AGBU FOCUS 2013 Heads West, Takes San Francisco

AGBU FOCUS 2013 Heads West, Takes San Francisco

Seventh Focus Weekend to Raise Funds for AGBU GenNext Mentorship Program

With summer approaching and preparations well underway, an exciting buzz has spanned the globe for the seventh AGBU FOCUS weekend, as the world class event heads west to San Francisco, California. As literary great William Saroyan proclaimed, “No city invites the heart to come to life as San Francisco does. Arrival in San Francisco is an experience in living,” which hundreds of AGBU young professionals from around the world will soon discover. The four day event will take guests through San Francisco’s rich culture and nightlife, to the region’s scenic wine tasting and picturesque backdrops, offering visitors and locals alike a FOCUS experience like never before.

Since its launch in New York City in 2001, AGBU FOCUS has distinguished itself as a premier event for Armenian young professionals (YPs). What started as a signature anniversary celebration is now a sensational biennial weekend event, offering YPs an opportunity to connect with hundreds of international peers while highlighting the direct and positive impact of AGBU’s programs on generations of Armenians. Over the past 12 years, AGBU FOCUS has brought together over 2,500 YPs in 5 different cities: New York City (2001, 2007), Montreal (2003), Miami (2005), Chicago (2009), and Paris (2011). Now in 2013, FOCUS takes on San Francisco and is set to attract a truly diverse network of individuals.

“We are thrilled to host this exciting event in our backyard and look forward to welcoming a truly global young professional crowd. An incredible weekend awaits attendees of this year’s FOCUS. For the first time on the west coast, the four day event-filled weekend will showcase San Francisco and wine country in unique ways exclusive to FOCUS 2013,” said AGBU FOCUS 2013 Co-Chair Steven Cherezian.

AGBU FOCUS 2013 kicks off Thursday, August 1 with Perspectives, an engaging panel discussion and networking opportunity for guests to share viewpoints on a hot topic. The panel will be held downtown at Spur Urban Center, a non-profit incubator for research, education, and advocacy. Excitement continues on Friday, August 2 with an all-inclusive wine tour, lunch, and tasting at Chateau St. Jean Winery in beautiful Sonoma wine country, and Friday night, the action will shift to one of San Francisco’s elite nightclubs. Saturday, August 3 features FOCUS on Art at SoMA district’s 2nd Street Gallery, and culminates that evening with the FOCUS 2013 Gala set in the stunning San Francisco City Hall. Completing the memorable weekend, a farewell brunch on Sunday will offer YPs the perfect opportunity to bid farewell to the friends and the city where they are bound to leave their hearts.

With the move west, AGBU FOCUS 2013 raises funds for AGBU’s Generation Next Mentorship Program (GenNext) in Los Angeles. Created in 1997 by a handful of YP volunteers under the auspices of the AGBU, and with the assistance of the Glendale Unified School District, the goal of GenNext is to assist Southern California youth of Armenian descent by providing them with positive role models, guidance, and support. Through one-on-one mentoring, monthly group activities, and parenting seminars, the program has aided and supported Armenian students who are faced with difficult choices in today’s often tense school environment including issues of acculturation, drug and alcohol abuse, peer pressure, violence in schools, gang involvement, and other serious adolescent challenges. Throughout the year, mentors and mentees make a commitment to one another, developing a unique friendship which allows the mentor to become a guiding force in the student’s life.

“One of the highlights of AGBU FOCUS is the charitable aspect of the event. With FOCUS being hosted in California for the first time, GenNext is an ideal benefactor. Our fundraising is underway, and the event will also help increase awareness of the important work AGBU GenNext is accomplishing in Southern California,” expressed AGBU FOCUS Co-Chair Greg Nemet.

Hundreds of young Armenians have already benefited from GenNext’s programming; however, with a waiting list of more than 90 at-risk adolescents at any given time, today’s fundraising efforts are critical to the program’s long-term sustainability and expansion. AGBU FOCUS donors will be making a direct and lasting impact on the future of our bright and promising youth in Southern California.

AGBU FOCUS San Francisco 2013 ticket packages are on sale now and weekend accommodations are available at a discounted rate at the Hotel Adagio near Union Square. For more information about the weekend’s events and to register, purchase tickets, or book hotel rooms, visit To donate to FOCUS 2013 in support of

AGBU GenNext, visit or call AGBU at 212-319-6383. For more information about AGBU GenNext, visit For any other questions or inquiries, please contact FOCUS Coordinator, Sharis Boghossian, at

Also, “Like” the AGBU FOCUS Facebook Page at and invite your network of Armenian YPs to the Facebook Event Page by searching for “AGBU FOCUS in San Francisco 2013” under events and joining the event.

One of the goals of AGBU FOCUS is to develop a new international network of alumni, Young Professionals (YPs), and friends of AGBU between the ages of 22-40 that reflects the diverse nature of the Armenian community. The weekend is also designed to pay tribute to and create awareness of AGBU’s numerous youth programs and its investment in young Armenians across the globe.