U.S. Commerce Department to honor DDC

David A. Sampson, deputy secretary of the U.S. Commerce Department, will present a special award to the New York Diamond Dealers Club on May 16, in recognition of its continuing contribution to the United States’ export performance. Sampson will present the award during a gala dinner, which will take place Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center, New York, to celebration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the DDC.

“We are most excited and very proud to be receiving this acknowledgment from the U.S. government,” said Jacob Banda, DDC president. “The diamond trade generates billions of dollars worth of commerce each year, and directly and indirectly supplies a livelihood to tens of thousands of families. At the center of all this activity stands the DDC and it is gratifying to know that our contribution has been recognized.”

The gala dinner will be the culmination of a day-long celebration for DDC members, which will begin with a morning reception, also in the Rainbow Room, at which Distinguished Service Awards will be presented to diamond and jewelry industry notables. Also being honored is a group of DDC members who have been members of the Club for 50 years and more.

The gala dinner, where in addition to the U.S. Commerce Department Export Achievement Award, the DDC will honor three diamond industry leaders for their lifetime contribution to the trade. They are Kaushik K. Mehta, chairman of Antwerp-headquartered Eurostar Diamond Traders; Serguei Oulin, vice president of Alrosa Ltd., and president of the Diamond Chamber of Russia, from Moscow; and Shmuel Schnitzer, president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, from Tel Aviv. The evening event will also include a fashion show, featuring the items that reached the final round of the 2005 HRD Awards jewelry design contest.