NORTH HOLLYWOOD—On the evening of Thursday, March 31st, the ANCA San Fernando Valley East Chapter (ANCA-SFV East) hosted over 250 guests at its annual Community Reception event in North Hollywood, California. In what was a true testament to the soaring organizational and political strength of the ANCA-SFV East, its sister organizations, and the East Valley Armenian community as a whole, the event attracted scores of government officials, civic and community leaders, large business owners, and successful professionals.
ANCA-SFVE Board Member Avetis Ashkharikian, a successful young entrepreneur, served as Master of Ceremonies for the event. He welcomed attendees, acknowledged the long list of distinguished guests, and delivered opening remarks.
Ashkharikian spoke about the importance of nurturing the local grassroots and working every single day toward the realization of the collective goals of the over 70,000 members of the East San Fernando Valley Armenian-American community. He analogizing it to growing a bamboo tree, which grows very slowly at first, but then shoots up hundreds of feet in a short amount of time.
Ashkharikian, a native of Armenia, shared that growing up in the East Valley, he and his friends had always sought to be involved in an Armenian-American organization that could provide a venue for increased civic and community involvement, but an opportunity had not presented itself. He thanked Levon Baronian, Chairman of the ANCA-SFV East Chapter, for introducing him to the organization and motivating many other young Armenians like himself to volunteer for the ANCA and its sister organizations and invited Baronian to deliver the keynote address for the evening.
Baronian presented the greater goals of the Armenian National Committee of America and also discussed the important role Armenian-American residents have played in improving the eastern San Fernando Valley neighborhoods that he and his family have called home for 30 years. Continuing upon the evening’s theme of a maturing and rising community, Baronian emphasized the need for all present to work together toward building and strengthening the foundations vital to the local community’s future success.
Baronian thanked all the ANCA-SFVE’s volunteers and financial sponsors for their ongoing support and for helping make the ANCA-SFVE Community Reception a successful event. For their years of unwavering support to the Armenian community, Baronian also personally thanked the Fermanian family, who are owners of the successful Super King Markets chain of supermarkets, the most recent of which was opened in the East Valley. Baronian then invited California State Assembly member Adrin Nazarian to present a joint California State Resolution introduced by him and fellow Assembly member Matt Dababneh honoring Super King Markets and the Fermanians for their commitment to the California communities they serve and for increasing options for healthy and affordable groceries in traditionally underserved neighborhoods.
Jake Fermanian, Managing Director at Super King Markets, thanked the ANCA-SFVE and the State of California for the honor bestowed upon his family and Super King Markets. In an eloquently delivered and moving speech, Fermanian remembered his grandfather, Hagop Fermanian, an Armenian Genocide survivor, who instilled in him the Armenian spirit of perseverance and the unwavering pursuit of success against all odds.
Los Angeles City Councilmembers Paul Krekorian, Nury Martinez, and David Ryu each also delivered remarks, thanking the ANCA-SFVE for its role in engaging the large local Armenian-American constituency in public policy and community affairs, and pledging their continued support and friendship to the Armenian community of the East Valley. United States Congressman Brad Sherman’s office presented the Official Flag of the United States to chairperson Levon Baronian for his and the ANCA-SFVE’s commitment to the nation and the community.
In closing remarks, ANCA-SFVE Boardmember Avetis Ashkharikian thanked Ortho Engineering, New Business Systems, Image Cube, and the Armenian Relief Society of North Hollywood for sponsoring the evening’s Community Reception. He also thanked L.A. Banquets for the exquisite service provided at the Le Foyer Banquet Hall in North Hollywood.
In addition to those mentioned above, the following distinguished guests also attended the ANCA-SFVE Community Reception along with other leaders and members of their respective institutions:
Stephen Carmona – LAPD Valley Bureau – Commander
Monica Rodriguez – Los Angeles City – Commissioner
Mary Garcia – North Hollywood Neighborhood Council – President
Ryan Altoon – Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council – President
Jay Beeber – Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council – Vice President
Ovanes Chobanian – Democratic Party of San Fernando Valley – Executive Board Member
Zaven Pogsyan – Universal City North Hollywood Chamber – President
Christine Jerian – Los Angeles City – Director of Domestic Violence Programs & Services
Brian Gavidia – Office of Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti – East Valley Representative
Matthew Vallecilla – U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman – Field Representative
Kenny LaSalle – U.S. Congressman Tony Cardenas – Field Representative
Ara Khanjian – ARF Central Committee – Board Member
Razmik Gharakhanian – Armenian Engineers and Scientists of America – President
Manoug Joukhajian – Hamazkayin – President
Raffi Karayan – Armenian Cultural Foundation North Hollywood – Chairman
Lina Arslanian – Merdinian Armenian School – Principal
Pastor Nareg Pehlivanian and Chairperson Harut Tarpinian – North Hollywood Armenian Church
Seta Tarpinian – North Hollywood Armenian Relief Society “Meghry” Chapter – Chairperson
Vache Yaacoubian – North Hollywood Homenetmen “Javakhk” Chapter – Chairperson
Nareg Kitsinian – ANCA-WR – Board Member
Tereza Yerimyan – ANCA-WR – Government Relations Director
Shooshig Avakian-Koroghlyan – ANCA Sunland-Tujunga Chapter – Co-Chair
Raul Bocanegra – Former California State Assemblymember
Suren Seropian – Cal. State University Northridge – Director of Development
Harut Yedalyan – Armenian American Public Service Employees Association – Executive Director
Khachatur Mamyan – Southern California Armenian Democrats – Board Member
Rostom Sarkissian – Armenian Eye Care Project – Director of Development
Van Ajemian – Optimizing National Education – Executive Director