GLENDALE—The Armenian Cultural Foundation announced this month that it will honor noted benefactor Hacop Baghdassarian, who has a decades-long support of the community and contributions to the betterment of Armenia and Artsakh, during the organization’s annual gala banquet.
The ACF, which promotes and sponsors cultural, educational and youth activities in the community will host its annual gala on Sunday, March 19 at 5 p.m. at the Rodeo Ballroom of the Beverly Hills Hotel.
“Hacop Baghdassarian and of course his wife, Hilda, have earned our respect for their active participation in our community, their financial and moral contributions and generosity and their multi-faceted engagement in Armenia and Artsakh through their philanthropic endeavors, especially in advancing education,” said ACF Gala committee chairwomen Elizabeth Boyadjian.
“We would like to express our sincere gratitude by honoring him [Baghdassarian] during our annual gala,” added Boyadjian.
Hacop M. Baghdassarian was born in Tehran, Iran on March 30, 1948 to Petros and Marous Malek Baghdassarian. Hacop grew up in Tehran with his four sisters – Nora, Emma, Rima and Asiah. He attended Kooshesh Armenian School in Tehran until the age of fifteen when his father Petros unexpectedly died from a heart attack. Baghdassarian cut short his educational aspirations to attend to his father’s paint supply business. He maintained his father’s reputation as a fair and honest entrepreneur and was sought out by young Armenians arriving in Tehran looking for work.
In 1973, Hacop married Hilda Voskanian and later had two sons, Peter and Gevik. In 1979, leaving behind the turmoil of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Baghdassarian and his family immigrated to the United States. In Los Angeles, Baghdassarian followed his entrepreneurial inclination and opened the first of four restaurants named “Massis Kabob” in Glendale. For over four decades, Baghdassarian has worked tirelessly to make his businesses successful – his motivations always being providing for his family as well as contributing to the Armenian community to the best of his ability.
Currently, Baghdassarian serves on the board of the Armenian Education Foundation and works with several Armenian charities including Homenetmen, Armenian Relief Society, and the Armenian Eye Care Project, among a number of other community organizations. Although he has no formal training in construction or engineering, Baghdassarian often travels to the rural villages in Armenia to review plans for the renovation of dilapidated elementary schools. To date, Baghdassarian has been responsible for the construction or renovation of several schools in Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Javakhk. In 2005, Baghdassarian’s philanthropy and dedication were officially recognized when he received the Yerakhtagitutiun Award from the then President of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Arkady Ghoukasyan. In December 2006, Baghdassarian was honored by the Armenian Education Foundation and named its Most Valuable Member. In March 2010, he was honored by the Armenian Relief Society’s “Javakhk Fund” Committee for his work raising contributions supporting many worthy projects including the sponsorship of the renovations of eight schools. In 2010, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia bestowed upon Baghdassarian the Knight of Cilicia Medal.
The central tenets in Baghdassarian’s life are his family, abiding faith and dedication to the Armenian American community. Now approaching the second half of his life, Baghdassarian’s greatest joy is taking time out of his busy schedule to play with his four grandchildren – Anthony, Michael, John and George.
To be a part of this celebration and to obtain tickets for the banquet, please call Armine at the ACF offices at 818.243.1890.