with Simmons, the event drew celebrities Estelle, Jeffrey Wright, and Selita Ebanks; global industry leaders Varda Shine and Stephen Lussier of De Beers, Mike Kowalski of Tiffany & Co., Mark Light and Mike Barnes of Signet (parent company of the Kay and Jared retail brands); and African ambassadors from the diamond producing countries of Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa.


Varda Shine, Executive Vice President of Global Sightholder Sales, De Beers Group and another co-founder of DEF, added, “Education and the incubation of leaders of the future must always be our social priority, as it is this that leads to sustained progress, economic growth, and prosperity. Providing unrestricted access to schooling is the first step in creating a virtuous circle of development.”

Phyllis Bergman, DEF board president, said, “We are encouraged by the fabulous success of the 2013 GOOD Awards. This bodes well for the industry’s future.”


The event was kicked off with an African ceremonial dance by native Batswana dancers. The festivities continued after the Awards presentation by a passionate performance by Grammy Award-winning artist Estelle, and music continued throughout the evening with famed DJ M.O.S.


GOOD Awards sponsors for the evening included Tiffany & Co., Exelco and JCK, and Empowerment Circle inaugural sponsors, the Dalumi Group, Malca-Amit, Sterling Jewelers, and Leo Schachter Diamonds. The Empowerment Circle is DEF’s new annual partnership program.

GOOD Awards 2013 Sponsors

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Exelco logo

Empowerment Circle Sponsors


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1 Comment

  1. Marcia L Dyson
    March 28, 2013

    I can always count on Russell Simmons to do the best thing for humanity. He is a light that shines in the darkness of urban places and on foreign soil where the dirty business of mining diamonds can have a more stellar operation and become better for those who work on the behalf of the industry, especially the children and the poor.

    God Bless you continuously Russell for being a Hip-HOPE leader.

    Marcia and I am sure my husband, Michael Eric Dyson would agree. Yessir!


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