For Immediate Release
July 6, 2007
THE 16th MEETING OF ARMENIA FUND BOARD OF TRUSTEES
CONVENES IN YEREVAN
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.
«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
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
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.
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 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