TCA West Coast Central Board Executive Secretary Mayda Kuredjian

New Tekeyan West Coast Executive Secretary Installed at TCA Beshgeturian Center

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ALTADENA, Calif. — Representatives of the Central Board of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of the United States and Canada (TCA) introduced their new executive secretary for the West Coast, Mayda Kuredjian, to local Tekeyan executive members and leaders of various Los Angeles Armenian organizations on January 16 at the TCA Beshgeturian Center in Altadena. Leaders of the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party (ADL), the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) and the Social Democratic Hunchakian Party were present along with cultural figures and media representatives such as editors from the California Courier, Massis, Baikar and Armenian Mirror-Spectator.

Many of the guests assembled at the TCA event, with Mayda Kuredjian standing at the center.

TCA Executive Director Aram Arkun served as master of ceremonies. He and TCA Central Board President Edmond Y. Azadian spoke highly of Kuredjian’s background and experience. She grew up in Beirut with her life intertwined with TCA’s activities. She attained leadership positions in ADL and TCA at a young age due to her energy and passion, two characteristics which remain inextricably associated with her to this day.

Kuredjian graduated Haigazian University in Beirut in 1982 with dual degrees in business administration and political science. With her command of English, Armenian and Arabic (and some additional knowledge of French and Turkish), she became involved in the activities of many Armenian organizations and served as editor of the Women’s Page of the Zartonk newspaper in Beirut in the 1980s.

Edmond Azadian

She moved to Boston in 1988, where she strengthened her association with TCA and worked as executive secretary for the entire organization from its headquarters in Watertown for over a year. She then worked as executive secretary for the AGBU’s New England District, again for more than a year, until August 1990.

Kuredjian worked as a travel agent in Boston for five years, establishing and running her own agency from 1991 to 1995. Although by then a US citizen, she moved back to Beirut to form a family and raise her children. She established an event-planning organization, Mayda Events, which she founded in 1998. Reestablishing her ties with Haigazian University, she served as the latter’s 60th anniversary event coordinator in 2014-15 and then as its job placement officer from 2015 until she returned to the US at the end of last year.

While in Lebanon, she continued to volunteer for TCA, and held positions such as secretary of the District Committee of Lebanon, Youth Director, Women’s Committee member, and Vahan Tekeyan School Educational Committee member. She also volunteered as a board member and activities director for the American Women’s Club of Lebanon, secretary of the Women’s Auxiliary of Haigazian University, chair of the AGBU Veteran Scouts Movement, chair of the AGBU Lebanon Schools Alumni, chair of the AGBU/AYA Mothers’ Committee, co-chair of the AGBU/AYA Antelias Executive Committee, and treasurer of the Armenian Catholicosate Naregatsi Children’s Choir.

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The two TCA Central Board officials spoke of their confidence that Kuredjian would reinvigorate and expand TCA’s cultural activities in the greater Los Angeles area as well as in the TCA Beshgeturian Center itself. They called upon those present to join in this work, which is intended to benefit the entire Armenian community and not to compete with existing organizations. On the contrary, they said, TCA is ready to extend its cooperation further in suitable enterprises.

They noted that Kuredjian will be the direct representative of the TCA Central Board on the West Coast, reporting directly back to the board. This will strengthen coordination of Central Board activities throughout North America.

Aram Arkun

Azadian pointed out that TCA was able, miraculously, to found and run the TCA Arshag Dickranian School for more than 34 years. Unfortunately, at a certain point the operation of the school was not only financially untenable but would have led to the depletion of the limited resources of the parent organization. This situation is unlike that which faced other larger organizations with much deeper pockets. Instead, TCA is planning to support new activities in the Los Angeles region.

Kuredjian thanked the TCA for its confidence in her abilities and promised in an emotional speech to work with all who were ready to cooperate to promote Armenian culture and education in the West Coast.

After dinner, a number of the guests present rose and made heartfelt speeches wishing Kuredjian well and pledging their support, including leaders from the ADL Central Committee Ara Aharonian and Kevork Halebian and the West Coast chair Dr. Raffi Balian. A good number of guests already knew Kuredjian from Beirut and personally knew of her accomplishments and abilities. Melo Ekizian added poetry to the mix with her recitation in Armenian.

Kuredjian may be contacted via email at tcawestcoast@gmail.com or at 626 296-1806 at her office at the TCA Beshgeturian Center (1901 N. Allen Avenue, Altadena, CA 91001).

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