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Assembly Hosts Special Event in West Palm Beach, Florida


Washington, D.C. - The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) hosted a special weekend event for regional advocates, Members, and supporters in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Saturday, February 3, which included a community advocacy update and evening gala featuring renowned performer Kev Orkian.


Performer Kev Orkian


The community briefing provided updates from Assembly Co-Chair Anthony Barsamian, who recently returned from holding a round of meetings in Jerusalem, and Co-Chair Van Krikorian, who recently returned from Armenia. Members and regional advocates also heard from Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny, who updated guests about current program objectives.  



Assembly Congressional Relations Director Mariam Khaloyan spoke of the upcoming Advocacy Summit on April 16 and 17, as well as recent developments on Capitol Hill and efforts by the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, while Assembly Western Region Director David Ojakian gave an update on West Coast advocacy.


The community briefing also included discussion about the Assembly's program expansion, including the purchase and renovation of a new National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The new space will undergo renovation beginning this Spring with completion slated for the Fall. The Assembly looks forward to inviting the community to the nation's capital to celebrate the grand opening.


His Grace Bishop Mesrop Parsamyan


During the evening's gala at the Hilton West Palm Beach, where Executive Director Bryan Ardouny served as the Master of Ceremonies, Board Member Lu Ann Ohanian extended the Assembly's gratitude to the weekend's sponsors and donors, the West Palm Beach Committee Members, as well as Armenian Assembly intern alumni and families who were in attendance.


His Grace Bishop Mesrop Parsamyan, Primate of the Eastern Diocese, delivered the invocation. He also remembered Assembly founders Dr. Richard Hovanissian and Dr. Dennis Papazian, Assembly Trustee Members Ardis Bogosian, Nevart Talanian, and Peter Onanian (also former Board Member), and the Assembly's Regional Director in Armenia Arpi Vartanian, who passed in 2023.


In addition to Bishop Mesrop's remembrance, a special tribute was played by Kev Orkian for Vartanian, whose work for the Assembly and the Armenian people spanned decades. 


Assembly Co-Chair Anthony Barsamian discussed activities and initiatives of the Assembly, and welcomed London-based Executive Producer of the Armenia Uncovered documentary and Board Member of the Tufenkian Foundation, Raffi Tanielian, who spoke about his involvement with the Assembly and its noteworthy accomplishments over the years, and introduced Kev Orkian.


Orkian, a classically trained pianist, composer, and host of the Armenia Uncovered documentary, performed for guests, and in between his sets, wove in insightful discussion about Artsakh refugees and played a tribute piece he composed during the 2020 war.

The program concluded with remarks from Assembly President Carolyn Mugar and Assembly Co-Chair Van Krikorian.


"The Assembly's events in West Palm Beach, Florida, served as a wonderful opportunity to brief the community on our advocacy efforts, and gather with the important goal of expanding our reach for the betterment of the Armenian people," said Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny.


"The Assembly sincerely thanks the West Palm Beach Committee Co-Chairs and Members, as well as all our generous sponsors for making this special weekend possible and to all of our attendees for joining us," Ardouny added.


The Assembly thanks the West Palm Beach Committee Members, sponsors, and supporters:


Committee Co-Chairs: 

 

Lu Ann Ohanian 

Deanna Stepanian 

D. Robert Stepanian 

 

Committee: 

 

Michael Aram 

Lucine Kaprielian 

Gail Talanian O'Reilly 

Oscar Tatosian 

Peter and Irene Vosbikian 

Presenting Sponsors:

Carolyn Mugar

M.Bruce and Lu Ann Ohanian

Peter and Irene Vosbikian


Platinum Sponsors:


Edward and Susan Atamian

The Dersahaghian Family Foundation

Michel Bezjian and Richard Bezjian

Karnig and Karen Durgarian

Raffi and Nina Festekjian

David and Margaret Mgrublian

Elaine Mosesian

David and Myrna Onanian

Richard and Gail Talanian O'Reilly

Oscar Tatosian

Pontish Yeramyan

Gold Sponsors:

Michael Aram and Aret Tikiryan

Anthony and Nancy Barsamian

Walter and June Hatfield

Peter and Marilyn Sarkesian, The Ajemian Foundation

Deanna Stepanian and D. Robert Stepanian


Additional Gifts in Support of the Assembly:


Jirair & Aline Christianian

Edward and Nancy Eskandarian

Anaide Markarian-Govaert

Sam and Lucine Kapreilian

Raffi and Alice Tanielian

Dr. Thomas Varbedian


Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.


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NR# 2024-04

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