LOS ANGELES—Vicky Marachelian and Medea Kolognomos were among 13 women honored by Rep. Adam Schiff during a luncheon in Echo Park on Thursday marking Women’s History Month. The 2018 Women of the Year for the 28th Congressional District were presented at the event.
“Today, I met with thirteen remarkable women who have all worked tirelessly to make our communities a better place. It was an honor to recognize their outstanding work in the 28th District,” said Rep. Schiff. “These women have worked to found or support a myriad of charitable organizations, started multiple businesses and given so much of themselves to improve the common good. They are all pillars of our communities and I thank them for their invaluable service.”
This year’s honorees were: Claudette Nicole Saba Monestime (Atwater Village), Vicky Marachelian (Burbank), Isa-Kae Meksin (Echo Park), Emily Gleicher (Elysian Valley), Lori Hartwell (Glendale), Anastasia Mann (Hollywood Hills), Donna Ford (La Canada Flintridge), Kiljoo Lee Kurumada (La Crescenta), Brenda Levin (Los Feliz), Patricia Anne Kinaga (Pasadena), Nina Sorkin (Silver Lake), Kelly Erin Decker (Kagel Canyon), Medea Kalognomos (Sunland) and Ivy Bottini (West Hollywood).
Schiff presented a tribute about each woman in Congress, which were presented during the luncheon. Below are his tributes to Marachelian and Kolognomos respectively.
I rise today in honor of Women’s History Month. Each year, we pay special tribute to the contributions and sacrifices made by our nation’s women. It is an honor to pay homage to outstanding women who are making a difference in my Congressional District. I would like to recognize a remarkable woman, Vicky Marachelian of Burbank, California.
Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Ms. Marachelian’s dedication to community service and passion to volunteer for humanitarian efforts stems from her childhood. When she moved to the United States with her family at a very young age during the civil war in Lebanon, Vicky realized that she had the opportunity for a better life, and to this day, she strives to give back to the community and support the less fortunate.
Since 1995, Vicky has been an active member of the Armenian Relief Society (ARS), a remarkable organization with thousands of members in dozens of chapters around the world, serving the educational, social, and humanitarian needs of Armenians and non-Armenians alike. Over the years, Vicky has served in many capacities with the organization. She was elected to the ARS Burbank “Araz” Chapter as an executive member for 4 consecutive terms, served on the Regional Executive Board of the Armenian Relief Society of Western USA from 2003-2005, and was reelected in 2008 to serve as Chairperson of the Regional Executive Board. Impressively, only four months later, Vicky was elected as Chairperson of the Armenian Relief Society, Inc. Central Executive Board, the highest international executive position of the global organization, where she served for two terms. During her leadership as Chairperson, a number of projects were undertaken, including the construction of a new building for the ARS “Soseh” Kindergarten in Stepanakert, Artsakh, which was completed in September 2017.
In addition to her tireless advocacy with the Armenian Relief Society, Ms. Marachelian was active at Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School in Los Angeles, where her children attended, helping to raise funds for the construction of a new gym and library on the campus.
Currently, Ms. Marachelian continues her service to the community through the ARS Burbank “Araz” Chapter, where she presently serves as an executive member, and is instrumental in fund-raising for the chapter and doing outreach to Armenian and non-Armenian organizations.
Ms. Marachelian’s impressive work has not gone unnoticed as she has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Armenian American Chamber of Commerce “Woman in Service” award in 2011 and the “Vachagan Barepasht” medal in 2015, awarded to her by Bako Sahakyan, President of the Artsakh Republic, for her service in the Artsakh Republic.
Vicky has been married to Art Marachelian for 36 years, and they have two children, Chris and Raffi.
I ask all Members to join me in honoring this exceptional, well-respected woman of California’s 28th Congressional District, Vicky Marachelian.
I rise today in honor of Women’s History Month. Each year, we pay special tribute to the contributions and sacrifices made by our nation’s women. It is an honor to pay homage to outstanding women who are making a difference in my Congressional District. I would like to recognize a remarkable woman, Medea Kalognomos of Sunland, California.
In 1962, Medea moved to the United States from Iran to pursue her education. After graduating from Belmont High School in Los Angeles, she attended North Carolina State University and Point Loma Nazarene University in California, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in French and a Master’s Degree in Pupil Personnel Services.
Medea fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a school teacher when she was hired by the Glendale Unified School District, where she worked for a quarter of a century. She taught French and English as a Second Language (ESL) at Eleanor J. Toll Middle School, and then became an ESL Program Specialist at Eleanor J. Toll Middle School and Woodrow Wilson Middle School, and was also a Counselor at Glendale High School, where she patiently and compassionately advised students. She also guided many immigrant students and made a lasting impact in their lives, by instilling in them the importance of civic involvement and education.
An avid student advocate and civic leader, Ms. Kalognomos has dedicated countless hours to the community, and has served in over sixteen community and academic organizations in the past thirty-five years. Currently, she is a member of the Armenian Educational Foundation, the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region Education Committee, and co-president of the Committee for Armenian Students in Public Schools, which is an organization that has been a positive influence and inspiration to students in public schools. Most recently, Medea served as chairperson of the Committee for Armenian Students in Public Schools Leadership Workshop, where Glendale Unified School District and Los Angeles Unified School District high school juniors with a 3.5 and higher grade point average, gathered to learn valuable leadership skills and the importance of volunteering in the community. In addition to her tireless service in the local communities, Medea has volunteered at schools, orphanages and hospitals in Armenia for many years.
Medea’s extraordinary work has not gone unnoticed as she has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Ruby Award from the Soroptimist International of the Verdugos.
Ms. Kalognomos has been married to Sergeant Major Alexander Kalognomos for 50 years, and they have two children, Alex and Helen.
I ask all Members to join me in honoring this exceptional, well-respected woman of California’s 28th Congressional District, Medea Kalognomos.