Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund Convenes its Annual Summit

“Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund Convenes its Annual Summit

May 21, 2004

CONTACT: Sarkis Kotanjian
Phone: (818) 243-6222
Fax: (818) 243-7222
E-mail: [email protected]

Glendale, CA – The Board of Trustees of “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund
held its annual general meeting in Yerevan on May 6, 2004. The meeting
was part of a week-long summit (May 4th-May 11th) which brought together
representatives of the Fund’s eighteen overseas affiliates from Canada,
South America, Europe, the Middle East and the United States.
President of the Republic of Armenia and Chairman of the Board of
Trustees of “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund, H.E. Robert Kocharian, and the
President of Nagorno Karabakh Republic H.E. Arkady Ghoukasian
participated in the sessions and activities. The key objective of the
summit was to assess the Fund’s current programs and to chart out the
5-year and 10-year plans to enhance the Fund’s activities.

Armenia Fund, Inc. (AFI), the Fund’s affiliate in the Western United
States, was represented by its Chairperson, Maria Mehranian and
Vice-Chairman Ara Aghishian, Esq. In her report, Mehranian discussed
the challenges facing AFI and outlined the organization’s development
strategy for the upcoming five years. She said that while the Western
U.S. has a sizable active Armenian population, it also has the
responsibility to create and maintain a complex network of its own
cultural, educational, religious and administrative institutions that
cater to its local communities. Recognizing this reality, she stressed
that the Fund’s key messages should emphasize the inseparable link
between Armenia and the Diaspora. The diversity of the Armenian
communities in the Western U.S. necessitates a strong public outreach
program that establishes and maintains the credibility of the Fund,
while staying connected to its constituency.

“AFI does not view these challenges as obstacles rather as factors
that offer unique opportunities that can enhance our activities”, said
Mehranian. For example, the expansive geographic area and the diverse
population in the Western region are powerful sources of assets and
capabilities for specialized assistance to the Fund’s programmatic and
targeted projects. At the same time, the large number of single and
multi-purpose organizations in the region offer opportunities for
strategic partnerships to sponsor specific projects.

Presenting AFI’s strategic development plan for the upcoming five years,
Mehranian stated that the organization’s Board of Directors will
concentrate its efforts on achieving several important goals: expand and
diversify the donor base by developing a multi-level fundraising
strategy, educate the public about Armenia’s critical needs and the
range of the Fund’s projects that target those needs, and establish
strategic partnerships to implement joint projects with other Armenian
organizations currently involved in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. She
emphasized that these goals can only be achieved by maintaining
political independence and neutrality, adhering to strict accountability
and financial transparency, and by professional management of
fundraising and fund allocation at the executive level.

During an interview with Ara Aghishian, Esq., Vice-Chairman of AFI,
Inc., upon his return from the Summit, he stated that “I was very
pleased with the rate of progress our projects in general are being
implemented in Armenia. I was there at the last Summit in September of
2003, and observed a tremendous amount of improvement the Fund has done
from September 2003 to May of 2004. I am certain that the leadership
will continue this important task with the same vigor and dedication.”

Armenia Fund, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation, is
the West Coast affiliate of the “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund
headquartered in Yerevan, Armenia. Since 1994, AFI has generated over
$20 million for various large-scale humanitarian and infrastructure
development projects in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.