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SOAR - Toronto Chapter

toronto@soar-us.org


SOAR-Toronto joined the SOAR family in April 2012. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Armenians who had escaped persecution from the Armenian Genocide settled in communities in southern Ontario. Thousands of Armenians likewise made their way to Canada after federal immigration policies became less restrictive during the 1950s, and in the early 1990s, some Armenians immigrated to Canada after disintegration of the Soviet Union. The Armenian community in Toronto, with a population figure of approximately 20,000, is centered in the neighborhoods of Don Valley Village and Pleasant View in north-central Toronto. The hub of the community is the Armenian Community Centre of Toronto. The Centre has a school offering education from kindergarten to high school. Armenian Apostolic churches include Holy Trinity Armenian Church (Diocese of the See of Holy Echmiadzin) and St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church (in Willowdale, pertaining to the diocese of the Holy See of Cilicia). Armenian Catholics have their own church, St. Gregory the Illuminator, in Toronto. Toronto Hye, an Armenian-related periodical, is published monthly by the community.


***See what our chapter has been doing***



Board of Directors:



Anita Koundakjian
President

Born and raised by her own Armenian family (Petrosian), Anita is a proud mother herself blessed to experience the greatest joy in life of watching her son prosper. SOAR’s humanitarian effort and mission to provide disadvantaged Armenian Orphaned children the profound support for their development, is a cause very close and dear to Anita’s heart. Anita holds a Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) Licence for her Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering. As a professional, she has over 17 years of expertise in the areas of Validation and Compliance with the regulations of various regulatory agencies such as Health Canada, FDA, EMEA, ICH within the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology fields across Canada, USA, and Europe. She has lead initiatives in support of both the sterile and solid dosage form manufacturing facilities as well as being awarded first place for her Thesis paper on Seal Integrity Testing at the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineers (ISPE) Canada Affiliate and is a current member of ISPE. Working in the biotechnology world is truly rewarding for her; being part of a team and making a difference. Essential roles throughout her career as Consultant, Auditor, Supervisor, Manager, Technical Leader, and Defender in Internal, Client & Regulatory Audits, have broadened her strength and desire to lead and is passionate about contributing to SOAR with her vast experience and enthusiasm.



Gayane Ordukhanyan
Vice President

Gayane has around 10-years of experience in a range of financial institutions form the commercial bank and the Central Bank of Armenia up to managing half of Armenia’s public pension funds. She holds honors Master’s degree in Mathematics from Yerevan State University, where she has been afterwards lecturing as an Adjunct Professor of Risk Management and Financial Mathematics.

Throughout her career Gayane worked on a number of projects organizing events and activities for children. She has also designed board games on personal finance for the Nationwide Education Campaign, that have been used in more than 100 rural community schools of the country.

Be it tutoring, mentoring or teaching music, Gayane has always been there for children and feels honored for joining SOAR and having a small contribution in brightening the children’s days.




Max Safaryan
Treasurer

Max Safaryan, a father of two, is proud to be part of SOAR and have an opportunity to contribute to this virtuous cause. When not busy leading the finance team of a large privately held US organization, he likes spending his spare time with his family in beautiful town of Burlington, travelling (especially to warm places during colder months), reading non fiction and business periodicals, improving his photography skills (which are still at amateur level), and just enjoying the simplicities of life. He firmly believes in continuous improvement of oneself and being a lifelong student. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance, an MBA, and number of professional designations, including a CMA.



Hasmik Nazaryan
Secretary

Soon to be in her final year of the Bachelor of Health Sciences program at McMaster University, Hasmik is a motivated and committed individual who is passionate about people, human health and serving others. Outside of academics, she has been actively involved in various types of community work including laboratory and clinical research, (hospital) volunteering, as well as the SOAR Toronto Chapter. Having spent most of her childhood in her native land, Armenia, she finds herself deeply connected to her roots. Throughout her life, Hasmik was privileged to live in several different countries and attend international schools around the world, which granted her with the opportunity to become proficient in multiple languages, including Armenian, English, Russian and French. As a proud Armenian, she hopes to remain connected to her roots and thus feels honoured to serve the Armenian community as a member of SOAR in Toronto. Prior to taking on the position of the Secretary in the Chapter, she was an active member by serving as a virtual English tutor for children at the Zatik Child Protection Centre in Yerevan, Armenia. Now as the Secretary she is determined and hopeful to facilitate positive change and better lives of Armenian children.



Maria Ghanaghounian

Maria was born in Yerevan, Armenia, and moved to Toronto, Canada, in 1999. She holds a Bachelor Degree in political science and has a number of various professional designations. She worked for various banks and organizations in Canada. Maria is also a mother to two teenage girls. In her spare time she likes to read and discover new things. She is an active member of an Armenian church in Toronto. Maria has been involved in organizing and fundraising for different gala events within their community. Her passion is helping others, especially children who are less fortunate.



Tina Karapetyan MD, MSc

Bio coming soon