SOAR - Montreal Chapter
SOAR-Montreal joined the SOAR family in September 2013. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Armenians who had escaped persecution from the Armenian Genocide settled in communities in southern Ontario. Thousands of Armenians likewise made their way to Canada after federal immigration policies became less restrictive during the 1950s, and in the early 1990s, some Armenians immigrated to Canada after disintegration of the Soviet Union. Montreal, with more than 20,000 Armenians, is the center for two Armenian Apostolic Prelacies governing not just the Montreal community, but all Armenian Apostolic (Orthodox) communities throughout Canada: the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Canada (representing the See of Holy Echmiadzin), with parishes at St. Gregory the Illuminator (in Outremont) and Holy Cross Armenian Church (in Laval); and the Armenian Prelacy of Canada (representing the Holy See of Cilicia), with parishes at Sourp Hagop Cathedral (in Montreal) and Sourp Kevork Armenian Apostolic Church (in Laval). The Armenian community in Montreal has two full-time Armenian schools, the Sourp Hagop Armenian School and the Armén-Québec Alex Manoogian School. Laval is the home of the Armenian Catholic Ecole Notre-Dame de Nareg School.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Dr. Sarkis Yeretsian was born in Aleppo, Syria. After completing his MD degree from St. Joseph medical faculty in Beirut, Lebanon, he pursued a specialization in general surgery at Sherbrooke University, P.Q. Canada. In 1994, Dr. Yeretsian contributed the opening of the first advanced laparoscopic center in Armenia at the Malatia Medical Center in Yerevan. After actively taking part in the successful fundraising activities of the Armenian Medical Quebec Association for this purpose, he travelled to Armenia with a dedicated team to ensure the delivery of surgical equipments. There, he also performed the first colectomy by laparoscopy in the Caucasus after the collapse of the USSR. A professional dedicated to innovation in the field of surgery, Dr. Yeretsian has been actively pursuing the development of new surgical techniques and instruments in different surgical specialties. He has notably patented a technique of surgical removal of hemorrhoids in the U.S. and applied for patenting many more innovative methods.
Pic and Bio coming soon
Lusine Avagyan is from Vanadzor, Armenia. She studied biology at Vanadzor State Pedagogical University. However, she was always interested in professional journalism and after taking two years off, she studied journalism at Yerevan State University earning a Master’s Degree. Lusine worked for Asparez Daily, reporting news about Vanadzor. She received training in Public Relations and investigative journalism. After participating in seminars on children’s rights, she made a decision to work with children at Vanadzor orphanage. She works with children aged 7-13.
Pic and Bio coming soon
Mr. Sevak Demirdjian, is the Vice-president of Operations and Project Management for Canada’s foremost consulting firm on Roads & Bridges and Infrastructure business units. He has over 15 years of experience in transportation engineering, design and construction of bridges, commercial and industrial building projects throughout Canada and overseas. Mr. Demirdjian holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, and a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from McGill University. Since 2000, he has worked as a Lead Technical Design expert in bridges and building projects and has published several technical papers. Throughout the years, he has lead large multi-disciplined engineering teams. Strategizing, driving individual & team performances are a few of his key strengths contributing to his performance. As an expatriate in the Middle Eastern regions, he has built engineering teams and managed their efficiency on international projects and missions. He is a member of several Engineering professional associations, promoting and contributing innovative engineering technologies to structural and civil engineering domains.
Pic and Bio coming soon
After having completed her International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in Egypt, Marina began studying for her Bachelor of Commerce at McGill University with a Double Major in Economics and Finance. Over the years she has done several volunteer based social works in Cairo, some of which included organizing fundraising events for the ‘Good Shepherd’ orphanage, as well as volunteering at the European Charity Bazaar on behalf of the Armenian Embassy, and at her school’s annual Christmas Charity Bazaar. As a member of her school’s English Literacy Program, Marina has also taught English to the less privileged employees of a recycling centre called ‘Moqattam’ as a way to better aid them in their future career paths. During her first year at McGill, she volunteered at the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation and helped out with managing telephone donations. In August 2015, during their stay for the 6th Pan-Armenian Games, Marina and her basketball team visited the ‘Mer Doon’ orphanage home in Yerevan, and she was able to witness first-hand how life changing and truly influential supporting orphaned young adults can be. Marina is fluent in English, Arabic, and Armenian, as well as conversational French. She is looking forward to joining the Montreal chapter and assisting in the SOAR Language Tutoring Program teaching English.
Joseph Takhmizdjian is a partner in the Montréal office of Borden Ladner Gervais, where he handles tax-related matters. Before joining BLG, he worked as a chartered accountant and auditor for businesses operating in various sectors, including the public sector. He provides tax advice to clients, their accountants or other professionals on the various tax implications of transactions in which they are involved or planning to undertake. He also handles issues dealing with commodity taxes and represents clients in tax disputes with tax authorities.
Joseph has completed the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants’ In-Depth Tax Courses (Parts I, II and III), as well as its In-Depth GST/HST Course.
He is fluent in English, French and Armenian.