The Homenetmen Western United States Regional Executive of 1989 was the first to propose to bestow the title of Exemplary Homenetmen Member upon individual Homenetmen members. The title is given to a member, in the region, whose character, organizational abilities, and dedication served as a prime example for others to follow.
This initiative continued among Homenetmen Regional Executive Boards to come, and has turned into a well-respected tradition among the organization’s members and supporters. Throughout the past 30 years, 30 commendable Homenetmen members have earned this title, which is of great honor both to the organization and its recipient.
This year, the Homenetmen Regional Executive has awarded this title to Vartkes Shekherdimian, a founding member of the Homenetmen Crescenta Valley Shant Chapter. Shekherdimian was selected as the 2019 Exemplary Homenetmen Member, given his vast organizational experience and dedicated service.
Vartkes Shekherdimian was born on August 28, 1949 in Baghdad, Iraq to a family filled with Armenian spirit. He is the oldest child of Aram and Almasd Shekherdimian’s five children, consisting of four brothers and one sister.
He received his elementary education from the local Catholic school, and his secondary education from the Al-Sharqia Secondary School in Baghdad. Thereafter, he attended college and majored in Business Administration. He then started his own company, which he operated while living in Baghdad.
In 1967, he became a member of the Homenetmen Baghdad Chapter as a scout, where he was entrusted with a great deal of organizational and volunteer work as a result of his diligence and hard work.
In 1974, he relocated to the United States with his family and settled in Glendale, California. He specialized in plumbing, and started his own personal company.
In 1977, Vartkes Shekherdimian met and married Leone Magarian. The couple had two children, Shant and Talar, who were also raised in the Homenetmen organization, filled with Armenian pride and spirit. Shant was previously a scout, and later a scout leader, of the Homenetmen Shant Chapter. Talar was also a scout, and volleyball coach, for the Homenetmen Ararat Chapter. Both their children married, and have given the Shekherdimian family four grandchildren—Sarin, Aram, Ani, and Monte.
After achieving much success in his personal career, Vartkes Shekherdimian joined the ranks of the Homenetmen Glendale Ararat Chapter in 1986. He has served on a number of committees, and brought his participation to furthering the work and activities of the chapter.
Given the growing number of Armenians in the Crescenta Valley community, a group of Homenetmen members collectively formed the Homenetmen Shant Chapter in 1993. Vartkes Shekherdimian was a founding and executive member of the chapter. He strengthened the newly established chapter by actively volunteering, and has served as a member, executive member, and chairperson, striving to give rise to the chapter and its activities.
He has offered his ongoing support to Chamlian Armenian School, which his children attended, and served as a member of the school’s parent committee for years. He has also served on a number of committees benefiting the St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church in Glendale.
Vartkes Shekherdimian has 23 years of active service in the Homenetmen organization. As a result of his leadership qualities, organizational abilities, dedication, and volunteerism, he has been entrusted with numerous leadership positions. He has served five terms as a member of the Homenetmen Regional Executive, as well as committee responsibilities for the Navasartian Organizing Committee, including its opening and closing ceremonies, the Navasartian Victory Banquet, and Festival.
In 2016, the Homenetmen Regional Executive accepted the request of the Homenetmen Shant Chapter and awarded Vartkes Shekherdimian with the region’s highest medal, the Homenetmen Service Medal. This year, in 2019, he is being awarded as Exemplary Homenetmen Member.
Shekherdimian considers Homenetmen as a school, where he has learned and inherited the courage to overcome any difficulties in life. Through the organization, he has gained a wide circle of friends and volunteered in a healthy environment, for which he is most grateful.
“Not only has being a member of Homenetmen enriched my knowledge, yet it has also brought significant meaning to my life. Homenetmen is my second home, where I have created so many lasting and unforgettable memories. It is my sincere hope that our future generations become members of this organization, believe in its mission, further its objectives, and follow the ‘Elevate Yourself and Others with You’ motto,” said Shekherdimian.
The Homenetmen Regional Executive extends its sincere congratulations to Vartkes Shekherdimian for being named the 2019 Exemplary Homenetmen Member. His respect, admiration, and belief in Homenetmen serve as a prime example for coming generations.