Beginning in 2006, the Burbank chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America began recognizing local organizations along with businesses and civic leaders for their commitment to community service, political activism and raising awareness of the issues important to the Armenian-American community on international, national, local and grassroots levels.
This year, more than 300 members and supporters of the organization gathered to honor former Burbank Mayor Marsha Ramos as Citizen of the Year, businessman Timmy Mardirosian as Entrepreneur of the Year Award and Woodbury University as Organization of the Year.
The group also posthumously presented its 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award to "Business Life" and "Senior Life" magazine founder and publisher John Krikorian at its seventh annual recognition banquet held at the Ambrosia Banquet Hall this past Friday.
The event, presided over by ANCA of Burbank Director Zareh Kachatourian, chaired by Armond Aghakhanian and emceed by Montebello city council member Jack Hadjinian, included a performance by the Lilia Dance Studio under the direction of Lilia Margaryan and an address by Burbank mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy.
Along with Gabel-Luddy, Vice Mayor David Gordon and Councilmembers Jess Talamantes and Bob Frutos were also in attendance to support the ANCA chapter and pay homage to Ramos who, at the time of her election, was only the fifth woman to serve on the City Council and just the fourth to serve as the city's mayor.
The event was staged to celebrate the organization's accomplishments and reaffirm its collective commitment to serving Burbank's residents in a wide range of tasks including voter registration, social services and public school partnerships.
The banquet was made possible by ANCA of Burbank committee members Joseph Hovanessian, Houri Tavitian, Gaidzag Shahbazian, Garen Yegparian, Simon Avanessian, Ara Boyadjian, Shoushan Boyadjian, Michael Melkonian, Rafi Orphali, Nazeli and Jaklin Khodabakhsh, Silva Kechichian and Annette Kargodorian, along with event committee members Nanneh Chehras, Taline Gharibian, Ani Berberian, Vahe Shahinian and Arbi Ohanian.
Among the special guests in attendance were Ramos' husband, Dave, her parents, Richard and Leila Ramirez, and members of the family of the late John Krikorian including his widow, Elsie, sons, Greg, Ara and Nishan, and daughter-in-law, Christine.
Other notables included Woodbury University representatives David Dauwalder, Brian Flynn, Paul Decker, Seta Javar and Don St. Clair, Burbank City Clerk Zizette Mullins, City Treasurer Debbie Kukta and school board members Ted Bunch, Dave Kemp and Larry Applebaum.
DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at email@example.com or (818) 563-1007.