Happy New Year dear WDC Family!

May it bring us peace and keep us healthy and full of passion for our industry.

As we embark on this new year, I would like to share with you some recent updates.

Right before the holiday break, the WDC Board held its final meeting for 2023. Since the primary agenda item was to approve new members, we did not gather the entire membership during this very busy time of the year. I am, nonetheless, happy to report that we welcomed four new members! We have been releasing their names via our LinkedIn posts.

To let you in on a secret, our VP Ronnie VanderLinden and I made a secret bet last May in London, right after the change of the WDC Chair. Essentially, we set a target to end the year with 60 members. Why 60 you would ask? Because at the time it seemed high, requiring us to come out of our comfort zone, basically requesting that we grow by 25 percent in fewer than seven months.

Convinced of WDC’s mandate and our growing added value, and armed with the confidence of our Officers, I decided to revamp the Membership Application form during the summer, and used every opportunity to meet with potential candidates during each the work trips I conducted over the remainder of the year.

Membership outreach is a part of my job that I find quite fascinating. It requires research about the diamond players in general, and picking the ones that would be perfect matches. It also requires that I lay out a clear message about the WDC, and for me to actively listen, as I strive to understand where we can bring an extra value to our members. When you are as passionate about our industry as I am, what’s not to love about learning more about new facets, companies and individuals.

With a growing membership in mind, my “behind the scenes” team and I myself started to work on our communications outreach in general. As you might have seen, we have upped the frequency, with more single items rather than packages of items. We strive to offer you diverse content, whether we are featuring the portrait of an individual, or an educational piece about the KP, or a profile of producing country.

Let me stop here for a second, as I would like to commend Steven Benson on these last items. The amount of research and dedication that is put in to write these pieces is impressive and I can only encourage you to read the article on the KP Statistics or the history of the diamond industry in Botswana, just to name two!

But content is not the only way we approach Comms. You will see in the coming weeks a change in the look and feel is coming as well.

I have also come to realize that doing your job is not enough, you need to share more about what is being done. So, I too will do better in communicating with you, our membership. I will come to you more frequently with updates through various means.

On that note, communications actually must go both ways. If you need the WDC, reach out to me! If you need a training for your company on the SoW, a live presentation on the KP, an update on any topic we are working on, drop me a line and I will do my best to get back to you – whether you are situated in my hometown, Paris, or anywhere else. The WDC is here for you.

Now for the coming months, here is what we know already. We will hold our Annual General Meeting via Zoom on February 21, 1:00 PM London time. We will keep it short and efficient, as we know that you expect a report, but not to be stuck for hours when your time is so precious.

We will be traveling with the KP Task Force (which is the WDC committee dedicated to the Kimberley Process) twice to Dubai this year, as the UAE became the KP Chair on January 1. So during mid-May and mid-November, you will find us close to the DMCC for a full week each time. We will also attend the main trade shows, such as JCK Las Vegas in June and Hong Kong in September. There will be more to come about Las Vegas, as we intend to organize a gathering for those of our members who are present during the show.

In summary, during 2024, at the WDC we intend we intend meet and exchange more often with you all, and hopefully in a more peaceful climate.

Before I let you go, I realize I did not finish my story from earlier. So, I was at my hotel in Surat, after the inauguration of the new bourse complex in the city, taking stock of another full day of engagement with our industry members, when I realize that, with the four applications waiting to be approved the following day during the Board meeting, Ronnie and I would have won our secret bet! 60 members by the end of the year.

But that was not my most satisfying surprise, for when I woke up on the morning after Christmas. I found another application in my inbox. The 61st member of the WDC is apparently waiting on the sidelines!

A Happy New Year indeed.

Elodie Daguzan
WDC Executive Director

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