White Pine’s Management Team and Board
- Ben Burne: CEO
- Andrew Brown: President & CFO
- Louise Lieblich: Vice President of Operations
- Matthew Howe: Vice President of Marketing & E-Commerce
- Joe Mellet: Vice President of Technology
- Myles Schakler: Vice President of Diamond Melee Sales & Auctions
- Bill Norton: Head of Wholesale Diamond Buying
- Michael Lebowitz: Director of Jewelry Sourcing
- Ben Burne
- David Schiff: (Partner, Perella Weinberg Partners)
- Mark McGreenery: (Partner, Perella Weinberg Partners)
Ben Burne: CEO
Ben graduated from Oxford University, UK, in 1993 with a BA Hons in Earth Sciences (Geology), and has a family background in the diamond trade. He has worked for more than 18 years in the diamond industry, and has considerable experience and understanding of the market.
Ben did a number of jobs straight out of university related to diamonds, including several months in Botswana prospecting for diamonds. Back in London, he spent three years at Ernst & Young qualifying as a chartered accountant before moving to New York to return to the diamond trade, joining Michael Werdiger Inc., a diamond and jewelry manufacturing firm. As a vice-president, he worked in a number of roles including Marketing and the diamond department. Latterly, he became chief operating officer of Eloquence Corp., which specializes in distributing jewelry products containing diamonds that are less than a 1/5 carat to retailers in the US.
Andrew Brown: President and CFO
Andrew graduated from UCE Birmingham, UK with a B.A. (Hons) in Accounting in 1994 and went on to gain an MBA in Finance & Accounting from NYU Stern and a MS in Real Estate Development at NYU.
He has worked in a wide variety of financial roles, including M&A at Activision Inc., corporate finance at HSBC Investment Bank and equity research at Morgan Stanley. Latterly, he worked in private equity at MMC Capital, and went on to launch his own real estate development company based in New York.
At White Pine, Andrew is responsible for the consumer buying division, the melee auction division, the colored diamond division, financial operations, strategic initiatives and other day-to-day management duties.
Louise Lieblich: Vice President of Diamond & Jewelry Management
With over 15 years of experience within the diamond and jewelry industries, Louise has a comprehensive understanding of the global market. Her professional portfolio includes a long-standing position at Michael Werdiger Inc., a diamond and jewelry manufacturer based in New York, as well as periods of diamond purchasing in India and Thailand.
Over the years, Louise has developed a specialized expertise in purchasing, sorting, processing, and selling diamonds and jewelry.
Louise graduated from Purchase College and has continued to advance her studies across the business and gem and jewelry sectors. She earned a Master’s Degree, specifically related to the auction business, and the identification and dating of antiques, jewelry and other areas of sale, from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
In addition to many academic affiliations, Louise remains an active member of the Women’s Jewelry Association, a premier trade group dedicated to advancing the professional lives of women in the jewelry and watch industries.
At White Pine, Louise supervises the diamond and jewelry processing team and is responsible for processing purchases, shipping merchandise, maintaining the company’s vast inventory and selecting sales lots.
Matthew Howe: Vice President Of Marketing and Consumer Purchasing
Matthew brings over 15 years of experience working with startups and some of the world’s largest companies including Shell and Microsoft.
Matthew’s varied career started in computer games, working on the PGA golf series for EA Sports where he produced various titles including PGA European Tour and golf courses for Tiger Woods Golf.
Matthew then moved into the internet world working for AKQA one of the world’s most prestigious digital agencies and assumed full responsibility for the Microsoft consumer account in the UK. He worked on a huge range of thru-the-line campaigns and web projects for MSN, Expedia, Xbox and Microsoft UK, devising strategy and project managing the implementation.
Betfair is one of Britain’s most successful internet companies and Matthew headed up the customer acquisition program for 3 years and then moved into the international business where he headed up the operations across 15 countries.
Matthew’s well rounded experience also involves working for Shell in London managing media projects and as Marketing Director for Borro. Borro is an asset based lending startup where he gained his knowledge of watches, diamonds and jewelry.
Myles Schakler: Vice President of Diamond Melee Sales & Auctions
Myles has worked in the Diamond Industry for the greater part of 17 years and has considerable experience and knowledge in both the retail and diamond wholesale sectors. Myles spent his first 9 years as a Sales Manager / E-Commerce Director for Firenze Jewels Inc. – a retailer located in New York.
In 2008, he left the retail sector to join the Rapaport Group as the Director of Trading. One of Myles’s main accomplishments while at Rapaport was the development, management and growth of Rapaport Auctions. Under his supervision, the Auction Division grew into a global diamond marketplace.
At White Pine, Myles leads its sales division and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of its global diamond sales auctions, brokerage services, and Business-to-Business Cash Advances.
Bill Norton: Head of Wholesale Diamond Buying
Bill has 15 years of experience in the diamond and jewelry industries. Starting in jewelry wholesale for a diamond site holder as an administrative assistant, Bill worked his way up the ranks — from jewelry production, to jewelry design, diamond sorting and evaluation, to account management and sales. Throughout his career, he has worked under the expert tutelage of many industry leaders. Bill has also completed his diamond laboratory training at GIA.
Bill joined the White Pine team in 2010 as one of its first buyers and expert evaluators. Bill was promoted to manager of the White Pine buying team in 2014, and continues to be an integral part of the White Pine team.
Michael Lebowitz: Director of Jewelry
Michael is a seasoned veteran of the jewelry industry, with specialized experience in antiques and the decorative arts. He is affiliated with numerous trade associations and remains an active participant of key industry affairs.
Most recently, Michael served as executive vice president at Buxbaum Jewelry Advisors, where he directed store closings, promotional sales, inventory augmentation programs, wholesale auctions, and consulting assignments for retailers, wholesalers or their asset-based lenders. Prior to that, he held positions, including consultant to M. Fabrikant & Sons, fine jewelry merchandise manager for Shreve Crump & Low, and closeout buyer and asset appraiser at Gordon Brothers Corp.
Originally from Massachusetts, Michael relocated to the New York area when he accepted the position at White Pine. Presently, as director of jewelry, Michael leads the division’s delivery of consulting services, including jewelry appraisals. He is also largely involved in the company’s pursuits to design and manufacture pieces from its recycled diamonds.