ANCA Western Region Announces New Board of Directors


Earlier today, the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR) announced its newly elected Board of Directors, consisting of eleven dedicated advocates devoted to the advancement of Hay Tahd priorities. 

“We are proud to announce the election of an outstanding group of Hye Tahd advocates and experts to the ANCA Western Region Board of Directors,” said Sarkis Balkhian, ANCA WR Executive Director. “Under the leadership of Oshin Harootoonian, ANCA Western Region is perfectly positioned to address the national challenges it faces in Armenia, Artsakh, and across the Western United States.” 

The 2024 ANCA Western Region Board of Directors, which is tasked with setting the policies, procedures, and goals of the largest and most influential grassroots Armenian-American advocacy organization in the Western United States, is comprised of the following Board of Directors: 

Oshin Harootoonian (Chairman) is an esteemed engineer and entrepreneur from the San Fernando Valley, who has showcased exemplary qualities through his vast management experience, political insights, and dedication to the Armenian cause. Under his leadership as the Co-Founder (CEO and President), Primex Laboratories expanded from a humble startup to a powerhouse with over 200 employees leading in medical diagnostics and research in California and Nevada. Prior to establishing Primex Clinical Laboratories in 1996, he served as the North Valley Area Planning Commissioner. With a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Southern California, Oshin’s engineering contributions were on display in pivotal roles at the City of Beverly Hills as a Senior Plan Review Engineer and at the City of Los Angeles as a Plan Check Engineer, playing a critical role in the aftermath of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake by facilitating essential reconstruction efforts. Oshin’s commitment to the Armenian community is deep-rooted, beginning in 1968 with Homenetmen and ascending to Regional Vice Scout Master, actively promoting higher education and nurturing Armenian cultural identity among the youth. Since 1992, Oshin has served on the board of ANCA Western Region and the Armenian General Athletic Union, demonstrating enduring leadership that extends across professional and community spheres. Going forward, as Chairman of ANCA WR, Oshin is uniquely positioned to advance Hay Tahd priorities through a deep understanding of organizational management, political intricacies, and steadfast dedication to his nation’s history.

Lina Davidian, Esq. (Vice-Chair) is a senior trial attorney with over 34 years of legal experience in corporate and immigration law. Lina joined the ANCA-WR Board in May 2019, and was elected as Vice-Chair in 2024. Following her undergraduate studies at USC, she received her Juris Doctorate from the University of La Verne School of Law in 1986. Davidian has been an active volunteer member of various Armenian organizations for over 30 years, including Homenetmen with the Glendale Ararat Chapter’s Programs Division Board and the Homenetmen Western Region as a member of the Finance Committee and fundraising and banquet committees. Davidian has also served for several terms as a member and chair of the Finance Committee for the Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School in Encino. Throughout the years, Davidian has provided pro bono legal assistance to underprivileged individuals and Armenian community organizations. 

Antranig Kzirian’s, Esq. (Secretary) legacy in community activism and leadership is deeply rooted in his lifelong involvement with the Armenian Youth Federation, beginning at the tender age of 9. His dedication saw him ascend to pivotal roles within the AYF, including serving as Chairperson of the Central Executive. Antranig’s professional journey in law, practiced in Los Angeles, is underpinned by an impressive educational background, with degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University, and Columbia University. Antranig’s tenure as both Executive Director and Chairperson of the ANCA-WR highlights a career dedicated to the Armenian cause, blending legal expertise with passionate advocacy for Hye Tahd.

Vatche Derderian (Treasurer) hails from Pasadena, CA, where he spent his formative years and remains actively engaged as a committed advocate for the Armenian community. He has contributed significantly to various Armenian American organizations such as the ANCA, the AYF, and Homenetmen throughout his life. In addition to his advocacy efforts, Derderian is an accomplished business entrepreneur, overseeing multiple franchises of Fix Auto Body shops. His exceptional commitment and achievements in this field were honored with the esteemed title of Franchisee of the Year in 2023. Aside from his professional pursuits and volunteer work in the Armenian community, Derderian is a dedicated family man, serving as a devoted husband and father to four children.

Anahid Oshagan, Esq. is an attorney and curator who joined the ANCA Western Region Board after decades long activism as a member of the ANCA family. Her ANCA journey started as a Washington, DC intern in 1988. Anahid’s extensive activism includes serving as ANC-WR TV and ANCA-WR Telethon host, running for Glendale City Council, serving on the boards of the Glendale YWCA and Glendale Ghapan Sister City organization, and Library, Art, and Culture Trust. For the Armenian Genocide Centennial, Anahid served as project coordinator for the largest public art installation in Grand Park in Los Angeles. As an integral part of the Iwitness Project, Anahid helped secure the City of Los Angeles’s first permanent monument dedicated to the Armenian Genocide at Grand Park.

Aram Sarkissian joins the ANCA Western Region board after many years of service as a member of the ANCA Sacramento Chapter. Most recently, he has been serving as Vice-Chair of ANCA Northern California and its Sacramento representative. Aram joins the ANCA Western Region board by continuing the footsteps of his late father, Khajag Sarkissian, who was one of the founding members of the San Francisco ANC Chapter. In addition to his ANCA roles, Aram is also the Chair of the Sacramento Homenetmen “Lori” Chapter which was launched by him in 2016. Professionally, Aram is the Managing Editor at CapRadio, the NPR affiliate in Sacramento, and oversees the station’s flagship public affairs program “Insight.” Before CapRadio, Aram spent 20 years in television news as an Emmy Award-winning Executive Producer at KCRA (NBC Sacramento), Newscast Producer at News10 (ABC Sacramento) and KRON (NBC San Francisco). Aram studied Mass Communication and Journalism at California State University, Fresno.

Arpie Jivalagian Baghdassarian, Esq. previously served on the ANCA-WR board from 2013-2016. She has served on the Government Affairs committee, organizing the annual Advocacy Day in Sacramento and was a part of ANCA-WR’s America We Thank You: An Armenian Tribute to Near East Relief committee. Holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, and Political Science from the University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate from Southwestern Law School, Arpie’s educational background has provided her with a solid foundation in law and public policy which have turned her into a fierce advocate for Hye Tahd. Arpie is currently employed as an attorney at a reputable private defense firm, where she continues to leverage her legal expertise and advocacy skills to serve her clients and her community effectively.

Ayk Dikijian, Esq. is a graduate of the University of Southern California who subsequently earned his Juris Doctor from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. Following law school, Ayk worked for one of the largest and most reputable full service civil litigation firms in Los Angeles for over 8 years, specializing in Workers Compensation and General Premises Liability defense.  He is currently a founding partner of Work Injury Law Group LLP, where he specializes in Workers Compensation, Personal Injury and Employment Law. Throughout his life, Ayk has been involved in various Armenian American Community organizations, including the ANCA-Western Region and AYF.  Prior to serving on the ANCA-WR board of directors, he served as chair of the ANCA Professional Network, co-chaired the ANCA Grassroots Conference Committee and was a member of the America We Thank You: An Armenian Tribute to Near East Relief.

Lenna V. Hovanessian, Esq., is an Armenian-American community leader and attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Lenna is renowned for her activism and advocacy for Armenian issues and human rights across local, state, and federal levels. Serving as the ANCA Nevada Co-Chair, Hovanessian has utilized her legal acumen, media skills, and government relations to achieve significant outcomes, notably advocating for U.S. prevention of the Genocide in Artsakh and ensuring the passage of an Armenian Genocide and Holocaust Education Bill in Nevada. She has built strong political connections, securing support from key figures and fostering community ties. Lenna’s work has earned her recognition from the Armenian American Cultural Society of Las Vegas for her leadership skills and service to the community. In 2023, Lenna was honored at the ANCA-WR Annual Awards Gala with the “Steve Artinian Visionary Activist” award for her accomplishments in furthering Hye Tahd through the ANCA Nevada Chapter. Hovanessian’s background includes a law degree from Southwestern University, a BA in English Literature from UCLA, and a diverse legal career in California and Nevada.

Matt Senekeremian is a government affairs professional and Bay Area native. Matt holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in International Relations from San Francisco State University. He also earned a Master’s in Political Management from George Washington University. Matt’s decades long experience includes local and statewide political campaigns, advocacy, and nonprofit development. In his current capacity, he is responsible for representing large corporations and small businesses at the local, state, and federal levels of government, as well as developing a collaborative working relationship with stakeholders. Matt has been a very active member of the Armenian community in the Bay Area. He has been part of ANCA Northern California since 2006, serving as its Chairperson since 2013. Additionally, he has served as vice chair of the Board of Trustees of St. Gregory Armenian Church of San Francisco since 2019, and has been an active member of the AYF Rosdom Chapter. 

Raffi Karakashian, Esq. is a co-owner of RE/MAX Signature in Downtown Los Angeles, where he actively engages with clients and manages the real estate office. Prior to founding RE/MAX Signature, Raffi worked as the Government Affairs Director of the ANCA in Washington, DC. During his 12 years in the nation’s capital, he established strong contacts with members of Congress and has twice testified before Congress offering his insights on US foreign assistance programs. Raffi previously practiced land use law at a prominent law firm in central New Jersey and served as a law clerk in the Superior Court of New Jersey. He interned for Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. and in the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Armenia. Raffi has previously served as a member of the ANCA Eastern Region Board and was a member of the AYF Central New Jersey Yerevan Chapter. He received a BS in Chemistry and Political Science from Boston College and a JD from Seton Hall University School of Law.

“Hay Tahd advocates welcome the new ANCA WR Board of Directors, and express a profound gratitude to the departing members of the ANCA WR Board of Directors led by Nora Hovsepian and Raffi Kassabian,” said Balkhian. 

The departing ANCA WR Board Members, who continue to serve Hay Tahd in various capacities, include Gev Iskajyan, Joseph Kaskanian, Raffi Sarkissian, Hermineh Pakhanians, Sako Berberian, and Lena Bozoyan. 

To learn more about the ANCA-WR’s activities and get acquainted with its Board Members and Staff, visit the “About” section of the organization’s website at For updates, follow ANCA-WR on social media at, and on Twitter and Instagram at @ ANCA_WR.

The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential nonpartisan 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.