In the fall of 2005, George S. Yacoubian, Jr., SOAR Founder, assembled a talented Board of Directors representing the Armenian community in the greater Philadelphia area. This experienced group has more than 150 combined years of service to the Armenian community and today oversees more than 110 Chapters around the world.
George S. Yacoubian, Jr., Ph.D., LL.M.
George S. Yacoubian, Jr. has a Master’s Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice, a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice Management, a J.D. from the Rutgers University School of Law, and an LL.M. in Transnational Law from the Temple University School of Law. He practices law in the Philadelphia area. His oldest daughter, Liliana, was adopted from Armenia in 2006.
Raffi K. Jehanian
Raffi K. Jehanian is a Senior Technical Consultant at SAP America Inc. in Newtown Square, PA. He has worked in the technology field since 1994, and is an active member several user groups at SAP.
Outside of work he is active in the Armenian community:
St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church having served 6 years on the Board of Trustees.
He is also active in the AYF-YOARF, Armenian Sisters Academy and Camp Haiastan.
Raffi serves as SOAR's IT Manager and oversees the Sponsorship Program. He presently resides in Newtown Square, PA with his wife Danielle, daughter Teni and adopted daughter from Armenia, Anna.
Kari Ghezarian has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Tehran University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Wilkes University. She has been practicing freelance accounting and providing financials services to a variety of clients for over 20 years. Kari is an active member of Philadelphia Armenian community and is currently the Hamazkayin Eastern Region treasurer. She resides in Berwyn with her husband Hamo and son Derik.
Denise Sisian has a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Delaware. She was the Director of Human Resources at the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, working in HR for 20 years, prior to the NASDAQ OMX acquisition. Denise enjoys volunteering for the Camden County Regional Chamber of Commerce and currently is a Human Resources Professional at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. In August of 2005, she traveled to Armenia with her cousin, Susan Harootunian, and godson, Paul, to pick up her goddaughter, Anna. Her most memorable moment was having the honor of carrying baby Anna out of the orphanage. Since then, Denise has been committed to helping other orphans and believes SOAR will make a significant difference in these children’s lives. In fact, Denise returned to Armenia in 2010 and had the pleasure of visiting the children of two orphanages, Nork and Kharberd, where she witnessed the enhancements to these facilities. The loving children remain in her thoughts and continued efforts to provide assistance.
Tanya M. Bardakjian, M.S.
Chapter Oversight and Director of Programs
Tanya M. Bardakjian has a Master of Science degree in genetic counseling. She is Board Certified by the American Board of Genetic Counselors. She practices at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA and is the coordinator of the anophthalmia genetic research program. She has authored many scientific publications in the field of Genetics. She is a clinical supervisor for genetic counseling students from Arcadia University and lectures to medical students and medical residents regularly. She, her husband and three daughters live in Media, PA.
Hagop Keshishian, P.E.
Co-Director of Communications
Hagop Keshishian, PE has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. He holds a Professional Engineer License in the States of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and is a New Jersey Certified Municipal Engineer. Currently Hagop serves as the Senior Civil Engineer for the nation’s fourth largest housing authority serving more than 80,000 people. Hagop is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the National Society of Professional Engineers. Hagop presently resides in Abington, PA, with his wife and 2 children. He is an active member of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Philadelphia, PA.
Co-Director of Communications
Asadur Minasian earned a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology with a Minor in Pre-Law from Widener University. After graduating from Widener, he was offered a position at MBNA America as a Fraud Investigator. Asadur was responsible for investigating fraudulent activities on customer accounts. After 4 yrs with MBNA, Asadur wanted to do what he truly loved, and that was work with Art and Custom Framing. He established Masterpieces Fine Art & Custom Framing, Inc. in 2002 and is currently the President of the company. Asadur recognizes that many Armenians, young and old, are great artists and displays art direct from Armenia. He is currently a member of the PPFA (Professional Picture Framers Association) and currently resides in Newtown Square with his wife Arpy and 3 children Vahe, Sareen, and Nare.
Peter is a Global Marketing Director at Pfizer Inc., responsible for the launch of a potential new therapy for the treatment of Transthyretin Amyloid Cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM). Peter has been with Pfizer Inc. and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pfizer) since 2000. He has held positions of increasing responsibility in commercial development, U.S. and global marketing roles in rare diseases, hematology, cardiology, transplantation and gene therapy. Peter has a B.S. in Business Administration and MBA from LaSalle University. He lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia with his wife, Amy and two young children, Isabel and Luke.
Ross Norian has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from St Joseph’s University and a DMD from the Temple University School of Dentistry. He currently practices in a group practice in the Lancaster area. Beyond the office, Ross enjoys volunteering and providing care to the underserved in his community.
Sarah A. Selverian, M.B.A
Sarah A. Selverian earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Drexel University and a Master of Business Administration in Management from West Chester University. In 2004, she graduated from the Chester County Leadership Connection which focused primarily on Board of Director Leadership and responsibility. She has over fifteen years of experience in all areas of business development, client relations, human resources and financial management, analysis, and auditing. She excels as a manager, leading and developing employees and overseeing the overall operations of organizations. Sarah and her husband Adam live in Phoenixville, PA with their two children, Simon and Tiffany.