Los Angeles, CA – Longtime community activist and Armenian National Committee supporter Hacob Shirvanian will be honored with the ANC Legacy Award at the organization’s banquet this fall. The honor is among the organization’s highest awards and is being granted to Shirvanian for his decades of support for the ANC. The banquet, which is set to be a sold out event, will be held on September 30th at the Universal Sheraton in Los Angeles. “We are proud to be honoring Hacob Shirvanian,” remarked ANC-Western Region Chairman Raffi Hamparian. “As someone who spent over three decades on a number of prestigious state boards, Hacob has shown, by example, that Armenian Americans need to be engaged in politics. We are pleased that Hacob, who has supported the ANC’s work and mission his entire life, will be receiving the ANC Legacy Award,” Hamparian added. Hacob Shirvanian was born in Tabriz, Iran in 1923. He is the son of a family that played a prominent role in the defense of Van during the Armenian Genocide. As a youth, Hacob’s first interaction with America was serving as a translator for American forces in Tehran during World War II. Following the war, he opened a jewelry shop and married Mina Der Hovanessian, his wife of over 60 years. To this day, Hacob and Mina are actively engaged in any number of Armenian organizations. Arriving in America in 1956, Shirvanian moved to Los Angeles after a brief stay in Springfield, Massachusetts. After securing a job as a machinist in southern California, he would later join his brother Kosti and sister Savey in a waste management business based in Gardena, California. That company, over time, would grow to become one of the largest waste management companies in California. Since his first days in the United States, Hacob was actively engaged in the Armenian American community. He began his involvement as a member and later as chairman of the Van Compatriotic Union in Los Angeles. Hacob served as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Ferrahian School while his wife Mina assumed the role of PTA President for 3 years. Together, they played an important role in building the strong foundation of the Ferrahian School.
Some years later he would join and begin his lifelong involvement with the Armenian Educational Foundation. As Chairman of this organization, Shirvanian helped to provide support for Armenian schools in Beirut, Cyprus, Iran and later on was instrumental in establishing a network of Armenian private schools operating under the auspices of the Prelacy of the Western United States. Over the past ten years, Shirvanian has made a number of philanthropic donations to rebuild or construct new schools in Nagorno-Karabagh (Stepanakert, Lachin and Kelbajar) and in Javakh, which is in the southern portion of the Republic of Georgia. Hacob Shirvanian has the distinction of having been the longest serving Armenian American on state commissions in California. In 1973 he was appointed by then-Governor Ronald Reagan to the State Solid Waste Management Board where he served for 12 years. In a strong display of his bipartisan credentials, Shirvanian would go on to be appointed to a number of other state commissions by Governors Jerry Brown, George Deukmejian, Grey Davis and Pete Wilson. Additionally, Shirvanian was appointed to California’s Small Business Administration Board by Governor Deukmejian. During this period, Shirvanian consistently leveraged his relationships with senior government officials to advance the concerns of Armenian Americans in the State of California. Individuals interested in attending the ANC-Western Region banquet where Shirvanian will be honored are encouraged to contact ANC-WR Banquet Coordinator Felicia Garver at (818) 500-1918. The Armenian National Committee – Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANC-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
Photo caption: Hacob Shirvanian will receive the ANC Legacy Award at the ANC-WR’s 2007 Annual Banquet.