Armenian National Institute Director to Present on YMCA Exhibit at National Advocacy Conference


YMCA volunteers James O. Arroll (left) and John Elder (right)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) is pleased to announce that Armenian National Institute (ANI) Director Dr. Rouben Adalian will make a special presentation on the digital exhibit displaying the role of the YMCA and American relief work during the first republic of Armenia (1918-1920) at the National Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. on Monday, September 24, 2018.

The exhibit, entitled “American Relief in the First Republic of Armenia,” was created by ANI to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Armenian republic.

The YMCA praised ANI’s special digital exhibit exploring the role of two exceptional individuals, John Elder and James O. Arroll, who volunteered to stay in Armenia during the critical year of 1918 when fellow American relief workers were withdrawn in view of the intensification of warfare in the region.

Last month, United States Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia, Richard M. Mills, Jr., toured the exhibit on display at the Naregatsi Art Institute in Yerevan, sponsored by ANI and the Assembly.

“This exhibition captures the spirit of the American people’s affinity for Armenia and the Armenian people,” said U.S. Ambassador Mills. “From those first YMCA volunteers to the more than 1,000 Peace Corps volunteers who have followed in their stead, the American people have been working side-by-side with the Armenian people to overcome turmoil and challenge in pursuit of continued peace and friendship between our two nations.”

Mills 1

U.S. Ambassador Richard Mills Jr. looking at the ANI exhibit on the YMCA in Armenia

Dr. Adalian, who did the research for the YMCA exhibit, will expand on Ambassador Mills’ observations of the current extent and historic role of American humanitarian intervention across the experience of the three republics of Armenia.

In addition to this special presentation, the National Advocacy Conference includes panel discussions, a welcome reception, meetings on Capitol Hill, and concludes with a special evening Gala honoring long-time Assembly Board Member Annie Simonian Totah.

For more information on the Advocacy Conference, visit or contact Assembly Grassroots and Development Associate Mariam Khaloyan at (202) 393-3434 ext. 337 or by email at

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.


NR#: 2018-042

Learn more about ANI’s YMCA Exhibit:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Armenian Assembly Mourns Passing of Life Trustee Virginia “Ginny” Ohanian

Ginny Ohanian.jpg

Armenian Assembly Co-Chair Anthony Barsamian, Armenian Assembly Board Member Lu Ann Ohanian, Middlesex County Sherriff Peter Koutoujian, Ginny Ohanian, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), Nevart Talanian, and former Armenian Assembly Board Member Rachel Kaprielian

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) mourns the loss of Virginia “Ginny” Ohanian, who passed away peacefully on September 13, 2018.
Both Ginny and her late husband Michael were staunch supporters and core members of the Assembly from the beginning. They were close to Stephen Mugar and actively participated in all of the Assembly’s work. In 2013, she was honored, alongside Ann Hintlian and Nevart Talanian, with the Assembly’s Distinguished Humanitarian Award.

“Ginny was a remarkable individual with a sparkling sense of humor who cared deeply and passionately about Armenia and its people. Her generosity and commitment to Armenia and the Armenian Assembly served as an inspiration to us all. She will be missed greatly. This is a loss to the entire Assembly family,” Assembly Co-Chairs Anthony Barsamian and Van Krikorian said.

After visiting Armenia and Artsakh as part of the Assembly Mission Trip in 1999, Mrs. Ohanian became committed to the reforestation of the country. Of the thousands of supporters of the Armenia Tree Project no one individual has given as many “tree gifts.” She took it beyond just planting trees.

Mrs. Ohanian had said: “I saw for myself the need for trees, jobs and education. I thought this was a fitting way to memorialize Michael’s and my ardent devotion to the Armenian Assembly,” thus giving the funds to open the Michael and Virginia Ohanian Environmental Education Center at the Karin Nursery in Armenia.

Mrs. Ohanian, her sister, daughter, and daughter-in-law were at the ribbon cutting in 2004. In 2011 the Michael and Virginia Ohanian Center for Environment Studies was opened in Margahovit, Lori Marz province. This center trains students, teachers and professionals in best forestry practices and conducts environmental education lessons with students from all regions of Armenia.

Her son Bruce is a long-time Assembly Trustee, and her daughter-in-law, Lu Ann Ohanian, is also a Life Trustee and a member of the Assembly’s Board.  Mrs. Ohanian’s daughter Veronica Heath and husband Donn have been members and supporters of the Assembly and the Armenia Tree Project.

Mrs. Ohanian was a life-time member of the Holy Trinity Church in Cambridge where she was an ardent supporter and a member of the Women’s Guild. She was very active along with her husband in the Armenian General Benevolent Union. Michael was an excellent golfer, winning the Massachusetts Amateur. Mrs. Ohanian thought it only fitting after he passed that she establish a college scholarship through the Ouimet Society named the Michael Ohanian Scholarship. Her other philanthropies include: Armenian Heritage Park, Berkshire Hill Music Academy, Bentley College, the Belmont Hill School, and Massachusetts General Hospital.
The wake will take place on Wednesday, September 19 from 10:00 am – 11:30 am with a funeral service to follow at Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Greater Boston at 145 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA.
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.
NR#: 2018-041
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment