Community Makes Homenetmen, Woodbury Leadership Seminar a Success

Speakers and organizers of the 'Elevate 2014' Leadership Seminar at Woodbury University's Fletcher Jones Foundation Auditorium


Participants hear from distinguished leaders from government, medicine, business, entertainment, and academia

BURBANK–Well over 250 excited and eager attendees packed the Fletcher Jones Foundation Auditorium at Woodbury University early on Saturday morning to participate in “Elevate 2014” Leadership Conference Seminar. Hosted by the Homenetmen Glendale “Ararat” Chapter and the Woodbury University Center for Leadership, this one of a kind event was originally conceived in 2012 through a partnership of the aforementioned entities and sought to unite and engage concerned community leaders who recognized its tremendous and immediate need and was established in response to growing community calls for a vehicle to exist which develops and instills, within its youth, the leadership skills that elevate and empower them to become productive citizens and influential members of society.

“We are beyond pleased with this event. It was so uplifting to see so many young people here so early on a Saturday morning to attend a leadership seminar,” remarked Homenetmen Glendale “Ararat” Chapter Chairman Tomik Abrahamian. “When you put so much time, energy and effort into an event of this kind and it yields the positive response and interest it does, you cannot help but be proud, reinvigorated and encouraged. We thank all of our speakers, sponsors, participants, attendees and Dr. Calingo and his staff at Woodbury University for their cooperation and support in this effort and hope to build on our unique partnership with Woodbury University on future events and projects.”

L. to r.: Homenetmen Glendale 'Ararat' Chapter Chairman Tomik Abrahamian, Academy Award winning producer at Pixar Animation Studios Katherine Sarafian, and Homenetmen Glendale Chapter Executive Director Armond Gorgorian

This capacity room event featured a unique list of accomplished and renowned speakers which included: Katherine Sarafian, Academy Award winning producer at Pixar Animation Studios; Luis Ma. R. Calingo, Ph.D., President of Woodbury University; Mikayel Israyelyan, entrepreneur and CEO of Muse Lifestyle Group; Scott Ochoa, City Manager for City of Glendale; Arby Nahapetian M.D., VP of Medical Affairs and Quality at Glendale Adventist Medical Center; and longtime community leader and philanthropist and founder and President of Massis Kabob, Hacop Baghdassarian, who was honored with the “2014 Elevate Leadership Award.” Also attending were California State Assembly member Mike Gatto, Mayor of the City of Burbank Emily Gabel-Luddy, City of Burbank Councilmember Jess Talamantes, Glendale City Clerk Ardashes “Ardy” Kassakhian, and Glendale Community College Member of Board of Trustees Dr. Armine Hacopian.

Certificates of Recognition were provided to the participants and honorees by the offices of Congressman Adam B. Schiff, Calif. State Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, Calif. State Assembly Members Adrin Nazarian and Mike Gatto, Calif. State Controller John Chiang, LA County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, Calif. State Senator Carol Liu, City of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Los Angeles Councilmembers Paul Krekorian and Felipe Fuentes.

“I was very impressed with the large turnout and assemblage and quality of speakers who participated in today’s seminar. There was something special for everyone that came here today to learn to lead and grow effectively,” stated Dr. Luis Ma. R. Calingo, President of Woodbury University. “The various fields and disciplines represented here was extraordinarily unique and we are extremely proud to host this event, for the second time now and look forward to partnering with the Homenetmen Glendale “Ararat” Chapter on the next ‘Elevate’ Seminar and other similar events.”

After the event, attendees were treated to a special luncheon hosted by the University at its Alumni Quad, during which they had further opportunities to meet and mingle with the speakers and one another. Through an extra special arrangement, UFC and MMA superstars Edmond Tarverdyan (UFC Bantamweight Champ Ronda Rousey’s trainer), Jessamyn “The Gun” Duke, Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler, and Marina Shafir were on hand to sign autographs and participate in photo opportunities with attendees.

The “Elevate 2014” Leadership Development Conference Seminar Series of the Homenetmen Glendale “Ararat” Chapter and the Woodbury University is the largest and only Armenian-American Leadership Incubator of its kind and draws and directs the wisdom and experience of the nation’s top Armenian-American corporate and business leaders, public figures and accomplished and recognized leaders from the fields of the arts and sciences, entertainment, athletics and civic and community leaders and academics and identifies and instills within today’s Armenian-American youth the leadership skills and organizational tools required to prepare them to become tomorrow’s influential citizens and community leaders. This Leadership Development Incubator focuses on character shaping and leadership development.

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