Montebello is my home. It is where I was born, where I grew up and where I stayed when I got married. In my 18 years of marriage, my wife and I bought a home in Montebello, started a business in Montebello and we stayed in Montebello to raise our three children. Montebello is where my friends and family live and where I made all the best memories of my life!
Montebello is also where I learned about the meaning of community. Community is more than the people, places and things that surround where we live. Community is the place where we belong. I have learned that although each of us may be different in many ways we can only be as one when we are a community.
I am not a newcomer to community involvement. For as long as I can remember, I have been involved in Montebello. I was a city commissioner for nearly six years. I was first appointed to the Montebello Traffic and Safety Commission by then-Councilmember Alberto Perez. After that, I was appointed to the Montebello Planning Commission by Councilmember Jack Hadjinian. I served on the Planning Commission for the next five years and was the chairman of the Montebello Planning Commission for two of those five years.
I have also supported, volunteered, joined or been actively involved in many civic and charitable organizations such as Kiwanis, the Armenian Relief Society, the Montebello Police Officers Association, the Montebello Firefighters Association, the Friends of the Montebello Unified School District Foundation, the Beverly Hospital Foundation, the Montebello Armenian Cultural Foundation, the American Heart Association, the Red Cross, the Montebello Chamber of Commerce, SEIU, the Montebello Citizen’s Patrol, LACDP and the Montebello chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America. I am also a current member of the Board of Trustees of the Montebello Holy Cross Cathedral as well as the East Los Angeles College Foundation.
In addition, for many years I have worked with elementary and high school students teaching them about law, the Constitution and the Justice System. More recently, I helped establish a high school mock trial program where I taught students about the law and how criminal and civil trials are conducted while at the same time preparing them to participate in a mock trial competition against other high school teams from all over Los Angeles County.
For the past 18 years I have been an attorney. I opened my first law office in Montebello in 1999 where I primarily practiced family law and adoptions helping families to get through some of the most challenging times of their lives. In addition, over the years I have donated much of my time to provide free legal services to community organizations, helping them to establish non-profit corporations or obtain charitable organization status with the IRS or drafting/updating their bylaws and other governance documents. I have also helped many Montebello “for profit” business start-ups with legal advice and writing business plans for growth. Then for the next 9 years, I worked as a prosecutor for the State Bar of California protecting the public from lawyers who violate their ethical duties and obligations. As a State Bar prosecutor, I was involved in many of the most important cases filed by the State Bar of California against offender attorneys. But just as important were the opportunities that I had to do community outreach teaching about ethics, character, integrity and honest practices to attorneys and members of the general public. In early 2017, I returned to private practice specializing in professional responsibility and ethics.
Starting in the late 1980s when I managed my parent’s businesses and then later through operating my own business, I have been involved in business management, finance and accounting all of my adult life. In 1992, I received my degree in Business Administration from USC where I received extensive training in accounting, finance and investments, economics, entrepreneurship, management and strategic planning. My lifetime of business experience and my training and education at USC Business School help me each and every day to diligently guard the finances and investments of the City of Montebello.
I also have significant public sector experience in economic development. For many years I was the Executive Director of the Figueroa Corridor Partnership. This organization was a Business Improvement District created by the City of Los Angeles Community Development Department and local business owners in a public-private partnership designed to revitalize and promote growth in an entire section of downtown Los Angeles. As Executive Director, I was responsible for dozens of employees, a security team, clean-up crews and coordinating marketing and public relations efforts designed to attract positive attention to the district. Working closely with leaders like Mayor Richard Riordan’s office, then-councilman Mark Ridley Thomas, councilwoman Rita Walters, then-Captain Charlie Beck and other LAPD captains as well as the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, USC, the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission, the Shrine Auditorium, the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital and the Automobile Club of Southern California, the Figueroa Corridor Partnership was able to secure millions of dollars of funds and improvements for the district transforming the once run-down area into a safe and booming business district.
My roots Montebello are deep and I have a stake in the future of Montebello because just like you I want Montebello to be the kind of place that my grandchildren and their children will choose to live and raise their families. Also, being a husband and a father, I know what it is to have my family rely on me, what it means to stay committed to another person in a marriage for the long term and what it means to put other people first. Montebello is also my family. I want my fellow residents to know that they can rely on my, that I am committed to Montebello for the long term and that as City Treasurer I will always put Montebello first!