Hye Hopes Chair and Founder Greg Krikorian was first elected to the Glendale Unified School District Board of Education in 2001. Reelected April 2017 to a five-year term and is serving his 20th year as a Board Member. As a Board of Education member and small business owner in Glendale, Greg has been actively involved in numerous school district and community organizations. Greg and his wife Christine of 31 years are the proud parents of five children. Krikorian is a second-generation Armenian-American, whose grandparents escaped from the Kharpert region of Armenia during the Armenian Genocide in 1915. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Mr. Krikorian received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Marketing from Central Connecticut State University, and a Masters of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership from Woodbury University. Other educational credits include ‘Executive Leadership’ and ‘Problem Solving’ through the Executive MBA Program at UCLA’s Anderson School of Business. In 2013, he launched the Valleys’ Higher Education Coalition consisting of area universities (both private and public) and community colleges to identify sustainable workforce and training programs. He is a member of the California School Boards Association, Higher Education Coalition and the Southern California Leadership Association. Mr. Krikorian is a co-founder of Cal-Conn Enterprises, Inc., a multi-service marketing firm specializing in strategic marketing, board relations, educational services, professional development and coaching, government relations, crisis management and community relations. In addition to his duties at Cal-Conn, Greg is also the President and CEO of Business Life Magazine, Senior Living Magazine and Businesslife.com.
Armen G. Derian is an attorney specializing in complex litigation. Born in Philadelphia PA, he attended Temple University, obtaining his B.A. in Journalism and Advertising. After moving to Los Angeles and spending several years in marketing and advertising he decided to change careers and enrolled in law school at Southwestern University School of Law. Since graduating he has spent the majority of his legal career involved in complex and high exposure litigation. In addition to serving on the Hye Hopes Board of Directors, Mr. Derian also sits on the Board of Comprehensive Community Health Centers. He is the founder and prior President of CV United, a youth recreational softball program based in the Crescenta Valley region of Los Angeles. Mr. Derian is married and has three school aged children.
Dr. Alina Vehuni is an educational consultant in Los Angeles who supports school districts in starting and expanding Dual Language Immersion Programs. With her experience in education for almost 20 years, she has served in the capacity of a classroom teacher, language program coordinator and school leader. Dr. Vehuni held the position of a Teacher Specialist for the FLAG-Armenian program (2011-2015) helping to establish the first in the world Armenian Immersion Program in the Glendale Unified School District. She holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California. Dr. Vehuni comes from an engineering background and has a systems approach to addressing the challenges in education. As a researcher in education who deeply believes in every student’s potential, she focuses on transdisciplinary education through synthesizing the most effective practices for a truly holistic approach to deep, personalized, meaningful and equitable learning. During her service years as a school administrator, she brought mindfulness to her staff and students with the support of professors from the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. Dr. Vehuni also served on the Association of California School Administrators Task Force for Mental Wellness at the state level. She is eager to contribute to the mental and emotional well-being of all children as a necessary condition for academic success and personal fulfillment.
Hye Hopes Vice President of Educational and Program Affairs graduated from San Diego State University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies, Elementary Education. She is currently attending California State University-Northridge to obtain his Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, which he will have completed in May 2021. While her professional teaching career has yet to begin, she still has vast educational experiences and considers herself a self-directed life-long learner. Seran's dedicated most of her “adult” life to youth programs which are local, national and foreign. She has educational experience teaching at after-school programs in San Diego, Armenian summer camps in both California and Massachusetts, volunteer teaching in Fiji and volunteering as a summer counselor for Camp Javakhk. Seran believes there is so much in the world to learn and explore, and strives to help every student, young or old, discover new ideas in this huge world. Everyone should have access to a meaningful and profound education; it is with her work at Hye Hopes and teaching that she hopes to provide educational opportunities to more children around the world. As Vice President of Educational and Program Affairs, she oversees the teachers, students and daily programs to provide the most meaningful learning experience possible for these students, teachers and schools.
Vicken Kedjidjian is currently the director of project management for the world’s largest commercial real estate company. His current client is the corporate real estate group of the major electrical utility supplier in Southern California. Vicken manages a $100M annual budget while leading a team that executes the capital project portfolio of over 500 individual projects across 1400 locations. Prior to this role, he worked for Nestle, the world’s largest food company. During his 20-year career with Nestle, he held various engineering leadership roles with his last role serving as Director of Engineering in the Confections and Waters divisions. He also gained valuable international experience while working three years at Nestlé’s world headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland. There he served in the Foods Strategic Business unit and was responsible for varying annual capital project portfolios and facility maintenance budgets of up to $250 million executed across 40 manufacturing facilities in 10 countries.
Vicken grew up in the Chicago metropolitan area and graduated with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Vicken is also a professional engineer (P.E.) and a project management professional (PMP). Vicken currently serves on his local church’s Parish Council, the board of an Armenian parochial school and leadership positions in several local political campaigns for Armenian candidates.
Taline Kedjidjian is a graduate of the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, with an emphasis in Business Management and Communications. She has worked in the government, banking and education sectors as both an instructor and as an administrator. She has worked in the capacity of a Trust Administrator at the headquarters of a bank and in the Contracts department at a City College. Her main passions in life are her family and service. She is involved in her Church, most recently serving as a Sunday School teacher. In 2018, she served on the national board of the Daughters of Vartan, a service organization dedicated to the preservation of Armenia, assistance to the Armenian people and the continuation of its culture and future viability in all aspects. She traveled to Armenia in 2018 and 2019 with the delegation of the Daughters of Vartan, visiting the projects and assessing the needs of the people. She hopes Hye Hopes, Inc. will grow exponentially as it is an organization with a noble mission of helping the future generation of Armenia.
Aramazd Davidian was born in Iran, educated in Minnesota and settled in California. He has nearly 40 years of Information Technology (IT) experience with various IT roles in Development, Data and Database Management, System Administration, Staff Management, and DotCom Startups. His paths crossed insurance, banking, aerospace, engineering, manufacturing, web hosting, and IT managed service industries with challenges, failures, and successes. Currently, he is engaged in an IT data management consulting and architectural role for a manufacturer of specialty control products for defense, space, and commercial markets. For the past 33 years, Aramazd and Annette have been lifelong partners with their three grown and successful children Arsineh, Artin, and Alineh.
Talish Babaian attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in political science. She will be attending law school in the fall of 2022, and is interested in pursuing a career in international and human rights law. Talish has continually demonstrated interest in public interest work, ranging from her involvement in politics to non-profit organizations. For over five years, she’s worked on a number of local municipal campaigns for the cities of Glendale, Burbank, and Baldwin Park, while continuing to play an active role in her community through volunteer work as well, whether as a tutor or an ambassador to a non-profit. Talish believes that equitable access to a quality education has the potential to transform the world, and is committed to serving those individuals and marginalized communities whose voices are often underrepresented.
Eric Josephbek is a branding and design professional from the Los Angeles area. After receiving his BA in Art, he worked as a designer in the music and film entertainment industry, eventually landing as a senior designer for the world’s largest toy company, Mattel. At Mattel, Eric worked on marketing and brand campaigns for two of the world’s largest toy brands, Barbie and Hot Wheels. Since his time there he has moved up to the leadership team and has had the opportunity to manage a number of well-known brands in the toy industry. In addition to his full-time job, Eric has always taken the time to help non-profits and charitable organizations with design and branding solutions. Eric met his wife, Olga, while they were both volunteering in Armenia, and have three teenage boys. When he’s not designing, Eric can always be found out on various bike trails, either with his family, or on a long solo bike ride.