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AWDC Names Karen Rentmeesters as Interim CEO

April 15, 2024  |  Joshua Freedman
Karen Rentmeesters credit AWDC (2) 1280

The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has appointed Karen Rentmeesters as its interim CEO following Ari Epstein’s resignation.

She will assume the new role on Tuesday, the organization said Monday.

Rentmeesters is currently the AWDC’s chief officer for public relations and industry relations, having been with the organization for 15 years. Among her tasks will be appointing a new, permanent CEO.

“To fill the position of ad interim CEO, we deliberately chose someone with extensive experience in and knowledge of the diamond industry, a large network, and the necessary expertise,” said Isidore Mörsel, chairman of the Belgian organization’s board of directors. “We are confident that Karen will take on this role with great enthusiasm and that, while waiting for a permanent CEO, she will flawlessly guide AWDC through its ongoing dossiers.”

Epstein stepped down as CEO last week after 13 years at the AWDC, which represents and provides services to the Belgian diamond industry.

His decision came amid debate around European Union sanctions on Russian diamonds, the implementation of which has been a controversial topic.

The group did not give a reason for his resignation. Belgian newspaper De Tijd claimed Epstein left to make a point that he supported transparency while the AWDC board of directors and diamond companies did not. This prompted both the AWDC board and the industry to release separate statements insisting they supported the sanctions and took issue only with the enforcement procedures.

Main image: Karen Rentmeesters. (AWDC)

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Karen Rentmeesters credit AWDC (2) 1280 AWDC Names Karen Rentmeesters as Interim CEO

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