SOAR - Hartford Chapter

Hartford became part of the SOAR family in June 2013. In 1926, Armenian immigrants gathered to consecrate the first Armenian church in Connecticut, coming together to celebrate their future in the New World and put their tragic past behind them. Victims of the first genocide of the 20th century, Armenians came to Connecticut in great numbers during the 1920s. It was there they found work, freedom, and safety. Most were orphaned children or members of families separated by geography. Their first order of business was to establish a church, historically the center of Armenian society. Today, there are three Armenian churches in the Hartford area.


Avetik Harutyunyants
Vice President

Avetik is a project management professional with 10+ years experience in design and implementation of public health and social development programs, at senior and executive levels. He also has 9+ years of US Government experience in administrative general management, acquisition of services and goods and contracts administration.

Avetik was 22 when he returned to Armenia from Uzbekistan, where his parents moved to in 1968. Avetik graduated from Yerevan State Medical University after Mkhitar Heratsi, and also possesses a bachelor’s degree in management.

After completion of his mandatory medical practice in Lori Marz as general practitioner, in 1996 Avetik joined USAID/Armenia. He managed the executive office as the team lead/acting executive officer and accountable property officer. Avetik is the USAID procurement professional, as well as the USAID certified cognizant technical officer for acquisition and assistance programs.

In 2006 Avetik has joined World Vision Armenia as health sector manager/Chief of Party. He led proposals development and managed implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the WVA health projects in over 220 villages of Armenia.

Avetik represented WVA with the key stakeholders, promoted the WVA intuitional visibility and fostered institutional collaboration with stakeholders for joint programming.

For 5 years Avetik was a member of the Working Group of the country coordination committee of the National HIV prevention program.

As a country director/CEO of the country’s largest pediatric NGO, the “Howard Karagheusian” MBSO (2013-2014), Avetik provided leadership, operational and programmatic support to over 140 employees of the organization’s 6 dental/ophthalmological clinics and child development groups in Armenia & Artsakh republics.

Avetik is married and resides in Hartford County, CT.

Shushanik Nerses Atoyan

Shushanik was born and raised in Yerevan, Armenia and currently resides in Connecticut with her husband and daughter.

She graduated from Yerevan State University with a bachelor’s degree in Law.

Her career has included being a private language tutor and an Agent at the ‘Armenian thought pan-Armenian club’.

Shushanik is fluent in Armenian, Russian, and English. In addition, she is also trained in Latin, and Olde Greek.

In her free time, she enjoys karate, and traveling.