ANCA Burbank to Honor Community Leaders at Annual Banquet


Four leaders will be recognized during annual fundraising event in downtown Burbank

BURBANK—The Armenian National Committee of America – Burbank (ANCA-B) and its community of supporters will come together on Friday, May 9, at De Luxe Banquet Hall to recognized 4 honorees and support the activities of the ANCA-B.

This year’s event will honor Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse, political activist Berdj Karapetian, the Southern California Armenian Democrats (SCAD), and educator Ani Berberian. The banquet will be hosted by Master of Ceremonies Raffi Hamparian, a member of the Armenian National Committee of America’s national Board of Directors and a lifelong Armenian American activist.

“We are thrilled to be able to honor these exceptional members of our community at our annual banquet”, said Lilian Arejian, co-chair of the Banquet committee. “The Armenian American community in Burbank has benefited from the efforts of our honorees and the ANCA-B is recognizing their efforts on behalf of the community”.

Police Chief LaChasse to be presented William Saroyan Award for Community Activism
Chief LaChasse joined the Burbank Police Department as Interim Chief in January 2010, and was named permanent Chief in April 2013. As chief, he has moved the department to adopt contemporary police practices in all aspects of police work.

He has reached out, built and nurtured partnerships with different segments of the community. Part of his outreach effort was expanding the community academy, a program for the public to familiarize with police work and gain a better understanding of department operations, which now in addition to English is also conducted in Spanish and Armenian.

Chief LaChasse and the Burbank Police Department are also committed to expanding diversity in the department, to reflect the diversity of the city’s population.

Chief LaChasse earned his Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Los Angeles, and his Master’s in Public Administration from The University of Southern California.

Chief LaChasse started with the Los Angeles Police Department in 1970 and served over thirty two years retiring in 2002 at the rank of Deputy Chief. During his tenure at the LAPD, he held a variety of high-profile positions including Commanding Officer for the Criminal Intelligence, Narcotics, and Uniformed Services Groups. He also served as Assistant Commanding Officer of Operations for the Valley Bureau where he administered the activities of 1,800 personnel in the San Fernando Valley. As Deputy Chief, he managed almost 1,600 personnel in South Los Angeles.

Vahan Cardashian award to be presented to Berdj Karapetian
Berdj Karapetian has for more than three decades played a leading role in growing and guiding the Armenian-American community’s advocacy efforts in California as well as in Washington, D.C. He has devoted his time, knowledge, and resources to advocating for the rights of the Armenian-American community, developing community organizers, and forging alliances with individuals dedicated to human rights.

Karapetian was the founding Executive Director of the ANCA’s Washington, D.C. advocacy office in 1984. During his tenure as the ANCA Executive Director, the House of Representatives adopted House Joint Resolution 247 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Karapetian also set the foundation for the Western Region Office of the Armenian National Committee of America and served as its Executive Director at the beginning of the Armenian self-determination and liberation movement in Artsakh and Armenia.

Karapetian continues to be active with the Armenian National Committee of America and serves on the Advisory Board of the ANCA, WR and chairs the Glendale chapter.

Karapetian’s service and leadership has been recognized by the statewide association of adult day health care providers as well as the Los Angeles based association. He was also recognized by Assemblymember Mike Eng with a Legacy Award in November 2012. Karapetian’s participation in community and business development has been recognized by the Glendale Chamber of Commerce and the Glendale Unified School District Board. He has served as the president of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce and on the committee that secured voter approval for a bond measure to improve and expand Glendale’s schools.

SCAD to be honored with Levon Shant award
Southern California Armenian Democrats (SCAD) is the first and the largest
Armenian-American Democratic Club in Southern California. The organization has been an effective voice for Armenian-Americans within the Democratic Party and with Democrats elected to public office.

The organization has helped increase awareness about the Democratic Party and its values, as well as educate Democrats about the concerns of the Armenian-American residents of California.

SCAD members have been active on election campaigns and several have been hired to work for elected officials. SCAD has organized numerous functions and fundraisers for elected officials and candidates seeking elective office, including Senator Kevin de Leon, Los Angeles Councilman Felipe Fuentes, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, Miguel Santiago for CA State Assembly, Los Angeles County Assessor Candidate Jeffrey Prang, State Controller John Chiang and Assembly Speaker John Perez in the past 12 months.

During the 2012 CA State Democratic Convention Members of SCAD demonstrated against Genocide denier and co-founder of the progressive Internet talk radio show, The Young Turks, Cenk Uyger. The event was the Progressive Caucus’ scheduled meeting and panel discussion held in San Diego under the auspices of the California Democratic Party. Since the incident SCAD members continue fighting the efforts by Armenian Genocide deniers like Gülenist Pacifica Institutes (a Turkish-American organization based in Orange County) that has and continues to organize seminars and workshops at different educational and business institutions for legislators, from influencing the views and actions of the California Democratic Party and Democrat elected officials.

Educator Ani Berberian to receive Mesrob Mashdots award
Born in Allepo, Syria and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, Ani Berberian has been teaching Armenian language to the area youth for 24 years. Her contributions to the community span from her work at the Chamlian Armenian School in Glendale to her volunteer efforts at the Burbank Youth Center.

Berberian received her degree from the St. Joseph College in Lebanon where she majored in Armenian studies. Her longtime dedication to educating Armenian youth began at the Armenian schools in Beirut, where Berberian taught Armenian for 17 years. The civil war in Lebanon forced her and others to leave the country, but she continued her work as a dedicated educator after arriving in Southern California.

Alongside her career as a teacher, Berberian has been active in local Armenian American organizations, including the ARF and ANCA. She has held leadership roles in the Armenian Youth Federation of Lebanon and has served on Executive bodies of the ARF in Lebanon and US.

ANCA National Board member to M.C the Banquet
Raffi Hamparian is the Director of Federal Affairs for Los Angeles Metro, where he is charged with representing the agency before the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch. Hamparian has previously worked for a number of members of Congress, handling budget, tax and trade issues and also serving as a key staffer for international relations work related to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Most recently on Capitol Hill, he worked as the chief foreign affairs aide for former New Jersey Congressman Steven R. Rothman.

Hamparian has played a significant role in expanding ANCA Washington, DC activities since joining the ANCA National Board. With the efforts of dedicated and capable staff and volunteers, the ANCA has increased the power, respect, and influence of the Armenian American community. A few of these metrics include: Email outreach to activists has grown from 10,000 names to more than 100,000; Web page hits have grown to over 35 million; the number of ANCA donors has grown from less than 1,000 to more than 10,000.

Born in New York City and raised in the New Jersey, Hamparian is a graduate of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, where he earned both an Undergraduate Degree and a Masters Degree in International Relations.

Hamparian resides in San Marino, California with his wife Dr. Mireille Hamparian and their four children: Areni, Zabelle, Meghri and Saro.

To place a congratulatory message in the program book or for further information contact Liliane Arejian (818) 469-7671 or email

Tickets may be purchased from

The Armenian National Committee of America – Burbank advances the social, economic, cultural and political rights of the area’s Armenian community and promotes increased civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.

Photo: The evening’s honorees Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse, educator Ani Berberian, and political activist Berdj Karapetian; and the evening’s master of ceremonies Raffi Hamparian.