GLENDALE—A capacity crowd of over 450 gathered at the Stars on Brand theater to mark the 2019 Armenian Influencer Awards. Held on June 2, the event was organized by Ara Kazaryan and Mher Baghdasaryan of the Armenian Entertainment Group. Over a dozen individuals representing the media, entertainment, politics, and business industries were honored at the event. ANCA-WR Chairperson Nora Hovsepian, Esq. received the special “Advocate for Justice” award in recognition of her lifelong involvement in Hye Tad, and leadership of the organization in the past 7 years effectively advancing the interests and policy priorities of the Armenian American community.
Introducing the award, co-host Ara Kazaryan praised the ANCA, stating “There are many community-based organizations that undertake important work, but there is one in particular that is the dearest to my heart. It is an organization that has been active for decades and works 24/7 all year round, both here and throughout the world, to advance the Armenian Cause. It is a great honor to share this stage with the Chairperson of the ANCA-WR, Nora Hovsepian, and present her with the special ‘Advocate for Justice’ award.”
“It is so important that we have a strong grassroots advocacy organization called the Armenian National Committee of America to hold our politicians accountable and keep our people informed,” continued co-host Nona Melkonian.
“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of the ANCA-Western Region,” remarked Hovsepian. “This award is a testament to the thousands of activists and volunteers who work ever so tirelessly, day in and day out, to advance the Armenian Cause. We need all hands on deck and I call on everyone to use the influence that they have for the betterment of our community and of our homeland.”
In her speech, Hovsepian also recounted the many instances of collaboration with Glendale City Councilmember Zareh Sinanyan and State Senator Anthony Portantino thanking them for their support and assistance all these years. Both Sinanyan, who was also among this year’s award recipients, and Portantino, who presented one of the awards, spoke highly of the ANCA-WR’s work, and stressed the importance of grassroots advocacy in their remarks.
ANCA-Western Region’s Joseph Kaskanian and Armen Sahakyan presented the 2019 “Most Influential Reporter” award to Ellina Abovian of KTLA 5 News.
In presenting the award, Kaskanian particularly noted, “From placing dozens of students and recent graduates every year into our internship and fellowship programs in Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Washington, DC to organizing special workshops and our flagship Grassroots Conference for the community at-large, the ANCA-Western Region recognizes the importance of empowering our people and preparing the next generation of our Nation’s leaders in all spheres of the society.”
“The media and journalism industries are no exception. Today, more than ever, we are in need of objective and timely coverage of important issues, including ones concerning the Armenian-Americans. The ANCA, for decades, has not only been on the forefront of advancing our community’s interests, but also defending against defamation and anti-Armenianism,” added Sahakyan.
Influencer awards were also presented to Hrush Achemyan, Araksya Karapetyan, Ellina Abovian, Gary Madatyan, Jill Simonian, Andre Panossian, MD, Michael Aram, Paul Karmiryan, Peggy Sulahian, George & Jack Keshishyan, R-Mean, Roman Mitichyan, Sona Van, and Vicken Sepilian, MD.
The Armenian National Committee of America–Western Region is the largest and most influential nonpartisan Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues in pursuit of the Armenian Cause.