Our Board

Mer-Hooys / Our Board

Our Board

The Mer Hooys Board of Directors are actively involved in the program’s oversight and fiscal accountability, and are responsible for all fundraising. At least one board member typically visits the Nakashian Children’s Support Center each year to provide oversight and guidance.
Adrienne L. Krikorian, Esq., served as a California Administrative Law Judge from September 2009 until her retirement in September 2022.  Judge Krikorian’s 13-year experience as an administrative law judge specializing in Special Education has been invaluable to her role as a supervisor, mentor and advisor to the Mer Hooys staff.  Judge Krikorian has also served as an adjunct law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, her law school alma mater.  Judge Krikorian graduated in 1971 from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene and worked as a dental hygienist for 18 years before changing careers, teaching clinical dental hygiene at USC for 3 years.  Judge Krikorian has devoted her extensive volunteer work over the past fifty years to a variety of non-profit organizations focusing on the needs of youth and others in need. Judge Krikorian has been an active leader in the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church, and has served on the Board of Directors of Haven Hills, Inc. (a shelter for victims of domestic violence).  Judge Krikorian has served in numerous leadership roles in her local parish, St. Peter Armenian Church in Van Nuys, since the 1970’s.  Judge Krikorian has also served several terms as a member, and as the first woman chairman, of the Western Diocese Diocesan Council.  She continues to serve the Diocese on many levels.  She is also a member of the Armenian charitable organization Daughters of Vartan, being named as the organization’s Woman of the Year in 2019.  In November 2014, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, honored Judge Krikorian, who is a co-founder of House of Hope – Mer Hooys, Inc., by awarding her the St. Nerses Shnorhali Medal and Encyclical, which recognized her lifelong volunteer service to the Armenian Church and community.
Adrienne Krikorian
Dr. Garo Garibian, M.D., received his undergraduate degree at Princeton University and his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania. He has a busy Cardiology practice in Philadelphia and is the chief of Cardiology at Jeanes Hospital. Dr. Garibian, ordained as a deacon in 1989, has devoted his life to service in the Armenian Church on the Parish and Diocesan level. After the devastating 1988 earthquake, Dr. Garibian visited Armenia numerous times bringing medicines and supplies, acting as an ambassador for the motherland. Dr. Garibian served on the Board of and is a benefactor of Our Home-Mer Hooys, Inc.; he is also a benefactor of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, and numerous other charitable organizations in the United States. Dr. Garibian is a founder of Mer Hooys.
Garo Garibian

Prof. Barlow Der Mugrdechian is the Berberian Coordinator of the Armenian Studies Program and Director of the Center for Armenian Studies at Fresno State. He received his M.A. and C. Philosophy degrees from UCLA, where he majored in Armenian Language and Literature. For more than thirty-six years he has taught Armenian language, history, literature, culture, church and a variety of courses on Armenia and the Armenians at Fresno State. Dn. Der Mugrdechian, has served as the Chairman of the Western Diocese Diocesan Council, and has been an active leader of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, serving in leadership roles both on the Parish and Diocesan level. He served as a board member of Our Home – Mer Doon, Inc., and is a founder of Mer Hooys.

Deacon Barlow Der Mugrdechian

Varouj Altebarmakian, M.D., received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut in 1974. He is a Board Certified Urologist. Dr. Altebarmakian was the Physician in Chief of The Permanente Medical Group in Fresno until his retirement. He is also an active servant of the Armenian Church, serving on the Supreme Spiritual Council of the Holy See of Etchmiadzin, several terms as Chairman of the Diocesan Council of the Western Diocese, and as a leader on the Parish level. Dr. Altebarmakian was actively involved in the future program planning and fund raising efforts of the U.S. Board of Mer Doon and is a founder of Mer Hooys.

Varouj Altebarmakian
Fr. Mesrop Ash was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Prior to his vocation, he had a diverse background in advocacy, communications, and Information Technology. He began his journey to the priesthood as a young deacon under the spiritual direction of His Eminence Abp. Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese, where he held several positions including Diocesan Youth Director. With the blessing of the Diocesan Primate, he continued his studies at the Gevorkian Theological Seminary located at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. After graduation, he was assigned to be the pastor of St. John Armenian Church in San Francisco, where he was ordained to the priesthood in 2012. Fr. Mesrop is joyfully married to Yn. Annie, with whom he shares two wonderful children, Maneh born in 2015, and Sion born in 2018.
Father Mesrop Ash
Lisa Kalustian has served as a consultant to the Executive Board since October 2013, when she spent six weeks in Armenia evaluating the entire operations of Mer Hooys in collaboration with Dr. Mira Antonyan of Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR), executive director of FAR’s Children’s Support Center in Yerevan. She is an accomplished strategist with senior-level corporate and government experience, currently serving as partner of Brookhurst Development Corp and COO for ePAVE, LLC. Ms. Kalustian has served in senior leadership positions with two California Governors, and as vice president of public affairs for the Western Region of Health Net, Inc., one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies. She has a master’s degree in public administration from USC, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCLA, and is a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Armenian Assembly of America, the Armenian EyeCare Project, and is a Trustee of the Armenian Church Western Diocese Endowment Fund. Previously, Ms. Kalustian served on the Western Diocese Armenian Church Summer Camp Committee, as an appointee on the California Board of Psychology, and the boards of directors for Coro Southern California and the Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA) Los Angeles Chapter. She is married to Jeff Baize.
Lisa Kalustian

Alice Kalustian has been an active leader in the Armenian community and the Armenian Church
since her teenage years. She recently completed a two year term as the Chairwoman of the
National Council of the Daughters of Vartan. Ms. Kalustian worked for many years as a
bookkeeper, office manager of the family appliance business and administrative assistant for the
Social Service Department of Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. She has
three adult daughters, and two granddaughters, and enjoys spending her spare time with her
family and volunteering her talents to charitable organizations. Ms. Kalustian serves on the
advisory board of Mer Hooys and serves as Assistant Treasurer.

Alice Kalustian
Ani Javardian works at a skilled nursing facility, assisting adults with their return to daily communication and cognition after hospitalizations. She graduated from Villanova University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Cognitive Science, and earned her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Temple University in 2022. She is a lifelong parishioner of Holy Trinity Armenian Church in Philadelphia, as well as an active member of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America. She served as the chairman of her parish’s ACYOA and is a member of Armenian Youth Federation. Ani attended St. Vartan Camp for 12 years and remains involved by attending youth retreats, ACYOA sports weekends, AYF Olympics, and volunteering at St. Vartan Camp. She has been to Armenia numerous times, including playing on the gold-medal Los Angeles basketball team for the 2015 Pan Armenian Games in Yerevan. She also completed two service trips to build homes in Vanadzor and serve as a counselor at Camp Aragatz. Ani focuses on the connection between Mer Hooys and Armenian youth on the east coast.
Ani Javardiann