Ernest Blom, chairman of the Diamond Dealers Club of South Africa, was unanimously elected WFDB president, during the 32nd World Diamond Congress, held in Tel Aviv, June 26-29. He succeeds Shmuel Schnitzer, who completed two successive two-year terms as president.
Blom previously served as WFDB vice president. In addition, the general assembly honored Schnitzer by bestowing upon him the title of Honorary Life President of the WFDB.
Israel Diamond Exchange President Avi Paz was unanimously elected as WFDB vice president. Michael Vaughan, secretary-general, and Dieter Hahn, treasurer-general, were reelected. Following a vote, three additional members of the executive board were elected: David Marcus of the Diamond Club West Coast; Freddy Hager, President of the London Diamond Bourse & Club, and Sergei Oulin, chairman, Diamond Chamber of Russia. They join Anoop Mehta, president of the Bharat Diamond Bourse of Mumbai, Jacob Banda, president of the Diamond Dealers Club of New York, and Julien Drijbooms, president of the Vrije Diamanthandel in Antwerp.
In his acceptance speech, Blom urged the WFDB membership to realize its collective strength as an influence in the market.
“There is a Northern Sotho belief that a river runs deep because of its source. Likewise, I believe in the WFDB as an entity,” he said. “Wisdom teaches us that careful planning results in a rich and prosperous business. By harnessing this wisdom, we can create solutions that deliver exceptional returns. It is my belief that these solutions will be a resource that is beyond expectations.”