At its first U.S.-based gala event, the Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F) raised more than US$1 million to benefit its global mission of supporting initiatives and programs that help diamond communities throughout the world.
During the May 29 event, on the eve of the opening of JCK Las Vegas trade show, among representatives of the international diamond jewelry industry, government officials from diamond-producing nations, government dignitaries and celebrities,
D.E.F. presented the 2014 Global Diamond Industry Achievement Award to His Excellency, the Honorable President Ian Khama and the government of the Republic of Botswana. The country's Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Kitso Mokaila, accepted the award on behalf of the republic of Botswana.
The program was opened with welcoming remarks s by D.E.F's co-founders, Russell Simmons and Philippe Mellier, CEO The De Beers Group of Companies.
Phyllis Bergman, D.E.F's President of the Board stated, "Tonight, the monies that we raise will be used not only to enable D.E.F to support our existing beneficiaries, to add new ones & to insure D.E.F's growth, but to continue to be a progressive and socially conscious organization focused on supporting the good initiatives carried on in all the countries in the world that benefit from the diamond and diamond jewelry business. We will bring this message to consumers globally under our new ‘Diamonds Do Good' platform."