AGBU Western District Announces 2017 Gala Chair, Bennette Turpanjian

July 5, 2017

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The AGBU Western District is proud to announce Mrs. Bennette Turpanjian as the chairperson for the annual AGBU Gala, which will take place on Saturday, September 9, 2017, at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Globe Theatre.

Mrs. Turpanjian’s involvement with AGBU Western District stems back several decades when she joined the Pasadena-Glendale Chapter volleyball team. Incidentally, it was at one of the Chapter’s volleyball tournaments where she met her husband Paul, who was playing on the men’s team. Bennette’s entire family also has a long history with AGBU. The TF Educational Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded and headed by her father-in-law, Mr. Jerry Turpanjian, has for many years continuously sponsored AGBU programs worldwide.

Mrs. Turpanjian’s background includes over twenty years’ experience in sales and marketing, as well as in the field of academia, where she served as guest lecturer in American Literature.  She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in English, with an emphasis on ethnic American literature.  Bennette collaborated with her husband, Paul Turpanjian, executive producer of the film, Crows of the Desert, a documentary based on the memoirs of Mr. Levon Yotnakhparian, a Genocide survivor, by assisting with the script, editing, translations, research and footnoting. The film reveals the important role the AGBU played in assisting Genocide survivors scattered throughout the Trans-Jordan region.

AGBU Western District held the first exclusive screening of the documentary in October 2016, paving the way for the film’s success in garnering multiple awards at film festivals throughout the United States. The film continues to be screened at various locations including a screening scheduled to take place in Toronto’s AGBU center in the upcoming months. Crows of the Desert is also an official selection of the 2017 Golden Apricot International Film Festival held in Yerevan, Armenia.

“AGBU has been an integral part our family’s life, so it was a great pleasure to be asked to serve as the 2017 Gala chair. I am honored and humbled to be working alongside such talented committee members,” stated Mrs. Turpanjian.

With little over two months left, Bennette Turpanjian and the 2017 Gala Committee are hard at work to bring guests a memorable experience for this year’s event.

The Western District’s 2017 Gala will take place at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Globe Theatre on Saturday, September 9, 2017, 7 o’clock in the evening.  For more information on the Gala and to purchase tickets, please contact the AGBU’s Western District office at 626-794-7942 or email