The Homenetmen Regional Executive is proud to announce that Katcho and Araxie Achadjian have accepted the role as Honorary Presidents of the 41st Annual Navasartian Athletic Games. A recent meeting held with the couple served as a prime opportunity to learn more about their backgrounds and lives as hard-working, patriotic, and model U.S. citizens. Katcho Achadjian is currently an Assemblymember representing the 35th Assembly District in the California Legislature.
The son of Hratch and Marie Achadjian, Katcho Achadjian was born in the small town of Chtaura in Lebanon’s Beqaa valley. He received his primary education until eighth grade at the Armenian Evangelical School in the Armenian-populated village of Anjar and went on to graduate from the Secondary Evangelical School in Zahlé, Lebanon.
At a young age, he became a member of the local Simon Vratsian “badanegan” association and, as a result of his leadership qualities, he also served as its chairperson. Later, he became a member of the Homenetmen Zahlé Chapter as a basketball player and participated in various competitions organized through local and Homenetmen tournaments.
Araxie was also born in Chtaura and was a neighbor to her future husband, Katcho. She received her primary education at the Hripsimiantz School in Zahlé, Lebanon and her secondary education at a college in the same city. She was also a member of the local Simon Vratsian “badanegan” association and a member of the Homenetmen Zahlé Chapter as a scout. She holds fond memories of her participation in various Homenetmen camping trips in both Anjar and Cyprus.
As a result of the Lebanon Civil War, Katcho Achadjian relocated to the United States and settled in San Marino, CA near his sister. He attended Cuesta Community College and, in 1976, graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in International Business Management.
Around the same time, Araxie also left Lebanon as a result of the civil war and relocated to the United States. She earned a degree in Financial Management from Cal Poly.
A chance coincidence prompted the meeting of Katcho and Araxie in the United States, where they later married in 1984. Despite living in San Marino, the couple wed at the Holy Martyrs Church. They had two children, Hratch and Nyri, whom Araxie cared for and taught the Armenian language, culture, and history. When Katcho began his involvement in political life, Araxie took on the responsibility of helping with the family business, including a chain of gas stations and rental properties.
It should be emphasized that throughout the course of his life, Mr. Achadjian has served numerous civic, service, and nonprofit organizations through his volunteer efforts. With great admiration for the city in which he lived, he became very involved in his community. His diligent and just nature became evident and he was encouraged to participate in political life. He served for three terms as an elected member of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors. In 2010, he was elected as a California State Assemblymember and he is currently a candidate for the 24th Congressional District.
He has held numerous leadership positions, some of which have been highlighted below:
- He was appointed to the San Luis Obispo County Fair Board by Governor Pete Wilson and served on the board from 1992-1999. He was the Board Chairperson in 1995.
- He has served as a Charter Board Member of the San Luis Obispo Law Enforcement Assistance Foundation since 2002, serving as Secretary in 2002 and Vice-President from 2004-2010. In 2004, he was recognized with the California Attorney General’s Certificate of Appreciation for Support of Law Enforcement.
- He has been a member of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Advisory Council since 1989, serving as its Chairperson from 1994-1995.
- He has served for three terms as an elected member of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors and served as the Board Chairperson in 2001 and 2006.
- In 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him to serve as a member of the California Coastal Commission, charged with protecting California’s coastline. He served as a member of the commission until his election to the Assembly in 2010.
- He was the founding chairperson in 1999 of the San Luis Obispo County First 5 Commission, which allocated funds and advocates for programs and services that support children (prenatal to age 5) and ensure that children are healthy and ready to learn in school.
- He currently serves as Vice Chairperson of the Assembly Transportation Committee and is a member of the Assembly Committees on Banking and Finance, Governmental Organization, Utilities and Commerce, and Joint Legislative Audit.
Assemblyman Achadjian has succeeded in calling for recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the California State Assembly and, every April, supports the Armenian National Committee’s Advocacy Day.
Alongside fellow Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, they have succeeded in having instruction on the Armenian Genocide taught at public schools and have created the Armenian legislative caucus.
Assemblyman Achadjian finds the role of Armenians and the Armenian youth, in particular, very important in political life. “If we do not participate in local politics, our voices will not be heard. When Armenians join political parties and gain votes, we can work toward achieving our goals,” stated Achadjian. Araxie Achadjian also affirmed the importance of Armenians finding their voice in local political life.
The couple reflected on their enjoyment of attending the Navasartian Athletic Games throughout the years, as well as Victory Banquets. Achadjian affirmed that they hold great pride as the Honorary Presidents of the 41st Annual Navasartian Games, which provide an opportunity for Armenian youth to unite and become inspired with Armenian spirit. “The youth that will collectively gather for Navasartian will carry forth the objectives of Homenetmen, will remain Armenian and serve the Armenian nation,” stated Mrs. Achadjian.
The Achadjian family has generously sponsored the Camp Tecuya office at the Homenetmen Center, whose naming ceremony was held on March 28, 2015 with the blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian. On March 13, 2016, the couple was present during the KAHAM Closing Ceremony/Navasartian Opening Ceremony and distributed KAHAM trophies.
“The Homenetmen family holds great pride to have Mr. and Mrs. Katcho and Araxie Achadjian as Honorary Presidents of the 41st Annual Navasartian Games. The couples serves as a prime example to affirm that Homenetmen creates a healthy environment for the youth and instills within them national spirit. On behalf of the Homenetmen Regional Executive, we congratulate Mr. & Mrs. Achadjian and extend wishes for continued success in their family and political life,” expressed Homenetmen Regional Executive Chairperson Manuel Marselian.