AAA: Assembly To Honor Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs

Armenian Assembly of America
122 C Street, NW, Suite 350
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-393-3434
Fax: 202-638-4904
Email: [email protected]

March 31, 2004
CONTACT: Christine Kojoian
E-mail: [email protected]


Washington, DC – The Armenian Assembly of America announced today that it
will honor Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chairs Joe Knollenberg
(R-MI) and Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) with the Deukmejian Award for Public
Service at the upcoming National Conference and Banquet in Washington, DC.

“The Assembly is proud to once again give this award to two individuals who
exemplify its spirit – Congressmen Knollenberg and Pallone,” said Assembly
Board of Directors Chairman Anthony Barsamian.

The congressmen will accept their awards during a banquet at the Mayflower
Hotel on April 19.

“We’re looking forward to an exciting night as we pay tribute to two of our
closest supporters in the House of Representatives and hear from our Senate
friends, Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), who are
the evening’s keynote speakers,” Barsamian added.

The National Conference and Banquet, which is being held in cooperation with
the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) and the Eastern and Western
Diocese of the Armenian Church, starts on Sunday, April 18 with a memorial
service at the National Cathedral marking the 89th anniversary of the
Armenian Genocide. After the service, the conference will officially open
with a welcoming reception at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

On Monday, activists will gain hands-on experience on the art of advocacy in
preparation for their meetings on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Monday’s
preparatory exercises will include workshops designed to hone participants’
advocacy skills. Among the day’s highlights will be a panel discussion on
the “Secrets to Advocacy,” which will be moderated by Assembly Board of
Directors Vice Chair Lisa Esayian, and include former Congressman James
Rogan (R-CA), New Hampshire State Representative Harry Haytayan (R-NH),
legislative assistant for Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) Joanne Berry and
Assembly Board of Directors member and one-time aide to former Governor
Wilson (R-CA), Lisa Kalustian.

The conference closes on Tuesday with a farewell breakfast followed by a
full day of meetings with Members of Congress and their senior staff.

Throughout their tenure in Congress, both Knollenberg and Pallone have been
steadfast supporters of issues facing the Armenian community. They have
repeatedly fought for affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, co-sponsoring
legislation that would properly recognize the cataclysm of 1915 and urging
President Bush, as well as his predecessors, to accurately characterize the
events as genocide. The congressmen, working closely with their House
colleagues on both sides of the political aisle, have also fought for
increased funding to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, U.S.-Armenia trade
normalization, the re-opening of Armenia’s borders and maintaining Section
907 of the Freedom Support Act, among other critical issues.

Pallone, who created the Caucus in the mid-1990s, has traveled to Armenia
and Karabakh on numerous occasions, most recently with fellow Caucus member
Rep. Llyod Doggett (D-TX) as part of an Assembly-led delegation.
Knollenberg, also a frequent visitor to Armenia, earned a unique distinction
when in 2001 President Robert Kocharian awarded him the Order of Mkhitar

Since 1997, the Assembly has given the Deukmejian award, named after former
California Governor George Deukmejian, to individuals who embody the
qualities of an exemplary public servant. Among those who have received the
award are: Representatives David Dreier (R-CA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and John
Sweeney (R-NY), as well as Armenia’s Minister of Trade and Industry Garnik

Online registration is available via the Assembly Web site at
For more information on the Conference, contact Nancy Yerian
Hiteshue at [email protected] or (202) 393-3434.

The Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide
organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian
issues. It is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.


Photograph available on the Assembly’s Web site at the following link:

Caption: Congressmen Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ)
flanked by Massachusetts State Representative Peter Koutoujian (D-10), far
left, and New Hampshire State Representative Harry Haytayan (R-46), far
right, during the Armenian Assembly’s Advocacy Conference in Washington last