LAS VEGAS — On March 10, 2018, the AGBU Western District Committee hosted its inaugural Western District Conference in Las Vegas, NV at the Palms Casino Resort. The Western District chose Las Vegas for the conference location in light of the continued growth of the Armenian community and committed AGBU chapter there, chaired by Vazrik Makarian. Various groups from Western District states were in attendance. Among the attendees were district board members, chapter chairs, committee members, and prospective members from Las Vegas, Phoenix and Los Angeles. Arda Haratunian, AGBU central board member, was also in attendance and served as the keynote speaker.

The theme of the all-day conference was “Thinking Globally, Working Locally.” Setting the tone for the entire day, Ms. Haratunian presented on “A Global Perspective with Local Impact” which gave an overview of AGBU and its impact in the Armenian communities across the globe. Following her lead, the Western District staff and board members presented on the new direction of communications, development and outreach, event ideation and coordination for the Western District. Closing the conference was an open discussion on how the Western District can work with various AGBU groups to cater to community needs.

During his opening remarks, while reflecting on his years with the AGBU family and why he continues to serve as the Las Vegas chapter chair, Vazrik Makarian expressed, “AGBU is the most integrity driven, the most transparent and honest organization. That is why I am a part of it.”

Mr. Makarian’s sentiments towards AGBU were echoed by many conference goers throughout the day. The room was filled with passion, energy and fresh ideas on how to revitalize and engage more communities with AGBU programs, events, and fundraising efforts for all Armenian causes. By the end of the day, it was clear that the conference was a great success; and much needed to build a bridge between AGBU groups in order to create a Western District powerhouse, focused on the local and global AGBU agenda.

Established in 1906, AGBU (www.agbu.org) is the world’s largest non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs, annually touching the lives of some 500,000 Armenians around the world.

For more information about AGBU Western District, please visit www.agbuwd.org.

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