SOAR - Atlanta Chapter
Atlanta joined the SOAR family in April 2012. The Armenian community of Atlanta began to take root in the early 1950s with the arrival of second and third generation Armenian Americans looking for new opportunities, primarily as rug merchants. The nucleus of the community was formed later on when a few Armenian students from overseas arrived at local colleges and some employees of national companies transferred to Atlanta. The real growth began when newcomers fleeing the civil war in Lebanon and the Islamic revolution in Iran settled in Atlanta. Later, in the 1990s, several Armenian families from the Republic of Armenia were added to the mix. Today there are close to five hundred families living in the Metropolitan Atlanta area that support two Armenian churches and a cultural association.
The Atlanta Chapter oversees the SOAR Mentoring Program.
Board of Directors:
Margaret was born and raised in Southern California. She comes from a large Catholic family, being the youngest of 6 children. Margaret studied Healthcare Administration at CSUN, then married her husband Moushegh (Mike) at the age of 25. Nine years ago they packed up their family and moved to Georgia. Margaret has two children, Edward (22) who attends King University, TN and Emily (21) who attends the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
After woking more than 25 years in Healthcare IT at McKesson, Margaret is currently taking some time off professionally to spend time with family, friends, and support community organizations, while exploring new industries to share and grow her professional skills and competencies. She lives in Alpharetta, GA although spends much of her time at their small vacation home in Sevierville, TN.
Margaret's hobbies include kayaking, hiking, volleyball, and the outdoors. She also enjoys (more like, needs) the start of everyday with a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee!
Susan Derderian currently works as a Christian Counselor for Children, Adolescents, Families and Adult Women, as well as being a Healthy Coach and a Fitness Instructor. She received her Masters in Christian Counseling from Luther Rice Seminary in 2004.
She was raised with a strong sense of her Armenian identity and has been to Armenia four times. In 2011, Susan had the privilege to complete an adoption of a beautiful Armenian girl. Her love for children and Armenia, along with her understanding of the emotional needs of individuals, gives her a unique perspective on the needs of orphaned children.
Haig H. Kazazian III
Adult Advisor of SOAR-Atlanta Juniors
Haig Kazazian directs the Bank's treasury functions including balance sheet management, funding, liquidity, and investments. Kazazian joined the Bank in 1992 as a credit analyst and earned promotions to Manager of National Accounts and Product Development in 2001, Manager of National Accounts and Capital Markets Trading in 2009, and Manager of Treasury Analysis and National Accounts Sales and Trading in 2011. Kazazian earned his Bachelor of Arts in economics and a Master of Business Administration from Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. Kazazian was an M.B.A. Fellowship recipient and holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Janet was 16 when she moved to the States from Abovyan, Armenia. She earned her Bachelor's Degree from Georgia State University majoring in Finance with a concentration of Investments. She is an IT Project Manager. She is married has a 3 year old son. Her husband is an active duty service member for the US Army. Janet has been a member at the Armenian church of Atlanta for over 15 years and held different positions over the years on the board. She was also a board member for the Atlanta ACYOA chapter.
Diana was born in Yerevan, Armenia. The first part of her childhood she was raised in Vilnius, Lithuania, and at the age of nine, moved to Atlanta, GA. She has very close ties to Armenia, since many of her relatives still live there.
In 2008, Diana graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor's in Biology. After graduation, she spent a year abroad living in Moscow, Russia, and also traveling to other countries, including several visits to Armenia.
After returning back to the US, Diana worked at Emory University School of Medicine as a Research Assistant in the Nephrology department. Now Diana stays at home with her 17 month old daughter Alexandra and has plans of going back to graduate school.
Mari is an IT QA Analyst in Atlanta. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Utah. Through out the years, Mari has served as a volunteer and an organizer in various capacities. She is married to Gregory Avedissian whom she met in Atlanta. Greg is a Civil Engineer and an active community organizer. Their two sons, Christopher and Alex, recently moved back to Atlanta to pursue their graduate degrees.