The Armenian National Committee of America Western Region (ANCA WR) announced today that it will be honoring His Excellency Bako Sahakyan, President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) with its highest honor, the prestigious Freedom Award at its Annual Gala Banquet on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at the world-famous Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.
“We are deeply grateful for President Sahakyan’s ongoing commitment to forcefully defending Artsakh’s right to self-determination, while ensuring unprecedented redevelopment in the region and establishing policies that have in the past decade placed Artsakh on the international map as a peace-loving society founded on democratic principles. By honoring him, we are eager to provide our community the opportunity to publicly express their appreciation for his decades of leadership and service on issues so dear to all of us,” stated ANCA WR Chair Nora Hovsepian.
Under President Sahakyan’s leadership, Artsakh has blossomed exponentially in both foreign and domestic areas including establishment and practices of democratic principles, a fair market banking and loan system, traditional and non-traditional economic practices in areas of agriculture, mining, IT, and energy, with the latter resulting in Artsakh’s ability to now generate 70% of the energy it consumes, as well as, creating bilateral foreign relations, which contributed to a number of new joint venture enterprises with dozens of well-respected companies from the United States, Canada, Russia, France, and Italy.
Born and raised in Stepanakert, President Sahakyan became an activist for Artsakh early on in his life. He carries an extensive career with the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army that spans for nearly two decades. Following his service to his homeland’s defense forces, he made the leap to government leadership and was eventually named the interior minister of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in 1999. His devotion to Artsakh and strong democratic principles were noticed and appreciated by his colleagues, and in 2001 he became head of the republic’s National Security Service. President Sahakyan served the position for the following six years until he declared his candidacy to run in the 2007 Presidential Election. He was elected as the fourth president of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic on July 19th of that year and was re-elected for a second term on July 19th, 2012.
President Sahakyan has been awarded many medals, namely, “Battle Cross” of 1st degree (NKR), “Peter the Great” of 1st degree, “For Service to Fatherland” of 1st degree and “Vazgen Sargsyan” medals (Republic of Armenia).
Past recipients of the ANCA Freedom Award include former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John M. Evans, United States Ambassador to the United Nations and Pulitzer Prize winning author Dr. Samantha Power, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, the late U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, former U.S. Senator Robert Dole, former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole, and former Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords Baroness Caroline Cox.
The 2014 ANCA WR Annual Gala Banquet will be held on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at the world-famous Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. The main event will begin at 5:00 p.m. with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction. A three-course dinner will follow at 6:30 p.m. with a powerful program and presentation of the awards. Individuals interested in attending the Annual Gala Banquet are encouraged to purchase tickets online at www.ancawr.org/gala or call 818.533.8587. To obtain individual or corporate sponsorship information visit www.ancawr.org/gala/sponsorship or call (818) 500-1919. For up to the minute updates on the event like the ANCA Western Region Facebook page or visit ancawr.org.
The ANCA WR Gala Banquet represents the single largest annual gathering of Armenian American public policy leaders throughout the western United States, and is attended by over 1,000 prominent Members of Congress, state legislators and officials, community leaders, and many of the organization’s strongest activists and generous donors from California, Nevada, Arizona, and throughout the western United States.
The Armenian National Committee of America-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 ANCA WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.