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AGBU President Berge Setrakian Retires, TUMO Co-Founder Sam Simonian Named Successor


AGBU President Berge Setrakian Retires, TUMO Co-Founder Sam Simonian Named Successor

After an impressive 22-year tenure as President of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), Berge Setrakian is set to retire this fall in adherence to the age limit requirements outlined in AGBU's bylaws. The AGBU Central Board, with the approval of the AGBU Council of Trustees, has unanimously recommended Sam Simonian as his successor.


Sam Simonian, currently a member of the AGBU Council of Trustees, has a rich history of service on the Central Board from 2000 to 2019. His multifaceted background as a business entrepreneur, engineering professional, and philanthropist aligns seamlessly with AGBU's mission. A graduate of AGBU's schools in Lebanon, Simonian and his wife, Sylva, founded the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies in Armenia. This groundbreaking initiative revolutionizes afterschool education, empowering students to take charge of their learning in technology and design, enhancing their competitiveness in the global economy.


The official election of Sam Simonian as the eighth president of AGBU is scheduled to take place at the organization's 93rd General Assembly in New York City on October 12, 2024. Following his retirement, Berge Setrakian will join the Council of Trustees, continuing his dedicated service to AGBU.


Reflecting on the unanimous recommendation, President Setrakian expressed confidence in Simonian's qualifications and bold approach. "Sam respects the AGBU legacy, passionately believes in its core mission, yet recognizes that for a venerable institution like ours to thrive, change must be embraced and harnessed responsibly and strategically," Setrakian remarked.


In response to the nomination, Simonian expressed gratitude for the trust bestowed upon him, acknowledging the legacy of his predecessors. "I am proud to stand on the shoulders of seven great leaders who, informed by the events and experience of their time, have brought AGBU to where it is today, after over a century of a proud history," Simonian stated. He paid a special tribute to Berge Setrakian, highlighting their close collaboration during Setrakian's tenure.


Simonian's illustrious career includes co-founding Inet Technologies in 1989, a telecommunications company specializing in Network Management and Business Operational Solutions. Recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year in 1994, Simonian received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and Armenia's Anania Shirakatsi Medal for his significant contributions to the preservation of the Armenian identity and fostering international friendships.


As AGBU prepares for its 93rd General Assembly in October 2024, anticipation builds for the leadership transition and the continued impact of this venerable organization. Save the dates of October 10-12, 2024, for further information and updates on this historic event.

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