Armenian Women’s Welfare Association expands its impact with new leadership

Wendy Segrest

JAMAICA PLAIN, Mass.—Armenian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA) announced a transition in leadership for the 2024-2025 term. Wendy Deacon Segrest has been appointed as AWWA’s new executive director. Segrest comes to AWWA as a former national vice president of the American Heart Association and over 20 years of nonprofit board and advisory council leadership roles, including the World Stroke Organization and UT Dallas Center for Vital Longevity. Segrest has served as the AWWA Board advisor since January 2024 and has been instrumental in developing the next strategic direction for the organization.

Segrest is joined by a slate of newly-elected female professionals who together will serve as officers for the 2024-2025 term, representing a solid foundation for AWWA at a pivotal time in the organization’s history. These leaders bring a breadth of professional and personal experience that will collectively position AWWA to address the challenges facing generations of Armenian women, ensuring that AWWA, with over a decade of compassionate legacy, will best serve the local community and Armenia for the next 100 years.

Alyssa Yenikomshian is an attorney with nearly 20 years of experience in healthcare law, currently working at a biotech company where she focuses on navigating healthcare regulations and supporting global clinical trials and research activities. She will be assuming a new role as co-vice president alongside Manneh Ghazarians, a healthcare quality and performance improvement specialist for healthcare systems and regional payers. Laurie Manjikian, OT, a leader in rehabilitation and senior centers, will now serve as treasurer. Hannah Dagg, an experienced certified oncology nurse currently working with patients at several hospitals in the Boston area, will continue to serve as secretary of AWWA. 

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As Board president, Segrest is succeeding Martha Mensoian, who after many years of dedicated service and remarkable contributions as the AWWA Board president, will continue her service to the organization’s mission as a member of the Advisory Board. Seta Nersessian will also be stepping down from the role of treasurer after many years of commitment and service and will continue leveraging her financial acumen and strategic thinking to contribute to AWWA’s long-term success as an Advisory Board member.  

Martha Mensoian

“We are immensely grateful for Martha and Seta’s leadership and dedication over the years,” said Segrest. “Under their guidance with the Board of Directors, AWWA has made significant strides in advancing its mission of support for aging families in our community and in Armenia. As we embark on this new chapter, I am honored to lead the organization forward, building upon the strong foundation laid by Martha, Seta and the entire leadership team.”

These transitions come as AWWA looks to expand its reach and impact locally and globally in the coming years. “AWWA remains committed to its mission of supporting our elders and their caregivers in the greater New England area through advocacy, services and community resources,” said Mensoian. “I am confident that under the leadership of Wendy and the Board of Directors, AWWA will continue to thrive and make a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve.” 

For more information about AWWA and its programs, please visit

About AWWA

Armenian Women’s Welfare Association is a not-for-profit organization established in 1915 dedicated to serving elders and their families both locally and internationally. AWWA is the proud owner of the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (ANRC), an 83-bed, not-for-profit, skilled nursing center providing both short-term rehabilitation and long-term care for elderly patients in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. In 2004, AWWA expanded its mission to Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh to become a proud supporter of the Hanganak Elder Program and Clinic, which provided medical care, food and social support to elders in that region and continues to do so for those elders displaced in Armenia today. AWWA believes that honoring elders is at the very foundation of both family and community. Drawing on the rich history, generosity and work ethic of the Armenian community, AWWA aims to ensure the health and well-being of elders and their caregivers.

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Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

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