Glendale CA – On Thursday, May 3rd, 2018 the Armenian National Committee of America – Glendale (ANCA -Glendale) will host the second annual Award and Appreciation Dinner in order to honor remarkable individuals and a local organization for their notable achievements and commitments to the betterment of the Glendale community. Among this year’s nominees are the Kiwanis Club of Glendale who will be awarded the Maria Jacobson Humanitarian Award, Glendale City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian who will receive the Woodrow Wilson Public Service Award and President of GCC Board of Trustees Dr. Armine Hacopian who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Founded in 1922, the Kiwanis Club of Glendale is an association of conscientious business, civic, professional, educational, and community leaders who meet regularly for education, inspiration, and fellowship and to select, plan, and implement projects to improve the community, with focus on children and youth, elderly, underserved populations, and nonprofit organizations.

Its vision is to be the most effective volunteer community service organization in Southern California. In order to fulfill its mission, the Kiwanis Club of Glendale directs its energies in the Glendale Community to exercise The Objects of Kiwanis International, which are to give primacy to the human and spiritual rather than to the material values of life. To encourage the daily living of the Golden Rule in all human relationships. To promote the adoption and the application of higher social, business and professional standards. To develop, by precept and example, a more intelligent, aggressive and serviceable citizenship. To provide, through Kiwanis clubs, a practical means to form enduring friendships, to render altruistic service and to build better communities. To cooperate in creating and maintaining that sound public opinion and high idealism, which make possible the increase of righteousness, justice, patriotism and good will.

The Kiwanis Club of Glendale is involved in a variety of projects that involve fundraising, community service, and assisting children locally and worldwide, such as the Eliminate Project, which is a Kiwanis International’s partnership with Unicef to eliminate Maternal Neonatal Tetnus from the world by raising $110,000,000! Bike Safety Helmet and Coloring Book Distribution to GUSD first grades students in selected schools in partnership with the Glendale Police Department. Reading is Fundamental project, which distributes books to selected elementary schools.

In addition to, the Salvation Army Rice & Beans, which is Kiwanis signature quarterly project where they repackage 2 tons of rice and beans into 1 lb bags for distribution from the SA Food Pantry. Guest Chef at Ascencia, dinner preparation for the guests of the Ascencia Shelter. Back to School Shopping, a shopping day at Target for the Salvation Army Zone children.

Kiwanis also has several Sponsored Leadership Programs, K-Kids at the elementary school level, Builders Club at the middle school level, Key Club at the high school level and Circle K at the collegiate level. Additionally, Kiwanis coach and train the Team Glendale Special Olympians in Track and Field events every Spring for the Special Olympics. As well as distribute $25,000 annually through two scholarship programs: High School Seniors and Batchelor Scholar Program.

The core values of Kiwanis club are character, community, compassion, excellence, leadership, patriotism and teamwork which serve as guiding principles for over 180 members. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time.

Ardashes Ardy Kassakhian  was born in Boston, MA  in 1976. His family moved to the United States in the late 60s in pursuit of better opportunities and the American Dream.  In 1985 his family moved to Glendale, CA where Kassakhian attended public schools – John Marshall and R.D. White Elementary Schools, Wilson Jr. High School and Glendale High School (Class of 1994).

Having emigrated to the U.S. to pursue higher graduate degrees, the Kassakhian household put an emphasis on the importance of education. Ardy’s father received his Masters and Doctorate in Chemistry from Harvard University and his mother has a Masters in Chemistry and Teaching. Ardy’s mother has been a classroom teacher  in Glendale Unified School District for
over 25 years.  She still teaches chemistry at Clark Magnet High School.

Despite his parents’ strong influence to pursue a degree in chemistry, Ardy earned a B.A. in history at UCLA where he developed into a student activist and organizer. Fighting for the political and civil rights of minority groups in California became his passion and he began volunteering on various local and state campaigns. He interned twice on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC to gain a better understanding of the American political processes. Ardy’s interest in increasing civic engagement led him to his current career path.

After college Ardy worked in government relations for one of California’s largest public relations firms while remaining involved in several federal, state and local campaigns. Ardy served as the Government Relations and Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region. While at the ANCA, he worked closely with members of the state legislature and members of the US Senate and Congress on passing such bills which promoted international trade, voter outreach, education about human rights and countering genocide denial.

On April 5, 2005, Ardy was elected Glendale City Clerk. He became the youngest person elected to public office in Glendale and the first elected City Clerk in 75 years in the city’s 100 year history. As City Clerk, Ardy serves as the custodian of the public record, oversees all municipal elections and acts as the parliamentarian for the city council.  Ardy helped modernize the City Clerk’s office, engaging more voters than ever before in Glendale’s history. He believes that the path to greater involvement must focus on three key areas education, technology, and outreach.

Kassakhian is currently serving out his fourth term in office after he was reelected in 2017 with the highest vote total of anyone in the history of Glendale.  In 2016, he attempted to run for the California State Assembly to represent the 43rd Assembly District.

He is a graduate of UCLA and an alumnus of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Executive Program for State & Local Officials. He has a Masters in  Public Policy & Administration at Northwestern University, in Evanston, IL. Kassakhian completed the Coro Public Affairs Executive Fellowship and is alumnus of the American Council of Young Political Leaders program which is coordinated through the U.S. Department of State.

He is married to Courtney Relph Kassakhian, who is principal of La Salle High School in Pasadena, CA.  They live in Glendale with their son Armen. Kassakhian credits his success in life to the influence of his family, the values and ethics imbued in him growing up in an Armenian household, and the support of his wife, family, friends and the thousands of supporters who continue to put their faith in him each election. 

Dr. Armine Hacopian and her family migrated to America in 1969 when she was sixteen years of age. With minimal proficiency in the English Language, she was determined not to allow her language barrier prevent her from achieving academic success as she had always been an outstanding student in Iran. By the end of her first year in college, she had already decided that the field of education was going to be her chosen career path.

Thus, Dr. Hacopian became a life-long learner and an educator while maintaining extreme passion in serving students of all ages. Her academic accomplishments attest to her belief that education needs to be on a-continuous basis in order to meet the changing needs of society. She has practiced this philosophy by earning two Masters’ Degrees (Art Education & Educational Administration), six credentials (teaching, counseling, administrative, psychology, etc.), and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership/Organizational Management, including many other certificates.

During her illustrious professional career of 45-years, she has served LAUSD, GUSD, and BUSD students, faculty and staff members in a-variety of capacities.  Also, she has been a faculty member at graduate schools for public policy, administration, psychology, counseling and teacher credentialing programs at CSULA, CLU, and CSUN.

She has been a trainer of student-teachers, counselors, administrators, and psychologists. She has continued to serve on doctoral dissertations and masters’ thesis committees. Dr. Hacopian established her own organizational management consulting firm in 1998; ‘Guiding Leadership to Success.’ She has developed and published training manuals, booklets, guidebooks, etc.  She has been a highly sought after consultant and trainer-of-trainers in the areas of organizational management, strategic planning, data driven decision making, employee job satisfaction, cross cultural communication, conflict management, harassment prevention, and career transitions. She has trained many educators, executives and senior management personnel in implementing step-by-step changes in their organizations.

In 2001, Dr. Hacopian, successfully became one of the first Armenian-American women in California to seek an elected office for an educational institution of higher learning as a Trustee of Glendale Community College Board. Last year, she ran for a fifth consecutive term and succeeded. Dr. Hacopian has served as GCC Board President for four different one-year terms.  Along with her colleagues, she worked tirelessly and successfully in persuading Glendale voters to pass a $98 million (2002) and a $325 million (2016) bond measures to help renovate the old and build new facilities at GCC.

She has served on many WASC K-12, and college/university accreditation teams, both for internal and external constituencies. In addition, she continues to mentor all those who seek her advice in the areas of her expertise.

Dr. Hacopian has been extremely involved in key leadership roles as well. Helping her community thrive through participation in many committees such as LA County on School District Organization, Glendale Civic Leaders Roundtable Committee, Armenian Relief Society, CSULA Education School Advisory Board, Glendale/Burbank League of Women Voters, Armenian International Women’s Association, Glendale Literacy Coalition, LA Anti-Hate Crime Task Force, GUSD Bilingual Advisory Board, Burbank Guidance Council, ACSA-School Emergency Response Team are to name just a few. Currently, she serves as one of the directors of the Royal Canyon Property Owners Association Board.  Her efforts have brought GCC and its neighbors together to establish dialogue and to seek common solutions.

Dr. Hacopian’s vast educational expertise provided her the opportunity to serve (for more than a decade) on the Board of Regents of Prelacy Armenian School.  It is important to note that Armine and her husband Vahe whom she met at the Armenian Youth Federation, were also co-founders of St. Mary’s Armenian School (current Tufenkian & Chamlian).

Due to her extensive accomplishments, dedication and service, she has been honored with a ‘Congressional Recognition’ as one of the ‘Women of the Year’ awarded by Congressman Adam Schiff, by ‘AIWA & Consulate General of Armenia’ as one of the women honored during the International Women’s Day celebration. She has been awarded by California State Senate and by State Assembly as ‘Woman of Courage,’ by Commission on the Status of Women as one of the ‘Women Jewels of Glendale,’ and honored by LA County Board of Supervisors as the ‘Educator of the Year’ recipient. Other honors have been bestowed upon her by various organizations including Armenian-American Chamber of Commerce, Glendale City Council, Armenian Educational Foundation, ‘CSULA Alumni of the Year,’ are just few of the recognitions and awards received.

Early on, Dr. Hacopian learned from her parents that serving ones’ community was an essential ingredient of life.  Her father, Sako Shadakhouni was a genocide survivor, who dedicated his life to the ARF and the Armenian cause. Her mother, Anelka was a member of the ARS for more than fifty years through which she brought her assistance to help those experiencing challenges. The Hacopians’ have two daughters and five grandchildren who have followed the family tradition of attending Chamlian Armenian School.

ANCA Glendale will honor Dr. Armine Hacopian, Mr. Ardy Kassakhian and Kiwanis Club of Glendale, along with Mr. Isahak Kazangian, Mrs. Seda Khojayan, Miss Lilit Bazikyan and Mr. Shant Eulmessekian at the 2nd Annual Award and Appreciation. The event  will take place on Thursday May 3rd, 2018 at Renaissance Banquet Hall. Log on to for tickets and sponsorship opportunities.

The ANCA Glendale Chapter advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the city’s Armenian American community and promotes increased civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels. Learn more at