ARF Hosts Leadership Seminar for Organization Leaders
BY LEVON BARONIAN
GLENDALE—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western United States Organizational Committee organized a day long Leadership Seminar for more than 120 community leaders and activists on Saturday, February 10 at the Karamanoukian Glendale Youth Center.
The seminar consisted of four presentation and workshop sessions facilitated by renowned experts in organizational leadership. The Organizational Committee chose “Paradigm Shift” as the unifying theme for the seminar in recognition of the increasing need within our organizations for new models of leadership in a world changing at an accelerating pace.
The seminar was opened by Zareh Adjemian, Chair of the ARFWR Organizational Committee, who thanked the presenters and attendees for their participation and spoke about the importance of fresh perspectives in addressing the modern challenges faced by the ARF and its sister organizations in the Western United States. Adjemian then invited Daron Der-Khachadourian, Chairman of the ARFWR Central Committee to deliver his remarks.
Der-Khachadourian emphasized that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, as a fundamentally revolutionary organization, has always embraced and adopted the changes necessary to continue serving and leading the Armenian nation and people, while always remaining committed to its ideological tenets. He noted that the ARF has gone through multiple “paradigm shifts” in the 127 years of its history and that it is crucial to welcome new and evolving approaches to leadership, regardless of whether they originate in the non-profit, governmental or corporate sectors.
The first presenter was Dr. Khodam Rostamian, M.D., M.B.A, who is a member of the Kaiser Permanente Board of Directors. Dr. Rostamian’s workshop, entitled “Change the Culture, Change the Game” discussed the role that experiences, culture, beliefs, and results have in organizational paradigms. He expressed that in order to change results and beliefs it is imperative to first change peoples’ experiences, which are the foundations upon which results rest.
The second presenter was as Dr. Manuella Abrahamian-Armenian, Ph.D., who serves as an Organization Development Consultant at Kaiser Permanente. Dr. Abrahamian’s workshop, entitled “Bridging the Generation Gap” focused on the importance of understanding and embracing generational differences in organizations in order to make them more productive.
The third workshop was presented by Dr. Henrik P. Minassian Ph.D., who is an Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at California State University, Northridge. Dr. Minassian’s workshop was called “Interactive Scenario Planning in Non-Profit Organizations for Strategic Changes”. Dr. Minassian engaged attendees into an active dialogue amongst themselves about their respective organizations’ short term and long term objectives, which helped shed light on different mindsets and approaches to tackling the issues faced by the organizations.
The last workshop of the day, titled “Maximizing Community Involvement” was presented by Vicken Sonentz Papazian, Esq., who is the former Chair of the ANCA-Western Region and has served as the Executive Director of the ANCA’s national office in Washington. Papazian shared insights he has acquired throughout his many years of experience in Armenian community organizations and emphasized the need to identify successes and understand how to recreate and amplify them.
There were high levels of engagement by the more than 120 attendees, who were comprised of members and leaders of the ARF and other community organizations in the Western United States such as the Armenian General Athletic Union and Scouts (Homenetmen), the Armenian Relief Society (HOM), the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational & Cultural Society, the Armenian National Committee and the Armenian Youth Federation. Attendees from a variety of demographic groups were well represented, including large contingents of young leaders, women, and Armenians hailing from all corners of the Diaspora and Armenia.
Participants closed the seminar with the spirited singing of “Mshak Panvor,” the anthem of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.