Armenian International Women’s Association Honors Lily Ring Balian

Lily Ring Balian, recipient of the 2014 Ellis Island Medal of Honor

LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The Los Angeles Affiliate of the Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA) anticipate a capacity crowd to walk the red carpet on Saturday, Nov. 22, at the world renowned Beverly Hills Hotel. The special occasion for the luncheon is to honor Lily Ring Balian, recipient of the 2014 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Balian received this prestigious medal on May 10, 2014, at a moving ceremony on Ellis Island in recognition of her enduring contributions to both the Armenian and American communities. The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) sponsors the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, established in 1986, and presented annually to American citizens who have distinguished themselves within their own ethnic groups while exemplifying the values of the American way of life.

Silva Katchiguian, President of AIWA-LA, states “We are proud to honor Lily Ring Balian who has had a distinguished career in both public and community service. She has served on the Executive Board of AIWA- LA since its establishment, elected President in 2000-2003 and currently serves as Publicity Chair and Liaison to the International Board. Lily Ring Balian has received recognition and garnered praise for her deep sense of commitment to the Armenian Apostolic Church and for her tireless work on behalf of the Armenian community.”

Balian’s public service began in the Office of the Los Angeles County District Attorney, where she rose through the ranks to serve as Executive Assistant to the Hon. Evelle J. Younger, District Attorney (l964-1970) and continued serving as his Executive Assistant following his election as Attorney General of the State of California (l97l-79). In 1980, she moved to Washington, D. C. from Los Angeles to head Citizens Operation for the Reagan-Bush campaign. Following the presidential election, President Reagan appointed her to the 15 member National Advisory Council on Adult Education (1981-1988) advising the President and Secretary of Education on adult education programs throughout the United States, elected Chair (l985-88). Following her volunteer activities in the gubernatorial campaign of Hon. Pete Wilson, the Governor appointed her to the California Commission on the Status of Women where she served for six years (1991-96), elected Chair in l994-96. In 1995 she represented The California Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations Fourth World Conference in Beijing, China. From 1991 to 1997, Balian served as Corporate Director of Civic Action and Public Affairs for Northrop-Grumman Corporation in Century City administering their government relations program.

Balian’s volunteer service in the Armenian community is well known, particularly her articles in the Armenian newspapers. She has served as a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Western Diocese since 1981 and served as its Chair for 15 years (l985-2005); elected to the Diocese Council in 2006 and re-elected in 2008 serving as its Secretary. Currently, she is Honorary Chair of the Government Relations and Protocol Committee; member of the Zorayan Museum Committee and Annual Christmas Ball Committee. Balian was awarded the Gontag and St. Nerses Shnorhali Medal from his Holiness Karekin II. Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians in 2004. Her other awards include: the Archbishop’s Award from His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian (2006); “Angel of the Year” by the Westside Ararat Guild (2006); and the Justice Armand Arabian Leaders in Public Service Award by the Encino Chamber of Commerce (2013).

Tickets for the luncheon are $100. Reservations and/or sponsorships can be obtained by contacting Houry Aposhian, (818)434-5295; email: houry@phbancorp.com.

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