LAS VEGAS—After much anticipation, the ANCA-Western Region hosted its first biennial, DestiNATION weekend at the beautiful Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas during Columbus Day weekend.
More than 100 people from across the United States attended the dynamic weekend, highlighted by Saturday night’s Gala “Kef Kef” Banquet, where the DestiNATION Committee honored Diana Madison, Ani Esmailian and Nora Gasparian of Hollyscoop; actor and physician Armand Dorian and filmmaker Eric Nazarian. The Gala was held at the classy exotic car showroom inside the Dal Toro Ristorante at the Palazzo Hotel.
Weekend activities began Friday, October 5, with an introductory meet and greet at one of Venetian’s lounges, and culminated with a club night at Venetian’s famous Tao Nightclub.
Saturday’s activities commenced with a dynamic networking meet and mingle event at the ultra chic V Bar at The Venetian. There, attendees networked and bonded through icebreaker activities, cocktails and appetizers. Shortly thereafter, the group took the good times poolside, at the private and exclusive “Azure at The Palazzo.” “The Saturday afternoon mix and mingle really set the tone for the weekend,” said DestiNATION committee member Dro Hagopian. “The networking events presented an excellent opportunity for young professionals from a variety of different professions and backgrounds to meet and interact with one another.”
DestiNATION committee chairwoman Linda Adran and ANCA Professional network (ANCA-PN) chairman Ayk Dikijian opened Saturday evening’s highly-regarded “Kef Kef” Gala by emphasizing the importance of becoming active in the community and giving back while advancing one’s professional career. Honorees Hollyscoop, Armand Dorian and Eric Nazarian were each bestowed with the ANCA’s first ever Trailblazer Award in Entertainment, Professional Achievement Award and the Achievement Award in the Cinematic Arts, respectively.
The honorees emphasized the importance of Armenian unity and one’s responsibility to further the Armenian cause. “The ANCA-Western Region was thrilled to honor young Armenian American professionals who have helped pioneer and breakthrough in various nontraditional fields, such as entertainment and film,” said Linda Adran. “Our honorees touched the crowd and imparted an important message to our guests. They provided a refreshing element to the night, adding to the memorable night that everyone had,” said Ayk Dikijian.
After dinner, the group took to the dance floor where the “Kef” continued.
Sunday’s Farewell Brunch took place at the popular Grand Lux Cafe at The Palazzo Hotel, and featured Congressional candidate, Danny Tarkanian. Tarkanian addressed all attendees, urging the importance of our generation; mingled and took pictures with the crowd. “Inviting Danny Tarkanian to participate in DestiNATION weekend was instrumental to the organizing committee because he exemplifies just how important it is for an individual to become active in the political process and, just as importantly, to actually strive to develop a career dedicated to public service,” said Raffi Kassabian, ANCA-Western Region board member.
After the Farewell Brunch, the attendees parted ways, but not before exchanging information with one another and taking a few final pictures. DestiNATION committee chairwoman, Linda Adran, reminded the crowd to stay tuned for the next DestiNATION weekend in 2014, destination to be determined.
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.