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Life and Arts

On the Town: Business Life luncheon honors women for their achievements

 Business Life’s Women Achievers
Early to arrive at the Castaway restaurant were three of Business Life’s Women Achievers, from left, Mariana Bayramyan, president of Chateau Salon; City of Industry Mayor Cory Moss; and Mary Kavukchyan, MK Loans’ consulting president.
(Ruth Sowby Rands)

The luncheon at the annual Women Achievers Conference was sold out in record time this year.

More than 400 women and a smattering of men showed up for wining and dining during the event that Business Life magazine has been presenting for 30 years.

This past Friday at the Castaway restaurant in Burbank, hundreds of supporters who had attended the morning conferences gathered in the lobby of the ballroom, awaiting the doors to open for the luncheon.

However, the ballroom’s doors had to stay closed a moment or two longer.


That’s where the 30 Women Achievers were gathered on stage for photos. The paparazzi buzzed around the women, taking picture after picture.

Business Life Magazine’s 2019 Women Achievers
Business Life Magazine’s 2019 Women Achievers surround Greg Krikorian, the magazine’s President/CEO.
(Ruth Sowby Rands)

Even Greg Krikorian, president and chief executive of Glendale-based Business Life, got into the act. He stood front and center in front of the women, as well he should have. His magazine was one of the first publications to recognize area women three decades ago.

Krikorian is also a top city leader as past president and current member of the Glendale Unified school board.


Honored for lifetime achievement was actress and businesswoman Christine Antonovich Hu. The recognition for exemplary leadership went to commercial real estate agent and community volunteer Elizabeth Manasserian.

As lunch was served, each Woman Achiever crossed the stage to receive her award and the recognition she deserved.

The women were Diana Abasta, Kandice Astamendi, Lina Badr, Mariana Bayramyan, Janet Braun, Brenda Burroughs, Aliya Coher, Marisol Espinoza, Kim Guard, Andra Hoffman, Mary Kavukchyan, Marina Khubesrian, Camille Levee, Paulette Malekian, Lisa Malm, Cory C. Moss, Sonia Nersissian, Carolyn Peroomian, Christine Ramos, Dianne Russell-Carter, Jo B. Solomonson, Peggy Taylor, Nora Tchaparian, Karen Volpei-Gussow, Debra Ward-Samad, Jill Welton, Martha Wilson, and Kerri Yoder-Hubbard.

Business Life movers and shakers also look to the future. The John & Elsie Krikorian/Women Achievers’ journalism scholarship recognizes deserving female students in the community who are pursing a career in journalism, marketing or business management.

Since its inception in 2014, nine scholarships have been awarded. The 2019 scholarship went to Gabriela Borraez.

The late couple John and Elsie Krikorian were the founders and editors of Business Life magazine.


Big Strike Auction
Representing the city at the Big Strike Auction are, from left, Councilmember Vrej Agajanian and Mayor Ara Najarian. They flank Najarian’s cowgirl/bride, Palmira.
(Ruth Sowby Rands)

This year’s Big Strike Auction kicked off a yearlong celebration to mark 100 years of Scouting for the Verdugo Hills Boy Scout Council.


The theme “BBQ & Boots!” fit the event as tight as a pair of jeans on a cowboy.

The hoedown held this past Friday brought out some 300 supporters, many of whom sported cowboy hats and boots.

Cute as a cowgirl was Palmira Najarian, accompanied by husband and Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian. Also representing the city was Councilman Vrej Agajanian.

This year’s venue was Glen Arden Club on Arden Avenue in Glendale.

The early birds snagged convenient parking in the lot across the street. They also were the first to bid on dozens of silent-auction items with the use of their smartphones — no bid sheets used these days.

A popular item was titled “Be a Glendale Schools Board Member for a Day,” with board member Armina Gharapetian. That opportunity went for $100. Gharapetian is also on the Verdugo council’s executive board.

Live-auction items brought in the big money. A six-night Hawaiian vacation went for $1,600. The lucky bidder was Debbie Hinkley, community volunteer and wife of Verdugo council executive board member Bruce Hinckley.

The auctioneer was Caesar J. Milch, who became an Eagle Scout in 1977 through the San Gabriel Valley Council, Troop 159.


A buffet BBQ dinner and musical entertainment by the Straytones rounded out the evening.

Rahla Frohlich, past council president, summed up the council’s goal, “Let’s grow our support so we can grow our council.”

Congratulations to Mark Kraus, chief executive of the Scouting council, and Andy Turner, council president, for a successful 44th Big Strike Auction.

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