Barger Honors Local Armenian Community Leaders as Armenian History Month Wraps in L.A. County

April 30, 2024

Yesterday, Supervisor Kathryn Barger honored three individuals of Armenian heritage on the final day of Armenian History Month in Los Angeles County.

The honors were bestowed in the Board of Supervisors’ hearing room before the Board delved into public policy discussions. “Just as we commemorated the 109th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide this month, we must also take time to recognize the vibrant culture and contributions of our fellow Armenian neighbors, community members and leaders,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “We are fortunate to have the Armenian spirit alive and thriving in Los Angeles County.”

Those honored included a diverse range of individuals in background and achievements.

Nyree Derderian, a native of Pasadena, for nearly 30 years has fulfilled pivotal roles on the Central Executive Board of the Armenian Relief Society. She has served as Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, overseeing humanitarian efforts during critical times. In April 2022, she visited Artsakh to provide aid to victims of the 44-day war and initiated a sustainable project for the residents of Artsakh. In November 2022, she traveled to Lebanon to deliver aid to those affected by the Lebanon blast of August 2020 and the ensuing economic crisis. Nyree’s commitment includes educating and empowering Armenian youth through lectures and leadership roles in order to reach and have an impact on the next generation.

“Supervisor Barger’s recognition holds immense significance for me,” said Ms. Nyree Derderian. “It signifies the acknowledgment and appreciation of the contributions made by American Armenians in Los Angeles. This recognition validates our efforts and achievements being recognized beyond our community. It serves as a pivotal moment that reaffirms the value of work and motivates volunteers to continue our commitment to advancing the Armenian cause with hope and resilience within the Armenian community.”

Dr. Vartan Tachjdian is founder of the Byblos Babies Center and co-founder of the Armenian Medical World Congress. His life is a testament to compassion and dedication to serving the needy globally. Born to Armenian genocide survivors in a Beirut refugee camp, Dr. Tachdjian eventually relocated to Los Angeles amidst a civil war. He learned new languages and re-licensed in medicine to continue his mission of caring for the homeless. As medical director of homeless programs and a consultant for Doctors Without Borders, Vartan exemplifies a lifelong commitment to humanitarian work. Now 90 years old, Dr. Tachdjian is also a poet and writer, sharing his experiences and insights to inspire others.

“I am honored to receive this award from Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who has been a champion for the rights and well-being of underserved individuals in our community,” stated Dr. Vartan Tachjdian. “It’s also a delight to be recognized by the County of Los Angeles where many of my hours have been spent on the streets treating the homeless and refugees. As a child of Armenian Genocide orphans, life has come full circle with my contributions to the Armenian as well as the general population. We can all improve our society’s well being with some work and simple kindness.”

Talin Yacoubian holds key positions on the boards of the Armenian Assembly of America, Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center, and Armenia Fund. Her leadership roles include serving as former Chair of the AGBU Western District Committee and co-chair of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Commemorative Committee in 2015, where she organized the historic peaceful march of 160,000 people in Los Angeles on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. With a background in law and economics, Talin also teaches Legal Writing and Advocacy at USC Gould School of Law, demonstrating her commitment to education and community empowerment. Her efforts focus on advancing Armenian advocacy, strengthening Armenia-U.S. relations, and promoting cultural appreciation and diversity.

“I strive to advocate for our community and improve circumstances to the best of my ability,” said Ms. Talin Yacoubian. “I am driven by a sense of duty not an expectation of thanks or accolades.  However, when recognition is so generously and sincerely given, it truly warms my heart and motivates me even more.  This recognition has certainly raised the bar and reinforced my commitment to serving our community with dedication and sincerity.”

For Immediate Release
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