GLENDALE—The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region announced that philanthropist, industrialist, entrepreneur and staunch supporter of the ANCA and the Armenian community in Armenia and the Diaspora, Vahe Karapetian will be honored with the ANCA-WR Legacy Award at its Annual Gala Banquet on Sunday, November 2 at the world-famous Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.
The ANCA WR Legacy Award is among the organization’s highest awards and is being granted to Mr. Karapetian for his decades of community service and support. “From the Homeland to the Diaspora and back, Vahe Karapetian is a true pillar of our community, creating a lifelong legacy and setting an example of dedication, service, selflessness and generosity. For all of this, he is more than deserving of the ANCA-WR Legacy Award,” said Steve Artinian, ANCA WR Board Member and Treasurer.
Vahe Karapetian was born in Lebanon in 1940. In 1946, he immigrated with his family to Armenia. He earned an engineering degree from Yerevan’s Polytechnic Institute.
Karapetian moved to the United States in 1968. In 1971, he created a catering truck that could be mass-produced. Subsequently he became a central figure in the design and manufacture of the now-ubiquitous catering truck. Today his company, Vahe Enterprises, Inc., is an industry leader that retails custom vehicles and runs a fleet of catering trucks.
For the past four decades, Karapetian has been a noted pan-Armenian philanthropist and community activist, supporting the founding of numerous community institutions, including churches and NGOs, as well as contributing to scores of infrastructure-development projects, in the diaspora, Armenia, and Artsakh alike.
Karapetian played a pivotal role in the construction of the St. Garabed Church and Alex Pilibos School in Hollywood. He supported the creation of the Armenian Chair at UCLA, and, in 2007, the Institute of Armenian Studies at USC, through the establishment of the Vahe Karapetian Family Endowment Fund.
He is also a major benefactor of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund. He supported the establishment of the Goris-Stepanakert Highway-construction firm and continues to provide the highway’s yearly maintenance. In addition, he supported the construction of the Sos-Amaras and North-South highways and continues to contribute to the Fund’s annual Telethons. Today Karapetian is a major supporter of the Vardenis-Martakert Highway construction project.
In 1978, Karapetian was awarded the Prince of Cilicia Medal of Honor by His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II.
In 2005, he was honored by the government of Artsakh with the Grigor Lusavorich Medal.
In 2006, he became the first diaspora Armenian to receive the Consolidation of Cooperation Medal from Armenia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, in recognition of his valuable role in helping strengthen the Armenian state.
And in 2011, he became the 42nd individual since 1991 to receive the prestigious Medal of Honor of the Republic of Armenia.
Karapetian is a member of the Advisory Board of Armenia’s Ministry of Diaspora, which has awarded him a Gold Medal for his contributions to the socio-economic development of Armenia and Artsakh, as well as his key role in the preservation of the Armenian identity in the diaspora and the development of far-reaching partnerships between the diaspora, Armenia, and Artsakh.
In 2014, Karapetian launched the AGBU Vahe Karapetian Center in Yerevan. The center functions as a residence hall for diaspora youths visiting Armenia, and a venue for cultural and social events designed to foster friendship and collaboration between young Armenians from throughout the world.
Karapetian has frequently been featured in the American news media and has hosted Batsahaytum, his own public-affairs television program.
The 2014 ANCA WR Annual Gala Banquet will be held on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at the world-famous Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. Individuals interested in attending the Annual Gala Banquet are encouraged to purchase tickets online at www.ancawr.org/gala or call 818.533.8587. To obtain individual or corporate sponsorship information visit www.ancawr.org/gala/sponsorship or call (818) 500-1919. For up to the minute updates on the event like the ANCA Western Region Facebook page or visit ancawr.org.
The ANCA WR Gala Banquet represents the single largest annual gathering of Armenian American public policy leaders throughout the western United States, and is attended by over 1,000 prominent Members of Congress, state legislators and officials, community leaders, and many of the organization’s strongest activists and generous donors from California, Nevada, Arizona, and throughout the western United States.
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.