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Armenia Fund USA Inc.
80 Maiden Lane, Suite 301
New York, NY 10038

Tax ID: 13-3696515

Phone: 212-689-5307
Fax: 212-689-5317
Toll Free: 1-866-HIMNADRAM

[email protected]

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For Immediate Release
July 6, 2007



NEW YORK, New York – Armenia Fund is pleased to announce that the 16th meeting of Armenia Fund Board of Trustees convened in Yerevan on June 19, 2007. Chaired by President Robert Kocharian, the meeting opened with the spirit of the Fund’s 15th anniversary and an acknowledgement of the importance of the organization in carrying out nation-building tasks since the birth of the independent Armenian Republic. “Armenia Fund is a most important institution uniting Armenians in the homeland and in the Diaspora, and has brought together the efforts of all the segments of our people vis-à-vis pan-national tasks and goals for one-and-a-half decades now. For this, I congratulate the Fund on its 15th Anniversary”, President Kocharian addressed the audience.

Led by the prayers of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All-Armenians, the session began with a review of the completed projects for the past year and approved the undertakings of the coming year. An end-of-the-year statement of the Fund’s activities was introduced with its various programs and results. Rebirth of Artsakh Regional Development Program was assessed as contributing significantly to the economic upsurge of Nagorno-Karabakh and the well-being of its people.

President Kocharian addressing the audience.

«Armenia Fund is a most important institution uniting Armenians in the homeland and in the Diaspora, and has brought together the efforts of all the segments of our people vis-à-vis pan-national tasks and goals for one-and-a-half decades now. For this, I congratulate the Fund on its 15th Anniversary», President Kocharian addressed the audience.

As a natural development of the Fund’s mandate, Armenia Fund affiliates adopted the Rural Development Program to extend the comprehensive infrastructure and economic development to Armenia’s villages.
Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian, member of the Board of Trustees, presented to the representatives of all affiliates of the Fund with an overview of the Rural Development Program – its mission, objectives and approaches in partnership with individuals, Diaspora organizations, local Armenian NGOs, international organizations, as well as individual countries. An agreement was reached by all the affiliates to continue the regional development program already in place in the Mardakert and Hadrut regions of Karabakh and to expand it into Martuni. At the same time, Rural Development Program will begin with a cluster of villages in Tavush region of Armenia. Minister Oskanian, later appointed to be the coordinator of the Rural Development Program by the Board, noted that this program will complement the Armenian Government’s efforts in this area. There are already several dozen individuals and organizations ready to sponsor specific infrastructure and economic needs of each village. The leadership of the Fund acknowledged that this is a complex program with noble goals, and joining efforts is a prerequisite for success.

The 16th Meeting of Armenia Fund Board of Trustees.

The 16th Meeting of Armenia Fund Board of Trustees
Convenes in Yerevan.

The Board of Trustees’ of Armenia Fund approved Vahe Aghabegians as Executive Director of the Fund. Mr. Aghabegians succeeded Ms. Naira Mekloumian who had served for nearly four years in the position leading the organization into one of its most significant phases and having had great input in its growth.

Mr. Aghabegians, an engineer by training, has served as advisor to Foreign Minister Oskanian since 1999. In the last 18 months, he has worked specifically on the conceptualization and planning of the Rural Development Program. Born in Tehran, Mr. Aghabegians was educated in the U.S. where he established several successful businesses in the IT sector serving Fortune 500 companies. “I believe in the mission of Armenia Fund. This is the unique institution that can make it possible for Armenians around the world to contribute to Armenia’s development. I am one of those lucky Diasporans that dreamed about an independent Armenia, and today have the opportunity to help turn that Armenia into the land of our dreams”, he says.

The affiliates of Armenia Fund also discussed the preparatory works for the Annual Armenia Fund Telethon to be held on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2007. The Telethon will feature the 15th Anniversary of Armenia Fund presenting the organization’s successes in changing countless lives in Armenia and Karabakh.

Kevork Toroyan, Armenia Fund USA, Eastern
Region, was awarded with Anania Shirakatsi medal for devoted service to Armenia Fund.

Kevork Toroyan, President Robert Kocharian

An important highlight of the Trustees’ meeting was a reward ceremony during which several individuals were awarded with Anania Shirakatsi medals for their devotion, leadership and valuable service to the Fund. Kevork Toroyan was among the awardees, and was handed the medal by President Kocharian. Mr. Toroyan chaired Armenia Fund USA’s Board of Directors for several years, and has been closely involved with the planning and implementation of the Agricultural Initiative, the economic underpinning of Regional Development Program in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Initiative proved successful in creating jobs and raising family income of small farming communities in more than 21 villages in Karabakh. Raffi Festekjian succeeded Mr. Toroyan as chairman of Armenia Fund USA in January, 2007. Mr. Festekjian headed the Fund’s participation to the 16th meeting of the Board of Trustees. “We have had a very productive exchange of ideas and opportunities. Armenia Fund is given a strategic task – revitalization of Armenia’s villages. Today, we can build on our 15-year experience of nation-building and make rural areas a great place to live and raise a family. The Rural Development Program is a complex initiative, but together we can meet these challenges. I call upon the Diaspora, supporters and friends of Armenia Fund to join efforts and help us develop rural Armenia one village at a time, and assist in creating the “Armenian Dream”. Our vision is for Armenia to become an economically independent and competitive nation where its citizens’ aspirations can be fulfilled and dreams realized”, said Mr. Festekjian after the meeting.

The Armenia Fund Trustees’ meeting closed with an agenda full of new undertakings and collaborations. The annual meeting elected National Assembly President Tigran Torosyan and Prime Minister Serge Sargsian ex officio members of the Board of Trustees.

The year 2007 marks the 15th Anniversary of Armenia Fund – a pillar organization created after Armenia’s independence and mandated with the vital task of uniting all Armenians around the world to direct efforts toward development and revival of the nation. For 15 years the Fund, with its 19 affiliates across the globe, has touched countless lives in Armenia and Karabakh. Combining aid, development and direct investment, Armenia Fund has engaged Armenia’s leaders, its people and the worldwide Diaspora to promote education, create jobs, improve public health and develop infrastructure, among other critical humanitarian needs. Today, Armenia Fund’s contributions to social and economic prosperity of Armenia and Karabakh are unprecedented.

The 15th Anniversary of Armenia Fund is a celebration of the past, present and future of the Armenian people. It is a celebration of overcoming challenges by working together. Above all, it is a celebration of humanity, courage and hope.

ABOUT ARMENIA FUND USA: founded in 1992, was one of the first of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s 19 international affiliates and serves constituents in all states east of the Mississippi. As a non-profit, non-governmental, nonsectarian organization, the Fund represents all Armenian constituents. Armenia Fund USA is the largest contributor among the 19 international affiliates – supporting strategic infrastructure projects in Armenia and Karabakh. The Fund has adopted a policy to go “Beyond Bricks and Mortar” to provide sustainability for projects it sponsors.

To learn more about Armenia Fund USA, please visit our website at or call us at 212-689-5307.

Armenia Fund USA
80 Maiden Lane, Suite 301
New York, NY 10038


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