Armenian Assembly Holds Special Weekend Advocacy Event in Palm Beach

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WASHINGTON — The Armenian Assembly of America 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 performer Kev Orkian.

The community briefing provided updates from Assembly Co-Chair Anthony Barsamian, who had recently returned from holding a round of meetings in Jerusalem, and Co-Chair Van Krikorian, who had 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.

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.

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Bishop Mesrop Parsamyan, Primate of the Eastern Diocese, delivered the invocation. He also remembered Assembly founders Dr. Richard Hovannisian 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.

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 Orkian.

Orkian, a classically trained pianist, composer, and host of “Armenia Uncovered,” 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.

Kev Orkian

The program concluded with remarks from Assembly President Carolyn Mugar and Krikorian.

“The Assembly’s events in West Palm Beach 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 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.”

Van

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