PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—The Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) will be honoring longtime Hai Tahd activist Zohrab Tazian at the 7th Annual ANCA Eastern Region Banquet on Sat., Oct. 12, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Philadelphia.
“I’m humbled to receive the Vahan Cardashian Award at this year’s ANCA-ER banquet. It’s an honor to be recognized,” stated Tazian upon learning he will be presented with the award.
The Vahan Cardashian Award is given annually to an ANCA supporter who demonstrates longstanding dedication and active involvement in the Armenian-American community and its issues. The award is named for Yale-educated lawyer Vahan Cardashian, who set aside his successful New York practice to dedicate himself to the establishment of the Armenian Committee for the Independence of Armenia (ACIA), predecessor organization to the Armenian National Committee, and to advocate for the plight of the Armenian nation.
“We’re honored to present Zohrab Tazian the Cardashian Award for his longstanding track record of fighting for the Armenian people on all issues related to Hai Tahd,” said ANCA Eastern Region Board chairperson Nora Kzirian.
Born in 1931 in the Armenian village of Kheder Beg (in present-day Turkey), Tazian and his family were forced from their homeland and relocated to a refugee camp in Lebanon during World War II.
In 1957, Tazian came to the U.S. to attend Indiana Technical College and pursue an engineering degree. He went on to start a successful civil engineering and land surveying business, Z.K. Tazian Associates, Inc. Tazian has designed the All Saints Armenian Church in Glenview, Ill., the St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church in Granite City, Ill., and St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Fort Wayne, Ind.
He has been very active in politics for more than 40 years and has used his political connections to promote Armenian causes. He served on Vice President Dan Quayle’s finance committee during his first run for Congress in 1976. In 1984, he was an Indiana delegate to the Republican National Convention in Dallas, where he introduced his friend Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian to politics by offering him his seat at the convention for a session.
He also served as finance committee chairperson for Indiana Congressman Mark Souder during all of his 16 years in Congress.
Tazian has hosted numerous political fundraisers at his home, where he has had the opportunity to discuss issues important to the Armenian nation with prominent U.S. politicians, including former House Speaker Dennis Hastert. As a gift, Tazian gave Hastert a statue from Armenia of the eagle of Nagorno-Karabagh. It symbolized the people’s desire and right to live free, like the eagle.
Tazian has been married to his wife, Naomi, for more than 50 years, and has four children–Tina, Ara, Hera and Sona—and four grandchildren.
The banquet will begin with an elegant cocktail reception and silent auction at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and an awards ceremony at 8 p.m. To purchase tickets or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit www.anca.org/erbanquet. For more information, call James Kzirian at (267) 767-0453.
The ANCA Eastern Region Endowment Fund is a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization that supports the Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region in outreach to Armenian-American communities.