Maryland-based WD Lab Grown Diamonds, a producer of laboratory grown diamonds for the jewelry, scientific and industrial markets, has named Sue Rechner as CEO. She is the former global president of Merrell, the largest division of Wolverine Worldwide. WD is backed by Huron Capital.
WASHINGTON, DC (Sept. 24, 2019) — WD Lab Grown Diamonds (“WD”), a leading producer of large, ultra-high-quality laboratory grown diamonds for the jewelry, scientific and industrial markets has appointed Sue Rechner as CEO. The selection of Rechner is part of a planned leadership transition from founder Clive Hill who will continue to be a significant shareholder and active board member leading projects in support of WD’s long-range strategic plans.
“Sue is exactly the kind of proven and experienced executive we were seeking to lead WD’s growth,” Mr. Hill said. “She is an entrepreneurial, results-driven leader with proven business, brand-development and operational expertise. With significant experience in watch, jewelry, and consumer products, we believe Sue is the perfect fit to lead WD through its next phase of growth.”
Rechner has built her career in the watch and jewelry, luxury goods, and consumer products industries. Before serving as global president of Merrell, the largest division of Wolverine Worldwide (NYSE:WWW), she served as president and CEO of private equity-owned Confluence Outdoor for 10 years. Prior to that, she was president of Victorinox Swiss Army and CEO of Victorinox Swiss Army Watch. Sue also has previous leadership experience with global brands such as Movado, Seiko, Citizen and Frederick Goldman.
“The global jewelry industry has been an important and influential part of my career; I am excited to be returning to lead such a dynamic and innovative company during a time of such significant growth,” Rechner said. “I look forward to joining the WD team as we seek to expand our product and services offerings. I see WD as a leading force in transforming an industry that has been historically plagued by traceability issues, which is an issue of growing importance with an increasing number of conscientious consumers.”
“This is an exciting time in the diamond industry. With WD as a leading market participant in an industry embracing lab-grown diamonds, we see tremendous growth opportunity for the Company over the next several years,” said Marty Hurwitz, a jewelry industry veteran, WD Board member, and Founder of MVI Marketing. “We are thrilled to have Sue build upon the existing collaborations WD has with other industry participants who share the same level of enthusiasm for lab-grown diamonds.”
Noting the fast-growing, high-quality industry segments of both the gem and industrial markets, Detroit-based, leading middle-market private equity firm Huron Capital made a significant equity investment in WD Diamonds in 2018 to expand the Company’s capacity and drive accelerated growth.
“Huron Capital believes in the potential of this market, saw an opportunity to provide the growth capital, and also plans to help develop the human capital to position the Company for success,” said Mike Beauregard, Senior Partner at Huron Capital. “I am confident Sue is the right leader to further accelerate its growth trajectory in the right way.”
About WD Lab Grown Diamonds
Based in the Washington D.C. area and founded in 2008, WD Lab Grown Diamonds is a market leader in Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) diamonds, with its diamonds certified by the International Gemological Institute, among other labs. The Company also offers new technologies and applications for diamonds in industrial settings. WD Lab Grown Diamonds is the exclusive licensee of a portfolio of patents covering single crystal CVD diamond growth technology developed by The Carnegie Institution of Washington. WD is jointly owned by Clive Hill, Yarden Tsach, Huron Capital, The Carnegie Institution of Washington and other members of WD management. For more information, visit www.wdlabgrowndiamonds.com.
About Huron Capital
Based in Detroit, Huron Capital is an operationally focused private equity firm with a long history of growing lower middle-market companies through our proprietary ExecFactor® and buy-and-build investment models. We prefer complex situations where we believe we can help companies reach their full potential by combining our operational and strategic resources, substantial capital base, and transaction experience with seasoned operating executives. Over the past two decades, Huron Capital has successfully established six investment funds totaling approximately $1.8 billion in capital and has completed over 175 transactions throughout North America. Huron Capital portfolio companies have had aggregate annual revenues exceeding $3.0 billion, 15,000 employees and operated over 325 facilities. Huron Capital targets both control and non-control equity stakes in fundamentally sound companies that the firm believes can benefit from its operational approach to creating value. These transactions typically take the form of equity recapitalizations, family succession transactions, market-entry strategies, corporate carve-outs, and management buyouts of companies having revenues up to $200 million. Huron Capital’s sector focus includes business services, consumer products & services and specialty industrials. For more information, please visit: www.huroncapital.com.