The commemorative Gala will honor the 10 original founding members: the school’s namesakes, Mr. Vahakn S. Hovnanian & Mrs. Paris Hasmig Hovnanian, Mr. Krikor Asadourian, Mr. Garabed Kinosian, Mrs. Anni Nalbandian, Mr. Arthur Nalbandian, Mr. Martin Nalbandian, Mr. Khatchig Nedurian, Mr. Bedros Tashjian, and Mr. Krikor Zadourian. The evening’s program will also acknowledge Dr. Gregory T. Simonian and his five years of dedication and service as Chairman.
Simonian, of Paramus, NJ, is the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief of Operations for the Heart and Vascular Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center. Among the many positions he has held, notably he served as the Chief of Endovascular Studies for fourteen years, the Chief of Vascular Surgery at Palisades Medical Center and is the Chief of Vascular Surgery at Mountainside Hospital. Additionally, New Jersey Monthly magazine has chosen Simonian as a Top Vascular Surgeon by both physicians and nurses for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 and is recognized by Castle Connolly in 2016. Most recently, Simonian has been appointed as Chairman of the Admission Planning Committee for the new Seton Hall Hackensack-Meridian School of Medicine.
Simonian, originally from Tenafly, NJ, is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Richmond and completed his medical school, surgical residency and vascular surgery fellowship at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He is one of the few physicians in the United States to be admitted to both the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He is well published in the medical literature and participates in numerous clinical trials involving minimally invasive vascular interventions and research.
He lives in NJ with his wife, Dr. Carla Simonian and their two daughters, 1 who is a graduate of Hovnanian School and the other who currently is a student.
The Gala’s guest of honor is Mr. Aso Tavitian a native of Sofia, Bulgaria. The former CEO of Syncsort and founder of the Tavitian Foundation has a lifelong history of philanthropy in education and the fine and performing arts. Tavitian, a graduate from Columbia University with a Master of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering, established his foundation in memory of the teacher who anonymously financed his education. He was so moved by that gesture and opportunity that he wanted to pay it forward. When Tufts University President, Anthony P. Monaco presented him with the Doctor of Public Service, honoris causa, Tavitian shared two important lessons: “…that education can enable potential and that as doors are opened for us, it is incumbent upon us to open them for others.” The Tavitian Foundation funds educational opportunities for students of primarily Armenian descent from various fields as well as assisted in various art projects. Many of these students are mid-level career professionals from Armenia who studied at the Fletcher School of Law & International Diplomacy. The program’s objective is to contribute to better governance of the young Republic of Armenia.
To this end, Tavitian’s commitment to elevating students’ educational pursuits fits hand-in-hand with Hovnanian School’s own vision and philosophy. In 2011, the Prime Minister of Armenia presented Tavitian the Movses Khorenatsi Medal, recognizing the Foundation’s important contributions to Armenia. This level of dedication and desire to provide opportunities to other students has made Tavitian an obvious choice as our school’s guest of honor.
Professionally, Tavitian has also excelled. In 1969 Tavitian co-founded Syncsort Inc., a privately held technology company specializing in the development, marketing and service of generalized infrastructure software products. Syncsort is one of the first software companies that emerged after IBM’s unbundling of software in the late 1960’s. This was the start of the software industry and Syncsort played a pivotal role in its development. Syncsort operates throughout the world with fully owned subsidiaries in major European countries and distributors throughout the rest of the world. It has more than 10,000 corporate customers including most of the Fortune 500.
Active and highly regarded in the arts communities, Tavitian was appointed to the board of trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 2010, sits on the board of the Frick Collection as well as on the board of Close Encounters with Music, an organization and concert series based in Great Barrington, MA. He also is a member of the board of governors of The New School for Social Research and has been involved with their East European activities since 1991 and has sponsored its Transregional center for Democratic Studies since 1995.
Please join the Hovnanian School community in celebrating 40 years in education this October 22, 2016 at the Rockleigh Country Club in Rockleigh, N.J. Entertainment will be provided by Elie Berberian and Ensemble featuring Steve Vosbikian and Raffi Massoyan. Tickets for the Gala are $250 per person and $200 for Alumni under the age of 21.