Khoren Bandazian Takes Helm as New Chairman of Armenia Fund USA

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NEW YORK — After eight distinguished years of dedicated service as secretary of the Board of Directors of Armenia Fund USA, Khoren Bandazian, an experienced corporate and real-estate attorney, assumed the position of chairman of the board. Bandazian succeeds Raffi Festekjian of Boston, who served as chairman since 2006. Festekjian was instrumental in bringing a contemporary vision to Armenia Fund and reaching out to a new generation of board members and supporters.

Bandazian brings executive experience gained in his professional life as well as the many other Armenian organizations and causes with which he has associated himself since he was a young adult. He has served on various committees organized by the Armenian Diocese and the Armenian Prelacy, such as the 1,700th Anniversary of Christianity in Armenia Committee. He has also served on the board of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church of Ridgefield, NJ. In 2007, Bandazian chaired Armenia Fund USA’s 15th anniversary gala at the United Nations, which raised over $2,000,000 in support of the organization’s efforts.

“Over the years, many eyes have been on Khoren as one of our community’s most promising up-and- coming leaders of the next generation. Now, in the prime of his life, he has accepted to take on this added and serious responsibility using his multi-faceted skill set. We couldn’t be more proud,” said Kevork Toroyan, who served as chairman of Armenia Fund USA from 2002 to 2006.

Bandazian is one of the longest-serving Armenia Fund USA board members.

“Mr. Bandazian’s chairmanship is of great importance to the US Eastern Region affiliate of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund. Our Fund is proactive,” stated Ara Vardanyan, executive director of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund. “We get involved and do what we can for both our motherland and the organization. When the time comes, some of us step up and assume leadership roles while educating the next generation on why and how they can serve. I am pleased to see that Mr. Bandazian, a long- time member of Armenia Fund USA, has stepped into one such role. I am confident that under his guidance, Armenia Fund USA will continue to flourish, attracting active members and expanding our support base. We wish him all the best.”

“Armenia Fund is not a static organization. Although our mission remains the same, we are constantly mindful that the Republic of Armenia is a very different place than when our organization was formed in the early years of its national independence,” said Irina Lazarian, executive director of Armenia Fund USA since 2004 and also with the organization for more than 10 years. “As the Armenian homeland evolves, our approaches to lingering socio-economic challenges, such as rural poverty in Armenia and Karabagh, must be adaptive and flexible. Khoren has demonstrated many times over that along with his analytical and thoughtful approach to understanding the problems, he can be just as creative and open to the best ideas to help solve them.”

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As chairman, Bandazian will oversee all activities of Armenia Fund USA. In addition, he will coordinate efforts with the heads of the 20 other Armenia Fund affiliates worldwide, as well as the Hayastan All Armenia Fund, headquartered in Yerevan, Armenia.

“Khoren Bandazian represents the very best of our contemporary Armenian-American community leaders,” stated Kharen Musaelian, a fellow board member. “Raised and educated in the United States and fully assimilated into the mainstream culture, Khoren has somehow managed to keep his ancestral Armenian identity equally strong. This is clearly reflected in his ability to understand and relate to a diverse Armenian community and to genuinely value the contributions of those from different backgrounds and perspectives.”

Bandazian currently is a partner at Carella, Byrne, Cecchi, Olstein, Brody and Agnello, a general practice law firm with 40 attorneys where he specializes in corporate and real estate matters. He began his law career at the general practice law firm of Winne, Banta, Hetherington, Basralian & Kahn in New Jersey.

“I am honored to step into the leadership of Armenia Fund USA, following in the footsteps of our prior leaders Berge Setrakian, Hagop Kouyoumdjian, Kevork Toroyan and Raffi Festekjian,” stated Bandazian on the occasion of his election as chairman. “These previous chairmen, especially Hagop Kouyoumdjian, demonstrated commitment to this organization that will be difficult to match. I look forward to bringing my experience and skills to bear on one of the most important missions we have as a people — the reconstruction and redevelopment of our Homeland. Every effort to help our developing nation should be undertaken by our diaspora. Armenia Fund provides a unique vehicle for these efforts by consolidating our resources and channeling them towards growth of Armenia and Karabagh.”

He added, “Armenia Fund is the most comprehensive organization dedicated to redevelopment efforts in Armenia and Karabagh. It is also the most universal of any other Armenian organization. Armenia Fund crosses religious and political lines to unite our efforts for that with which we can all agree — the rebuilding of Armenia and Karabagh.”