The Armenian Relief Society of Western USA announced Haigoush Keghinian Kohler as its major banquet sponsor for the ARS Gala 2020. The Gala is dedicated to the 110th Anniversary of the Armenian Relief Society and this year’s Gala slogan is “ARS 110 Years Strong.” The celebratory evening will be held on Saturday, February 29 at the Glendale Hilton Hotel, located at 100 W Glenoaks Blvd, Glendale, CA 91202.
Haigoush Keghinian Kohler was born in Kharkov, Ukraine. Her parents were Bedros and Manoushag Keghinian, who were from the Tsitogh village in Erzerum. Prior to World War II, the family immigrated from Kharkhov to Iraq. There, she attended the Tarkmanchatz (Holy Translators) Co-Ed Secondary and, later, took evening classes at a government-funded, all-girls public high school in Baghdad.
By way of correspondence, she has completed programs and received certification in Commercial Business and English Language through Pitman shorthand and Oxford advanced-level classes. She has held positions in British, American, and Iraqi oil ministries (El-Dora Refinery). Haigoush has always brought her active participation to community life by becoming a member of various organizations and committees, including an Armenian youth organization in Baghdad. Following her studies, she joined the ranks of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
In 1962, Haigoush immigrated to the United States and established residence in San Francisco, California. She transferred to the local ARF “Nigol Aghpalian” Gomideh, continued to actively work with the Armenian National Committee, and become a member of the ARS “Garin” Chapter. For a period of time, she also worked at the office of George Mardikian as a bilingual executive secretary, as well as other companies.
In 1970, she met retired Navy Lieutenant General Elmer Bud Kohler. They married in 1971 and moved to Long Beach, California in 1972. The two were blessed with a daughter, Christina Maral. Haigoush’s husband supported her community and organizational work and was always there to offer a helping hand when necessary.
In 1986, Haigoush Kohler founded the ARS Long Beach “Zovinar” Chapter and served as its faithful supporter until 2019. In 1991, she was elected to the ARS of Western USA’s Regional Executive Board. One year later, in 1992, she was elected to the ARS Central Executive Board as Secretary. Haigoush has served on numerous committees, pursuing the Armenian Relief Society’s goals and mission and providing humanitarian assistance to Armenia, Artsakh, Javakhk, and the Diaspora. In 1988, when the devastating earthquake hit Armenia, she used her husband’s connections to immediately have humanitarian and medical supplies sent from an American military base in Germany to Armenia by way of air and containerized cargo.
Haigoush pursued her higher education and, in 1997, graduated from the Los Angeles Mkhitarian Educational Foundation. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the California State University, Long Beach.
She has sponsored highly-acclaimed books and publications. Moreover, she has brought her active participation to non-Armenian organizations in the Long Beach area, including:
- Long Beach Chamber of Commerce – Women’s Council;
- Long Beach Symphony Guild Chairperson;
- Long Beach International Committee Council;
- Member of Assistance League of Long Beach Chapter;
- Various Long Beach school PTA’s.
Haigoush has continuously demonstrated her moral and financial support towards her community and homeland. She has been bestowed with the Mesrob Mashdots medal and encyclical by Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian on behalf of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia. In May 2012, she was awarded with the Republic of Artsakh’s Presidential Appreciation medal for her years of support to the country by President Bako Sahakyan. In May 2015, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Artsakh honored her with a medal for her exemplary work towards the advancement of Artsakh. She has also received recognitions by ARS Regional Executive Boards.
For over 15 years, she served as the Chairperson of the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee and helps provide socio-economic and humanitarian assistance to Armenians in the region. Under her leadership, three youth centers were purchased in Javakhk through community fundraising efforts. In 2018, she was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee.
Haigoush is an active member of the Armenian Educational Foundation, supporting and providing educational needs and scholarships in Armenia, Artsakh, Javakhk and the United States, and has sponsored the renovation of two schools in Armenia. She serves as the CEO and President of C&O Enterprises and Development, a real estate/investment corporation.
Haigoush Keghinian Kohler serves as a prime example of an individual dedicated to humanitarian service.