Bernard Melekian currently serves as the Undersheriff for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. He has 36 years of local law enforcement experience, including serving as the Police Chief for the city of Pasadena for from 1996 until 2009. During that period, he also served as the acting Fire Chief for Pasadena for 6 months in 1998 and as the Interim City Manager from January to October, 2008.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in American History and a Master’s degree in Public Administration, both from California State University, Northridge. In 2012 he was awarded a Doctorate in Policy, Planning and Development from the University of Southern California for his doctoral project on Values-Based Discipline in Law Enforcement Organizations. His thesis was selected as the recipient of the Sol Price award for the best dissertation in 2012.
Undersheriff Melekian was selected as the Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) by Attorney General Eric Holder on October 5, 2009. He served in that capacity until March, 2013. As part of his work with COPS, he oversaw the development of the concept of Collaborative Reform, a widely acclaimed alternative to the traditional consent decree. This work was first utilized in collaboration with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in 2012.
Dr. Melekian is the founder and President of the Paratus Group, a consulting group dedicated to assisting local law enforcement agencies. His clients include the cities of Seattle, Chicago and Baltimore. He has done work for the Bratton Group and the International City/County Management Association.
Chief Melekian served as the President of the California Police Chiefs’ Association in 2009. He was the President of the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs’ Association from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2001, the only person to have been asked to serve two terms in that position. He served on the National Board of Directors for the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) from 2002 until 2006.
Chief Melekian served as Chair of the California Attorney General’s Blue Ribbon Committee on SWAT Policy from 2000-2002. He authored the final report from that Commission. Chief William Bratton asked him to serve on a blue-ribbon panel to assess SWAT operations with the LAPD in 2007. In 2009, he served on the Board of Inquiry reviewing the March 2009 tragedy in Oakland, California.
Chief Melekian served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1970. He was a member of the Coast Guard Reserve from 1984 until 2009. During that time he was called to active duty in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm and served in Saudi Arabia. He served a second tour of active duty in 2003 when he served for eight months in the Pacific area. He retired from the Coast Guard Reserve as a Chief Petty Officer in 2009, after 25 years of service.
Bernard Melekian currently lives in Santa Barbara with his wife, Nancy.
Gary Jerjerian is currently a successful business owner in the automotive aftermarket wheel industry. With over 30 years in Automotive, he established Dynamic Wheels in 1994. With the desire to create its own unique brand and market, Gary established Diablo Wheels in 2000. Mr. Jerjerian continues to be a leader in his industry, introducing innovative and unique products.
Mr. Jerjerian is actively involved within the Armenian community, both local and abroad. Since 1999, Mr. Jerjerian has been an active member of the Union of Marash, a nonprofit organization. He is cofounder of two organizations, Hamaynapatker, an Armenian Culture Magazine, and the Armenian Vision Outreach (AVO), an organization that helps orphans and underprivileged children to attend Christian schools in the Middle East, Armenia and the USA. In addition, Mr. Jerjerian is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sahag Mesrob Armenian Christian School located in Altadena, California.
Mr. Jerjerian was given the opportunity to serve with the Los Angeles Sheriff Department. Beginning as a civilian member of the Armenian Advisory Council followed by becoming a reserve deputy. For the past 10 years, Mr. Jerjerian has enlisted and has been active in the Sheriff reserve program. Through the Sheriff Reserves he continues to volunteer and help the many communities of Los Angeles as a community liaison.
Gary Jerjerian currently resides in Glendale, California with his wife, Maria, and two sons, Elijah, 19 years old, and Harout, 15 years old.
Greg Afsharian was born and raised in Pasadena, CA. He serves as a Deacon for the Armenian Evangelical Brethren Church in Pasadena. Greg is also a 25 year veteran of the Pasadena Police Department. He holds the rank of Sergeant and is currently assigned to the Counter Terrorism Unit. In 1996, at the direction of then, Police Chief Bernard Melekian, Greg helped form PAPAC (Pasadena Armenian Police Advisory Council). It is a collaboration of Pasadena community members of Armenian descent who represent area church groups, businesses and non-profit organizations. Greg is married and they have two children. His wife is a teacher for the Pasadena Unified School District. Greg proudly serves as the Secretary of Records for the PAGMC Board.
ROBERT E. KALUNIAN
Robert Kalunian is currently of Counsel at the Law firm of Geragos and Geragos, AP specializing in criminal defense and civil litigation. In 2010, Mr. Kalunian retired from the Law Offices of the Los Angeles County Public Defender after almost 40 years service. As a trial Lawyer in the Public Defender’s Office, he represented thousands of clients in felony and misdemeanor criminal cases. Mr. Kalunian served as Chief Deputy Public Defender for the County of Los Angeles for 15 years. His duties included operational responsibility of a law office with a $170 million annual budget and a staff of over 1000 in 38 offices throughout Los Angeles County. In 2009, Mr. Kalunian was appointed Acting County Counsel of Los Angeles County. He served in this capacity for almost one year with oversight and management of the Office of the County Counsel and served as attorney for and provided legal advice and representation to the members of the Board of Supervisors for the County of Los Angeles, county departments and other public offices and agencies.
In 2010, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recognized Mr. Kalunian with its Exemplary Contributions Award. He also received the 2011 Career Achievement Award from the Los Angeles County Bar Association Criminal Justice Section.
Mr. Kalunian’s past professional activities include: Judicial Procedures Commission (ex-officio member), County-wide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee member, Los Angeles County Three Strikes Taskforce, Criminal Court Bar Association Board (ex-officio member), Los Angeles Criminal Inns of Court (Charter member), Los Angeles County Management Council, Neighbor Legal Services of Los Angeles County, and Criminal Courts Wall of Fame selection committee.
Sandra Siraganian was born in Pasadena and raised her three children in Sierra Madre. In addition to her career as a Realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty, she is a delegate to the California Republican Party, Chair of the 41st Assembly District Republican Central Committee, and Executive Board member of the Republican Party Los Angeles County. She also serves on the Local Government Relations Committee of the Pasadena Foothills Board of Realtors.
Sandra has been involved in the Pasadena Unified School District since 1987, when she volunteered for the spelling bee competition at Madison Elementary School. As a staunch believer that reading, writing and speaking English proficiently is a pathway to success in life, Sandra worked in the classroom with students to increase their reading skills. She has served as a board member of Don Benito Fundamental School PTA , and co-chaired the Teacher Appreciation committee. More recently, Sandra served on the PUSD School/City/Community Work Plan team.
In her local community of Sierra Madre, Sandra served on the Sierra Madre Little League board as Secretary and fundraising chair.
Shoghig is the founder and president of Yepremian Consulting, Inc. which provides planning and zoning services to private clients. Since 2012, Shoghig has also been acting as the Zoning Hearing Officer for the City of Pasadena, conducting monthly hearings and making environmental, zoning, and land use determinations.
Prior to forming Yepremian Consulting, Inc., Shoghig was Principal Planner for the City of Glendale heading the Design Review, Environmental, Subdivision, Zoning, and Long Range/Policy Sections of the Planning Department.
Shoghig received her A.S. in Architectural Drafting and Design from Glendale Community College, B.A in Urban and Regional Planning from California Polytechnic University, Pomona and M.A Degree in Political Science from the University of Southern California.
Shoghig is involved with several community organizations. She has been acting as the Board Chairlady for the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), Pasadena Chapter for the last three years. She has been serving on the Board of Directors for the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee. Shoghig is a graduate of City of Pasadena Citizen Police Academy. She also serves the Upper Hastings Ranch Neighborhood Association as a Block Captain.
Anthony Portantino served in the California State Assembly from December, 2006 to December 2012. Anthony is a strong supporter of public education and “good” government reforms. No stranger to the Armenian American Community, Anthony has been a speaker at numerous community events and mentored many Armenian American student activists. As an Assemblymember, Anthony was a Co-Author of California’s Genocide Recognition Resolutions.
Prior to his election to the Assembly, Portantino spent many years working in film and television production. He also served nearly eight years on the La Cañada Flintridge City Council including two years as Mayor. During his time on the City Council, he was the statewide President of the League of California Cities Mayors and Councilmembers Department. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California, the host of a public policy talk show and a member of the California Film Commission.
Anthony was born in Long Branch, New Jersey where he attended public schools and graduated from Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania. At Albright, he met his future wife, Ellen, a business executive for Warner Bros. Anthony and Ellen have two daughters, Sofia, a graduate of UCSB, and Bella Rose, who attends a public middle school. Anthony is a PTA member, usher at St. Bede RC Church and an American Youth Soccer Referee. He is also on the boards of several local non-profits, including the Armenian American Chamber of Commerce.
AVO Kechichian infuses professional knowledge, decades of experience and personal attachment into his position as Chief Financial Officer for the University of La Verne. Where other professionals have tactically situated themselves in a strategically upward career working for multiple companies in various industries with the goal of becoming a Chief Financial Officer, Kechichian has committed his professional career to benefitting the University of La Verne. From an immigrant undergraduate student from war-torn Lebanon to serving as CFO, the University of La Verne has benefitted from Kechichian for nearly 30 years. When Kechichian enrolled as an undergraduate student at the University, he began to lay the foundation for his commitment to dedicate his personal and professional life to the University and surrounding community. Beginning with a “student worker” position in the University library, Kechichian has consistently worked across multiple offices and positions, all related to university Finance and Administration. While simultaneously working to complete his advanced graduate studies at La Verne, he demonstrated success in each professional position and earned his post as Vice President for Finance, and subsequently, the position as Chief Financial Officer for the University of La Verne. Since assuming the position of Vice President for Finance in 2011, Kechichian has demonstrated financial leadership, business acumen and institutional stewardship resulting in increasing the institutional budget by approximately 10% each year and increasing the institutional endowment by approximately 60%. In short, Kechichian’s financial stewardship has positioned the University of La Verne in its healthiest financial position since its inception 124 years ago in 1891.
Levon Filian has served as the Executive Director and West Coast Executive Director of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), since January 2010.
He has served in the field of education for over 20 years, as a teacher, counselor, and principal in secondary schools, community colleges and universities.He served as the principal of Sahag Mesrob Armenian Christian School for over 12 years.
He is a licensed Real Estate Broker. In his 18 years of Real Estate career he operated his own office, was the manager of the Merrill Lynch office in San Francisco, taught continuing education classes and served on various local and state level board committees.
Was born in Ainjar Lebanon to Musa Ler immigrant parents. He received his education in missionary operated schools, attended Haigazian University and received his masters degrees in Administration and Counseling from California State Universities.
He is married to Liliana and has four sons Mher, Armen, Ari, David.
Dickran M. Tevrizian, Jr.
Dickran M. Tevrizian, Jr. was a judge the United States District Court for the Central District of California, a position he has held since 1986. He is the first Armenian-American to have served as a Federal Judge in the history of the United States. Judge Tevrizian began his judicial career at age 31 when former California Governor Ronald Reagan appointed him to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1972. He was one of the youngest judges ever to be appointed to the judiciary by Governor Reagan. Six years later, California Governor Edmund Brown, Jr. elevated Judge Tevrizian to the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles. In 1982, he returned to the practice of law and stayed until his appointment as a Federal Judge by President Ronald Reagan. On August 5, 2005, Judge Tevrizian took senior status and retired from the Federal Judiciary on April 19, 2007.
Judge Tevrizian graduated Cum Laude from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Finance in 1962. Three years later, he received his J.D. from the U.S.C. School of Law. From 1966 until his appointment to the Los Angeles Municipal Court, Judge Tevrizian was first an associate and later became a partner in the law firm of Kirtland and Packard. From 1982 until his appointment to the United States District Court, Tevrizian practiced law in the Southern California area as a partner in the law firm of Manatt Phelps Rothenberg & Tunney and as Of Counsel to the law firm of Lewis, D’Amato, Brisbois & Bisgaard. In 1987, he was named Trial Judge of the Year by the California Trial Lawyers Association. Judge Tevrizian was also named the 1994-1995 Trial Jurist of the Year by the Los Angeles County Bar Association. In 1998, Judge Tevrizian was named Federal Court Trial Judge of the Year by the Malibu Bar Association. In 1999, Judge Tevrizian was award the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In 2002, Judge Tevrizian was awarded the Maynard Toll Award from the Los Angeles County Bar Association for his service to the underprivileged. In 2003, he was awarded the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Orange County Federal Bar Association. In 2005, Judge Tevrizian received the Emil Gumpert Award for his efforts in promoting alternative dispute resolution. He received the 2005 Justice Armand Arabian Leaders in Public Service Award. From 1999 to 2007, Judge Tevrizian served as an Advisory Director to the University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.) School of Public Policy. Judge Tevrizian and his wife Geraldine are residents of Pasadena, California.
Judge Tevrizian has been a lecturer for numerous Bar Associations, California Continuing Education Programs and State Bard Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Seminars. He also has served on Boards of Directors for number charitable organizations such as: Armenian General Benevolent Union (A.G.B.U.); Glendale Memorial Hospital Foundation; Armenian Eye Care Project; Exception Children’s Foundation; and Southwestern University School of Law.
Upon Judge Tevrizian’s retired from the federal judiciary, the University of Southern California named him the first holder of a Judge Robert M. Widney Chair in the faculty of the University of Southern California. In addition, Judge Tevrizian assumed the role of a private mediator/arbitration with Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS) in their Los Angeles office.
Recently, Judge Tevrizian was named to the Advisory Board of Legal Zoom and as a member of the Board of Directors for Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Tutor Perini Corporation and Three Plus Logistics Corporation.