Location: Westbury, NY
President and Owner
“My business is a reopening of a company that was around for more than 90 years and was founded by my grandparents in Brooklyn in 1922,” says Esther Fortunoff-Greene, president and owner of Fortunoff Fine Jewelry. That company was sold in 2005, and languished under the new ownership, closing in 2009. In 2010, Fortunoff-Greene re-launched the jewelry division of the business in website form, with a store following in 2014.
Fun Fact: Fortunoff-Greene has served on the board of the Nature Conservancy for 12 years.
When Fortunoff-Greene first started out in the diamond business, she traveled to cutting centers all over the world. “They really were not used to seeing women in those kinds of jobs, but I learned how to handle myself in those situations,” she says. “Women have learned from the experience of being taken for granted, or someone assuming that they don’t really know what they’re doing. Sometimes that involves making sure that you have all your facts straight, so that you can command respect.”
For the past 30 years, Fortunoff-Greene has served on the board of Mabou Mines, a small, avant-garde theater company in Manhattan, and she acts as an advisor on a project at Yale University. As part of The Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimony at Yale, more than 4,000 people have been videotaped sharing their memories of World War II.