SOAR - Philadelphia Metro Chapter
In November 2011, SOAR's Executive Board voted unanimously to create a Chapter in Philadelphia. Although our Executive Board is based in the suburbs of Philadelphia, the consensus was that a Philadelphia Chapter would help streamline localized communication and fundraising efforts while simultaneously making our national and international efforts more efficient. The Philadelphia Metro Chapter encompasses the geographical areas of Philadelphia, Delaware, and South New Jersey.
Stephanie Rapp LeGrand of the SOAR-Philadelphia Metro chapter oversees the Birthday Fund Program.
Board of Directors:
Ani Semerjian was born and raised in San Francisco and moved to the Philadelphia area in 1998. She has a B.S. in Industrial Technology from San Francisco State University and holds a Masters of Science in Interior Design from Drexel University. In 2006 she opened her interior design business, Semerjian Interiors, which she is currently running. Ani has always been an active member in the Armenian community since childhood, ranging from membership in the AYF San Francisco Rosdom Chapter as an executive member for several years, to being active in the ANCA both the western and eastern regions in the US. A grandchild of orphans of the Armenian Genocide, Ani is passionate about making a difference for orphaned children in Armenia. Ani and her husband Mark reside in Devon, PA with their 2 children, Noemie and Armen.
Maggie Odabashian (Merdjanian)
Maggie grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia. As an Armenian American and a descendant of the Armenian Genocide, she is passionate about involvement in the Philadelphia Armenian community and helping orphans in Armenia. She is a graduate of Armenian Sisters Academy, and was actively involved in St Sahag and St Mesrob Armenian Church in various capacities ranging from the Armenian Church Youth Organization of America (ACYOA) through Sunday School Superintendent. Maggie previously served on the SOAR Philadelphia board, and was the President of the NY/NJ Chapter. Maggie has a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from Villanova University. For the past 15 years, she has been working in the Information Technology field, specializing in SAP implementations and project management. She is currently at the Depuy Synthes Companies of Johnson and Johnson, where she is a manager of Quality Information Systems. She currently lives in suburbs of Philadelphia with her husband Stephen and their two young boys.
Alene Schreiner (Kailian)
Alene was born and raised in the Philadelphia area and moved to the Boston area in 2004 to pursue her Master in Business Administration at Boston University. It was in Boston that she first became involved in SOAR, serving as the Vice President for the SOAR New England Chapter. She remained in the Boston area until August 2011 working as a Financial Analyst for Intel. Alene recently relocated back to the Philadelphia area where she continues to keep strong ties to the Philadelphia Armenian community. She is a graduate of Armenian Sisters Academy in Radnor, PA and was a long-time member of the Armenian Church Youth Organization of America (ACYOA) through her parish, Saint Sahag and Saint Mesrob Church in Wynnewood, PA. She received her undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Villanova University with a dual major in Finance and Management Information Systems, as well as a minor in Spanish. Alene resides in Newtown Square, PA with her husband, Adam, and their dog, Lola.
Patrice Keshgegian was born and grew up in the Philadelphia area. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Education in the area of Speech Correction from West Chester University and a Master’s equivalency in Speech and Language Pathology. Patrice has worked as a speech and language pathologist for many years in numerous settings, including schools, hospitals, and in home care, with patients ranging in age from infancy to the elderly. She is an active member of St. Mark’s Armenian Catholic Church. Patrice and her husband Albert reside in Newtown Square, PA and have three sons and four grandchildren. In 2013 Patrice and Albert travelled to Armenia to witness the baptism of one of their granddaughters in an ancient Armenian monastery.
Nadine Hoplamazian was born in Providence, Rhode Island and has been an active member in the Armenian community from a very young age. Nadine is a graduate of Boston University with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Administration. She married David Hoplamazian in 2007 and it was then that she moved to the Philadelphia area. She pursued a career in event planning after her wedding and has planned many events in the Philadelphia area. Currently, she is a stay at home mom of two children, Gianna and Henry. Nadine continues to be passionate about her Armenian heritage and also about helping children in need. She is looking forward to help plan fundraising events for SOAR.
Silvia Manoukian was born in Michigan and raised there until she was 10 when her family moved to Southern California. She earned her bachelors degrees in Math and Sociology from the University of California, Irvine and her Master's in Math Education from Stanford University. While she was studying at Stanford, she attended Calvary Armenian Congregation Church in San Francisco where she met her husband, Dan Manoukian. Dan and Silvia have three children, ages 14, 12, and 10, and moved to the Philadelphia area recently due to Dan's job transfer. It is here that they became involved in the Armenian community via many avenues- Armenian Martyrs Congregational Church, AEWF, AEYF, and Meghry and they are so thankful for the East Coast Armenian community. Silvia is a Math Teacher in Lower Merion School District, resides with her family in Radnor, PA, and is thrilled to serve the Philadelphia SOAR chapter.
Suzy Rechelian has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA. She worked in pharmacy in Lankenau Hospital while decided to purse nursing. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Villanova University for Second Degree candidates. After graduation, she traveled to Armenia to see where her roots are from and everything changed from there. One of her most memorable moments were at Sister Arousiag's Our Lady of Armenia Center in Gyumri. She currently works in a Surgical Stepdown ICU in Lankenau Hospital. She lives in Broomall, PA.
Laurel (Dulgarian) Sarian was raised in Belmont, Massachusetts and is a graduate of Tufts University. She lives in Malvern, Pennsylvania with her husband, Greg, and their 3 children. Laurel is a previous chairperson of the board of The Heritage School, a preschool at Church of the Saviour in Wayne, PA and currently serves on the board of the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America.
Tania Selverian was born and raised in Northern New Jersey. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Pace University. She married Arthur Selverian in 1996 and moved to the Philadelphia area in 2001. They have 3 children; Victoria, Rebecca and Mark. Victoria is a graduate of the Armenian Sisters Academy and Rebecca and Mark are currently enrolled. Tania has been an active member in the Armenian community for many years through church and school organizations.
She has chaired the St. Gregory's Golf Committee for 10 years and also co- chaired the ASA POSH Gala for several years. Currently she continues to volunteer her time in the community. She is looking forward to having a positive impact on SOAR.