By Dickran Khodanian
ANCA-WR Communications Coordinator
GLENDALE – The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region announced that it will award Kathryn Barger, Los Angeles County Supervisor for the Fifth District, with the “Woman of the Year” Award at the 2019 ANCA-WR Gala on Sunday, October 20 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
“Supervisor Barger has been a staunch supporter of our community in Los Angeles County, demonstrating time and again her long-term commitment to our community’s immediate needs and long-term priorities,” remarked ANCA-WR Chair Nora Hovsepian, Esq. “As the elected representative of the largest Armenian-American community in the worldwide Diaspora, Supervisor Barger is worthy of this prestigious honor, and we are proud to give our community the opportunity to publicly thank and acknowledge her for her years of dedicated and ongoing service.”
Supervisor Barger has been highly supportive of Armenian-American issues and has worked hard to empower the community through many efforts, most notably through her very generous donation of $1 million to the Armenian-American Museum in Glendale and proclaiming the month of April as the “Armenian History Month” each year during which the work of numerous community organizations and individual activists is highlighted and publicly honored by the LA County Board of Supervisors. She has cultivated a deep understanding of issues important to the Armenian Cause and has maintained consistent communication with various segments of our community to address our concerns.
In addition, in the year of the Armenian Genocide Centennial, Barger worked closely on the iWitness public art installation by artists Ara Oshagan and Levon Parian and architect Vahagn Thomasian displayed in Grand Park located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, which educated millions of visitors to the iconic site about the Armenian Genocide of 1915. As Chief Deputy to Supervisor Michael Antonovich for the 5th district, Barger ensured that the Supervisor’s office was reflective of the community and hired Armenian-Americans to various positions, including her current Chief Deputy Anna Mouradian who has further facilitated her connection to the Armenian community.
Through her time in office, she has approved financial support for projects such as the Armenian Genocide memorial monument being dedicated in Grand Park as well as the efforts of various Armenian community based organizations. To ensure that Armenian-Americans with language barriers are well informed and able to make their voices heard at the ballot box, Barger has also worked with the L.A. County Registrar Recorder to have voting information also be provided in the Armenian language.
Last year’s Gala attracted over 1,000 attendees as it honored a variety of individuals who have served their community and their country. Past honorees have included Baroness Caroline Cox, U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman, California State Senator Anthony Portantino, “Architects of Denial” executive producers and team including David McKenzie, Montel Williams, Dean Cain, Laura McKenzie, and Elizabeth Stanton, musician and activist Serj Tankian, Turkish MP Garo Paylan, Primate of the Diocese of Artsakh, Archbishop Parkev Martirosyan, International and Human Rights Attorneys Geoffrey Robertson and Amal Clooney, and many other distinguished honorees.