ARS of Eastern US

Board of Directors

The Armenian Relief Society’s Eastern US, Inc. is governed by a volunteer and unpaid Board of Directors,
who manage the strategy and implementation of the ARS’ mission across the Eastern Region of the United States. The composition of the board is made up of ARS members who are elected during the
Annual Convention to serve for a two-year term. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the 100th Convention was postponed and the 2019-2020 Board of Directors’ term was extended for one year. 

 The 2020-2021 Board of Directors are:

L-R: Heather Krafian, Johanna Chilingirian, Irma Kassabian, Maral Nakkashian, Annie Attar, Carol Jaffarian, and Sandra Vartanian


Ani Attar


Ani Attar is a founding and a 42-year member of the ARS “Tzolig” Chapter of Detroit. During her membership, Ungh. Attar has served on her chapter’s executive board in the positions of treasurer and chairperson. She has also served 6 terms on the Regional Executive Board, where she was elected as treasurer and chaired the board for two terms. Aside from being a member of several ARS Regional Committees, she also served on the ARS’ CEB Vision 2020 Committee and has represented her region during two ARS International Conventions as a delegate. She is an active member of her community which led her to receiving the 2016 “Hamageer” (Supporter) Award by the ARF Azadamard Gomideh of Detroit. She has an Accounting Degree from the University of Michigan. Ungh. Attar and her husband are proud parents of two.

Sandra Vartanian


Sandra Melik-Vartanian is a 35-year member of the ARS “Erebouni” Chapter of New York, where she has held positions of Chairperson and Vice- chairperson. 

She has served several terms on  the ARS Regional Executive Board as Vice-chairperson. Her current responsibilities include Board liaison for the Armenian National Education Committee and the ARS Youth Connect Program in NY.
Ungh. Melik-Vartanian has a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Columbia University and served many years in the NYC Department of Education as a Vice-Principal and literacy coach. She also served as teacher at the St. Illuminator’s Armenian Day School. Sandra lives with her family, enjoys traveling and is active in her community. 

Maral Nakashian


Maral Nakashian is an 18-year member of the ARS “Satenig” Chapter of Washington DC, where she has served as the treasurer. Aside from being the Treasurer of the Regional Executive Board, she is also on the Investment Committee of the ARS. Ungh. Nakashian has a Bachelor’s in Accounting from University of Maryland and a Master’s in Taxation from the American University of Washington DC. She lives in Maryland with her two daughters and is the owner and President of MN Blum LLC, a Certified Public Accounting Firm in Rockville.

Carol Jaffarian


Carol Jaffarian is an 18 year member of the ARS “Knar” Chapter of Worcester, where she has served as Secretary.  She holds a Bachelor’s in Nursing from Northeastern University and a Master’s with a Concentration in Primary Care from Boston University.  She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  She has served as the Project Director of 4 grants, which were collaborative efforts between the ARS and the University of Massachusetts Worcester.  These included the HIV Education and Prevention Project in Armenia and the Women’s Health Needs Assessment Project in Armenia, which were based, primarily, at the ARS Mother-Child Clinic and Birthing Center in Akhourian.  Armenia’s First and Second National HIV Conferences, both collaborative efforts between the ARS and Armenia’s National Center for AIDS Prevention, were held at the conclusion of these grants.  Carol represents the ARS at the United Nations, where she has served as Secretary of the UN NGO Committee on HIV/AIDS, and where she currently serves as Secretary of the UN NGO Health Committee. 

Johanna Chilingirian


Johanna Kibarian-Chilingirian has been a member of the ARS “Shushi” Chapter of Cambridge since 2012, where she was first elected as the Vice-Chairperson of the chapter before being elected to serve on the Regional Executive Board in 2016. During her tenure, she has also chaired the ARS Investment and Lazarian Scholarship Committees, supervised the ARS Essay Contest, and co-chaired the Fall Norian Youth Connect Program.  Ungh. Chilingirian holds a Bachelor’s in Accounting from the University of Rhode Island and an MBA in Healthcare Finance from Boston University. With track record of a successful career in healthcare finance, she is currently the Director of Finance at the Brookline Center for Community Mental Health. Ungh. Chilingirian and her husband are proud parents of two. 

Heather Krafian


Heather Krafian is a 28-year member of the ARS “Shushi’ Chapter of Cambridge, where she has served as the chapter’s Vice-Chairperson and Chairperson. She has chaired the ARS Undergraduate Scholarship Committees, supervised the ARS Essay Contest, co-chaired the Fall Norian Youth Connect Program, and most notably served on the Inaugural ARS Mother & Child Health Center’s Fundraising Committee in 1998. She is also the board liaison to the Public Relations/Social Media Committee. Ungh. Krafian has a Bachelor’s in International Relations and Cognate Studies in German and Russian from Michigan State University and a Master’s in Early Childhood Education from Lesley University. Ungh. Krafian and her husband are proud parents of four. 

Irma Kassabian


Irma Kassabian has been a member of the ARS “Satenig” Chapter of Washington DC since 2014. She served as the Recording Secretary and Chairperson of her chapter before being elected to serve on the Regional Executive Board. Ungh. Kassabian holds a Bachelor’s in Accounting from Bryant College in Rhode Island and successfully managed the family jewelry manufacturing company for many years.


Executive Director
of ARS Eastern us

After Graduating from Karen Jeppe Armenian College, Ungh. Chiloyan earned her BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Aleppo. Upon graduation, she returned to her alma-mater, as an English Teacher. Her activism with ARS began first at the Syrian Armenian Relief Cross (ARS-Syria), and when she moved to the US, she continued as a member of the ARS “Leola Sassouni” Chapter of Watertown. She has been the Executive Director of the ARS of Eastern US for more than 20 years, where she assists the board by providing administrative support, overseeing strategic operations, and managing programs. Ungh. Chiloyan and her husband are proud parents of three.