SOAR - St. Louis Chapter
St. Louis joined the SOAR family in November 2012. During the first decade of the 20th century, a group of immigrating Armenians settled in St. Clair County. Industrial East St. Louis provided opportunities for those seeking jobs. Most planned to return to Armenia, but some wanted to become permanent residents of the United States. The first Armenians to settle permanently in St. Clair County were Mr. and Mrs. Arman Magarian, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Fouryigian, and Mr. and Mrs. Hampartz Vartanian.
In St. Clair County the Armenian population grew to several hundred, with one count going as high as one thousand. In East St. Louis, they lived near Brady, Broadway, Converse, Division, Gaty, Kansas, Missouri, and St. Louis Avenues, and between Tenth and Nineteenth Streets. Many started to work at the Granite City steel mills. Others began small businesses. Armenian-owned grocery stores, dry cleaners, ice cream shops, and taverns.
Of the first Armenian children to arrive, some graduated high school, but most ended their schooling in the freshman or sophomore year to help bring in more income for the family. But for the first generation of American-born Armenians things were different. Most completed high school and some went on to college and to graduate school to become attorneys, accountants, doctors, and teachers. As the children immersed themselves in America, they also held on to their heritage. The Armenian Women’s Education Association, founded in the late 1920s, taught the Armenian language and culture.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Elizabeth grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and recently relocated to St. Louis, Missouri. Elizabeth currently works as an investment analyst for a commercial real estate firm. In addition, Elizabeth is an active member of the St. Louis Chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW).
Elizabeth is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison. In 2017, Elizabeth interned at Douglas Elliman in New York City while also being a member of the AGBU – New York Summer Internship Program (NYSIP). Elizabeth is an avid runner and enjoys spending time with her family.
Sherry Doctorian is a partner at Armstrong Teasdale LLP, focusing on regulatory representation and lobbying on matters pending before the state legislature and a wide variety of Missouri administrative agencies. She has been involved with SOAR for almost ten years. Sherry earned her J.D. from the University of Missouri School of Law and B.A., cum laude, from Truman State University. She has been named among the Best Lawyers in America® for Government Relations Law for more than a decade, and in addition to her active legal practice, Sherry serves as Executive Vice President of AT Government Strategies. Further, Sherry is a frequent speaker and is active in both the professional and charitable communities. Sherry, her husband Tim Hayden, and their daughter Josie reside in Missouri’s state capital, Jefferson City.
Heather is an editor in the public affairs division of a banking institution. Before taking that position, she was a journalist for 17 years, reporting and editing for newspapers on law firms and lawyers, court cases, business and government.
A graduate of Webster University in St. Louis, Heather served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Armenia before starting her journalism career. She taught English for two years in the village school in Agarak, in northern Armenia.