GLENDALE—Long time community activist and public servant Hacop Baghdassarian will receive the Legacy Award at the 2011 Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region Annual Banquet for his decades of service to the American American community and dedication to the Armenian Cause.
Hacop M. Baghdassarian was born in Tehran, Iran on March 30, 1948 to Petros and Marous Malek Baghdassarian. Hacop grew up in Tehran with his four sisters – Nora, Emma, Rima and Asiah. He attended Kooshesh Armenian School in Tehran until the age of fifteen when his father Petros unexpectedly died from a heart attack. Baghdassarian cut short his educational aspirations to attend to his father’s paint supply business. He maintained his father’s reputation as a fair and honest entrepreneur and was sought out by young Armenians arriving in Tehran looking for work.
In 1973, Hacop married Hilda Voskanian and later had two sons, Peter and Gevik. In 1979, leaving behind the turmoil of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Baghdassarian and his family immigrated to the United States. In Los Angeles, Baghdassarian followed his entrepreneurial inclination and opened the first of four restaurants named “Massis Kabob” in Glendale. For over four decades, Baghdassarian has worked tirelessly to make his businesses successful – his motivations always being providing for his family as well as contributing to the Armenian community to the best of his ability.
Currently, Baghdassarian serves on the board of the Armenian Education Foundation and works with several Armenian charities including Homenetmen, Armenian Relief Society, and the Armenian Eye Care Project, among a number of other community organizations. Although he has no formal training in construction or engineering, Baghdassarian often travels to the rural villages in Armenia to review plans for the renovation of dilapidated elementary schools. To date, Baghdassarian has been responsible for the construction or renovation of several schools in Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Javakhk. In 2005, Baghdassarian’s philanthropy and dedication were officially recognized when he received the Yerakhtagitutiun Award from the then President of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Arkady Ghoukasyan. In December 2006, Baghdassarian was honored by the Armenian Education Foundation and named its Most Valuable Member. In March 2010, he was honored by the Armenian Relief Society’s “Javakhk Fund” Committee for his work raising contributions supporting many worthy projects including the sponsorship of the renovations of eight schools. In 2010, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia bestowed upon Baghdassarian the Knight of Cilicia Medal.
The central tenets in Baghdassarian’s life are his family, abiding faith and dedication to the Armenian American community. Now approaching the second half of his life, Baghdassarian’s greatest joy is taking time out of his busy schedule to play with his four grandchildren – Anthony, Michael, John and George.
“Hacop Baghdassarian is a shining example of a dedicated public servant, who has given so generously of his time and energy to the Armenian community through his participation in many organizations. He has instilled those same values in his children and grandchildren, who will certainly carry on his legacy throughout the years,” said ANCA-WR Board member Pattyl Aposhian-Kasparian.
The Annual Banquet will take place at the Universal Sheraton Hotel on Saturday, November 26 at 7 p.m. Tickets for the Annual Banquet are $200, and discounted tickets are available to students with valid ID.
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The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential 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.