Strong corporate governance is essential for a successful non-profit organization, and our board members ensure AARFA.org operates with integrity and accountability.
President / Ambassador Committee Director
During the last two decades, Arthur Kokozian has played a significant role in the promotion and preservation of the Armenian culture and art. Since 1998, Kokozian has been participating in the production of the Armenian Music Awards for which he is the trademark owner. For over 40 years, Kokozian has been a resident of Pasadena, where his Armenian immigrant family used to own a grocery market. Not your regular grocery store, Carlo’s Produce was regarded by locals as a community center, where friends and relatives reunited to share their latest news and recipes, a home away from home, where the Armenian spirit was alive and thriving. While Kokozian’s studies in organization leadership at Azusa Pacific University gave him the theoretical background upon which he based his career, his experiences at the family’s store provided him with the understanding and passion needed to sustain the level of dedication that a rich and diverse career like his would require.
CARMEN AZINIAN LIBARIDIAN
Float Seat Lottery/Student Committee Director
Carmen Azinian Libaridian was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and came to United States when she was only a few years old. She is very family-oriented and adores her four children and her father who just celebrated his 90th birthday. She has been vital in helping spark collaboration between different organizations in the Glendale and Los Angeles communities. Her spirit of volunteerism and the effective leadership skills she displays is truly admirable. She serves in numerous different boards including a few that she added last year…. Armenian Relief Society of the Western Region, the American Armenian Museum Board, The Ararat charter school board, the YWCA of Glendale, the Community Liason at Arpa InternationalFilm Festival Committee and the American Armenian Rose Float Association.
Corporate Sponsor Committee Director
An artist and visionary, Eddie Zaratsian creates.
He is fluent in the many languages of design and uses his expertise and natural talent to bring ideas and stories to life through one-of-a-kind creations and environments. Eddie’s work cultivates a sense of wonder and connects us to the humbling and enlightening bounties of nature.
Eddie’s creativity and passion is evident in every aspect of his event design company, Eddie Zaratsian Lifestyle and Design, where he produces breathtaking events that envelop and delight the senses. Each detail, from large- scale installation to individual petal, is carefully chosen and customized from conceptualization until the final reveal. Drawing on over two decades of industry experience working with an international clientele, Eddie’s ability to imagine and actualize celebratory experiences that uniquely reflect the essence of his clients is unparalleled.
In addition to event design, Eddie is a creative consultant and collaborator for exclusive brand partnerships, and he’s a passionate educator who zealously teaches his renowned techniques and shares his expertise with aspiring artisans and master craftsman alike, including the talented team at his exclusive floral production company, Tic-Tock Couture Florals. All artists and craftsman at Tic- Tock have been exclusively trained and mentored by the designer and as Tic-Tock’s creative director, Eddie’s vision, methodology, and extensive experience are seen in
the stunning work and signature pieces his team creates to adorn life’s most important moments.
PR Committee Director
A local businessman that strives to give back to the American Armenian community, by assisting in the organization and fundraising of AARFA since its inception.
Vice-President / Design Committee Director
Johnny is the Secretary of AARFA, and an Architect and General Contractor for Design Build Strategies, Inc. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. With almost two decades of architecture experience and seven years of experience in the construction industry, he is proficient at projects having to do with residential, luxury estates, retail spaces, commercial office buildings, healthcare facilities, restaurants, and churches. He is a multidisciplinary team leader capable of project execution from conceptual design to project completion. Extracurricular activities include enjoyment in travelling, golf, outdoor scouting, and drawing. He lives in Pasadena with his wife Christine and their kids Rachelle and Maximus.
Mary Der-Parseghian born and raised in Los Angeles, California, has been a prominent member of the Pasadena Armenian Community all her life. An attorney since 2003 opened her own firm since November 2009 practicing in Pasadena, California. Over her career she has strived to give back to the community, in participating in community organizations to educate the Armenian Diaspora on the legal ins and outs in California including but not limited to many speaking engagements on Kids and the Law, The Importance of Estate Planning and a weekly Television broadcast for all areas of California Law to give back to the Armenian community in the United States.
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, MUSE LIFESTYLE GROUP
An accomplished businessman and veteran restaurateur, Israyelyan was born in Yerevan and has pursued business ventures around the globe including extensive projects in restaurant branding and development and currently focusing on his real estate development firm.
Mikayel Israyelyan, is a seasoned restaurateur and successful entrepreneur. A savvy businessman at an early age, Israyelyan opened his first café at 14 years old in a local movie theater in Yerevan, Armenia. He moved to the US two years later looking for new opportunities.
By the age of 21, Mikayel was the youngest nightclub owner in Hollywood gaining a huge momentum and had the community following his every step. In 1998, Mikayel opened Vesuvius Restaurant & Nightclub and Bliss restaurant & Nightclub. Followed by these two highly successful ventures, shortly thereafter he opened, Republic Los Angeles, a Supper club. Some of Israyelyan’s brands include: Prana Café, M Lounge, Playhouse Hollywood Nightclub, Sound Nightclub, Calle Tacos and Joes Pizza.
Continuing to foster his commitment to the Los Angeles area, Israyelyan opened Romanov restaurant in Studio City. Romanov restaurant features a Russian cuisine and over-the-top, performers that entertain the diners while they enjoy their meals. The show is a five star Vegas circus like show. In the coming year, Israyelyan is opening Olive & Grill, a 4000 sq. ft outside patio and hookah lounge- Olive & Grill adorned in a gardenesque setting serving tapa style kebabs on a traditional mangal grill.
As if being named American Armenian Businessman of the Year in 2010, being featured on the cover of ‘Yerevan’ magazine, and being named one of LA Business Journal’s “Top 20 Entrepreneurs in their 20’s” wasn’t enough, Mr. Israyelyan found the time to develop an artisan water brand, evawater. The inspiration for his brand stems from his youngest child and only daughter’s name: Eva.
As a pillar of the community, Mikayel’s involvement over the past decade has included supporting the Hollywood Police Activity League (PAL) and Hollywood Community Housing Corporation’s annual fundraiser. Israyelyan has been an active board member of the Studio City Improvement Association since 2006 and was recently honored by the California Legislature Assembly for his involvement and contributions to the community. Mr. Israyelan is well known to have a passion for design, construction supervision, and operational implementation, among his many outstanding business qualities.
Israyelyan owns a successful and leading arms company, Salient Arms International LLC. Salient Arms International is a young, progressive company based out Nevada, USA. His commitment is dedicated to providing discriminating customers, be they military, law enforcement, civilian, or the competition shooter, with unique cutting edge weaponry. In short, the company builds guns for those who demand extra.
Currently he is focusing on his real estate development company and Take a Bao, a modern restuaraunt on Asian cuisine. Take a Bao currently has few locations in Studio City and Century City with plans of opening up 5 more locations in the couple years.
One of his recent ventures is Instalex Tile. Instalex is a worldwide-recognized manufacturer of ceramic tile offering the widest range of products from Russia emerging into the US market. He partnerd up with the recognized manufator based out of Russia, Estima Cerimaca in 2015 and recently just opened the first US warehouse/showroom in the hub of tile based in Orange County, California.
Golf Committee Director
An Armenian poet since the age of 11 named “Gailag”, was born in Lebanon who arrived to United States in 1989. A husband and a father of two, owner of several businesses in Los Angeles County is also on the board of directors of Hamazkayin Western Region (an Armenian Cultural and Educational organization), and serves at St. Sarkis Church of Pasadena as a choir leader. Mgo is also involved in few other non profit organizations… His last book “Vosge Orenkuh” (The Golden Rule) was published in November of 2015, which was dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. You will find love in all his poetry and songs, love towards God, towards people and the country.
Mgo has been on AARFA board as the logistics/volunteer director since the beginning of the organization, and enjoys working side by side with approximately 800 volunteers each year decorating the float.
Fundraising Committee Director
A native of Baghdad, Iraq and has lived in Southern California since 1990. Since his arrival to the states, Noubar has worked tirelessly to establish a career for himself as a local businessman. He runs tow businesses in Pasadena and Glendale respectively. His cultural background and focus on community collaboration has led him to a number of volunteer opportunities and leadership roles. Noubar sits on Advisory board of the Armenian sisters Academy, and served as board member of the Armenian Youth Association of California. Noubar and his wife Dalita reside in Glendale with their four children, Talar, Aleek, Mourad and Levon.
OGANES JAY CHIMAYAN
Controller / Corporate Sponsor Committee Director
Oganes Jay Chimayan is a Registered Tax Preparer governed by California Tax Education Council (CTEC) with over 14 years of small business tax and accounting experience. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from California State Unviersity, Northridge (CSUN).
Prior to forming My Accounting Center Inc in 2006 as a bookkeeping and payroll company, Jay worked for a reputable Glendale based accounting firm for 6 years. While working for the firm, Jay implemented new services such as Accountable Reimbursement Plan (ARP), Entity Compliance, Monthly Meeting Write Up, and HR Services that grew the company list of services and impacted the bottom line.
About My Accounting Center.
My Accounting Center Inc. (MAC) is a full service CPA firm that does more than just bookkeeping, payroll, personal and business taxes. At My Accounting Center Inc. we educate our clients on how to legally save money by paying less taxes, we give updates on the latest tax issues regarding your industry and most importantly we care about you and your finances. Our clients are like family, no exceptions!
My Accounting Center Inc has a mission to provide the highest quality of professional accounting, consulting and tax services to small and emerging businesses.
Volunteer Committee Director
Reneh Simonian, a food industry veteran with more than 20 years’ experience, has travelled both nationally and internationally working with executive chefs of some of the finest restaurants in the world. Whether it’s describing the many different types and flavor of olives, or sharing his knowledge of the varied regional favors of International cuisine, Reneh has benefitted from his exposure to all kinds of exotic foods. Reneh has taken that knowledge and passion for food and created Cravate Soiree a company that organizes and hosts theme parties. These parties feature the Epicurean food and wine that Reneh has become familiar with coupled with an event planning staff that brings any customer’s to life. Sharing his passion for good food and wine are a renowned group of successful chefs who help create and enchanting evening for guests.
Stepan Partamian is a world-renowned music producer, talk-show host, and an Armenian cultural promoter. He is best known for his landmark recording of Komitas Vardapet’s Divine Liturgy, performed entirely on duduks by the Winds of Passion Quartet. With prominent exposure in Los Angeles and Armenia, Stepan has shaped public discourse related to politically incorrect commentaries and current affairs. As an Armenian cultural promoter, he successfully promoted the first-ever Armenian program for the KCRW World Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, the concert Armenia Unbound: A Musical Journey at the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Spirit of Armenia at the 2007 KCRW World Festival commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.