WATERTOWN, Massachusetts – The 100th Annual Convention of the Armenian Relief Society Eastern United States of America (ARS-EUSA) met from September 30 to October 3, 2021 at the Hampton Inn Suites in Watertown, MA. Seventeen sections were represented with 34 delegates, as well as the regional board of directors.
President of the Central Executive Council (CEB) Nyree Derderian, representatives of the ARS CEB Silva Kouyoumdjian, Mayda Melkonian and Taline Mkrtschjan, regional executive member of the ARS-West of the United States Maral Touloumian, Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Member of the Central Committee of the Eastern United States Khajag Mgrdichian, Regional Executive Chairman of Homenetmen Aram Kayserian and Executive Director of the Armenian National Education Committee, Mary Gulumian, were in attendance as guests. Araxie Tossounian from the Armenian Youth Federation of the Eastern Region virtually attended the Convention. Other guests included Caroline Chamavonian (Philadelphia “Artemis”) and Angele Manoogian (Florida “Sosseh”).
The convention was opened by Eastern Region Board Chair Ani Attar, who welcomed the delegates. She invited the participants to participate in a minute of silence to honor the fallen heroes who made their ultimate sacrifice for our homeland; the founder of the ARS Edgar Agnouni; The members of the ARS who have dedicated their lives to this organization, have established programs, launched new initiatives and taken this organization to new heights; and the benefactors and sympathizers of the ARS.
Archpriest Fr Antranig Baljian of the Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Stephen congratulated the assembly and offered words of encouragement and praise before leading the delegates and guests in prayer.
Following the singing of the LRA anthem, the meeting continued with the election of the following temporary chairmen who later became the permanent chairmen: Mimi Parseghian (Lowell “Lousintak”) and Talin Daghlian (New Jersey ” Agnouni ”). The English secretaries elected were Tamar Alafian (New Jersey “Shakeh”) and Sara Vorsganian (Detroit “Shakeh”). The Armenian secretaries were Knar Kiledjian (New Jersey “Shakeh”) and Lena Dichoyan (New Jersey “Agnouni”).
Sosy Sagherian (ARC-Lebanon), Ani Zargarian (Cambridge “Shushi”), Anahid Mardiros (Cambridge “Shushi”) and Pauline Dostumian (New Jersey “Shakeh”) were invited as guests of the Convention.
The following ARS members were selected to sit on the nominating committee: Loucine Hovhanesian (Washington DC “Satenig”), Margaret Babikian (Bergen County “Armenouhi”), Mary Andonian (Florida “Sosseh”), Tanya Hassrjian (Cambridge “Shushi”) and Maral Kaprielian (New Jersey “Shakeh”). Seda Aghamianz (Cambridge “Shushi”), Zarouhi Suggs (Lowell “Lousintak”) and Marina Yakoubian (New Jersey “Shakeh”) were members of the accreditation committee.
The correspondence committee, whose function is to examine the files and minutes of the regional office, included Vartouhi Koumrgian (Philadelphia “Artemis”), Marina Yakoubian (New Jersey “Shakeh”) and Tamar Berejiklian (Watertown “Leola Sassouni “). Lolita Babikian (New York “Mayr”), Arpy Seferian (Chicago “Zabelle”) and Suzi Kevorkian (Watertown “Leola Sassouni”) were elected to sit on the audit committee.
The Resolutions Committee is responsible for collating decisions and Congress intent for the following year’s projects and plans and presenting them to other delegates for review, review and approval. This committee was made up of Suzanne Azarian (Bergen County “Armenouhi”), Maral Kachadourian (Providence “Arax”) and Annette Amiraian Maggio (Florida “Sosseh”).
The CEB report was presented by Silva Kouyoumdjian, Treasurer and Liaison Officer for the Eastern Region. During the presentation, Kouyoumdjian focused on the many emergency relief efforts the CEB has undertaken since 2019, which included assistance to Armenian communities in Lebanon and Syria and compatriots from Artsakh and Armenia. . She also reported on the various ARS programs in the country and around the world.
On Friday, Attar presented the regional board’s annual report. It focused on programs and initiatives in the eastern region, its financial support for programs in the country and emergency appeals in Lebanon and Artsakh.
Council Treasurer Maral Nakashian presented the financial report, which showed the overwhelming number of donations from community members for various emergency calls to action during the year. Delegates thanked the Board and staff for their work in these unprecedented times and congratulated them for pivoting their programs, while remaining committed to the organization’s humanitarian mission. Delegates then engaged in a series of organizational topics which included recruiting and increasing membership, evaluating and expanding programs, and increasing financial resources to support organizational programs. The Resolutions Committee presented a list of goals that will guide the newly elected Board of Directors over the next fiscal year.
The Convention concluded with the election of the members of the Regional Council and the approval of the budget.
Irma Kassabian (“Washington” Satenig “) and Carol Jaffarian (Worcester” Knar “) were elected for a second two-year term. Caroline Chamavonian (Philadelphia” Artemis “), Talin Daghlian (New Jersey” Agnouni “) and Mary Andonian (Florida “Sosseh”) were elected for a two-year term. Maral Nakashian (Washington “Satenig”) and Heather Krafian (Cambridge “Shushi”) will serve the second year of their two-year term.