By Taleen Babayan
LOS ANGELES – Longtime community leader Arsen Danielian, Esq., was honored by The Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles for his dedicated service on April 30, 2019, during the city-designated Armenian History Month.
Kathryn Barger, Supervisor of the Fifth District, presented the certificate of recognition to Danielian, who was joined on stage by His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, who nominated him for the honor. Also joining Danielian was his wife Hasmik Danielian, Ed.D., Superintendent of the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District of California and his daughter, Nyree Kolanjian, Esq.
“Throughout April, it has been an honor to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of outstanding Armenian-Americans who live, work, and serve in Los Angeles County,” said Barger, who represented The Board of Supervisors, the governing body of the County of Los Angeles that oversees a population of more than 10 million people. “In addition to his professional work, Arsen is best known for his work with the faith community, particularly in the Armenian Apostolic Church.”
Barger thanked Danielian, his family and Archbishop Derderian for attending the ceremony in person to celebrate his “immense involvement and contributions to Los Angeles County and the Armenian community.”
She highlighted the positive impact Armenians have had in both California and the nation, making “a real difference in this country by giving back in ways that are very much under the radar.”
Danielian said he felt “honored and humbled” by the recognition bestowed upon him. He thanked Archbishop Derderian for nominating him and for his leadership, as well as to Supervisor Barger and her colleagues for their tireless work in Los Angeles County.
“For the past 45 years as a community activist, I have engaged in serving this community and my church purposefully with humility, courage, and character,” said Danielian, founding member of the Glendale-based law firm Baker, Olson, LeCroy & Danielian. “Today’s recognition by the Board of Supervisors of Los Angeles County is a testimony to the importance of the impact of community involvement in furthering our democratic values as well as the Armenian cause.”
In his remarks, Archbishop Derderian elaborated on the symbolism of the month of April for the Armenian people as the world commemorates the martyrs of the first genocide of the 20th century, an “unpunished genocide, which has paved the way for many other genocides.”
“We have commemorated the saints on April 24, but the day also has become for us a day of rebirth,” said Archbishop Derderian. “On this very special occasion, we also extend our gratitude to the United States of America, which received hundreds of thousands of Armenian orphans, survivors of the genocide, and embraced them to feel at home.”
Turning to the accomplishments of Danielian and his efforts towards his surrounding society, Archbishop Derderian noted his service is “a token of gratitude to this nation” by “serving institutions that heighten the well-being of the community at large and bring hope to the lives of the members of the greater Los Angeles community.”
Archbishop Derderian traced the history of the Western Diocese that was established over 100 years ago as a direct result of the Hamidian massacres of the Armenians in 1895, that caused many to flee historic Western Armenia and seek haven in America.
“Since then, we have flourished and we have grown to become exemplary citizens of the United States of America,” said Archbishop Derderian, pointing out that Los Angeles has the largest Armenian community outside of Armenia. “We are connected to our roots, to our ancestral land of Armenia, but we also feel that we have the moral duty and responsibility to serve this freedom-loving country, which has been a home for our children and for the many generations to come.”
Danielian’s service to the Los Angeles community spans decades, organizations and cultures. He has served as a member of the Diocesan Council, as Chairman of the Ambassadors of Faith of the Western Diocese and as a generous benefactor of St. Leon Cathedral in Burbank. He has been honored with the prestigious St. Nerses Shnorhali medal and the accompanying Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians in recognition of his four decades of service rendered to the Armenian Apostolic Church. Earlier this year, Danielian traveled to the Vatican to have an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis, where he personally expressed his deep gratitude for His Holiness’ stand with the Armenian people and for the Armenian cause. He also met with His Eminence Pietro Cardinal Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See.
Danielian is also the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Healthcare Foundation of the Glendale Adventist Medical Center and the recipient of the 2014 Erwin J. Remboldt Founder’s Award of the Glendale Adventist Medical Center for outstanding philanthropy. He has also served as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Glendale Symphony Orchestra Association, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Glendale Rotary Club, Chairman of the Glendale Schools 2000 Action Planning Team for Developing Pride & Confidence in the Glendale Unified School District (1992-1993), and as a member of the Arroyo-Verdugo Sub-Region Advisory Council, Southern California Association of Governments (1993-1994).