January 22, 2013 - 17:17 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee (PASAGMC) announces that former StateAssembly member Anthony Portantino and former Pasadena Police Chief Bernard K. Melekian have joined the PASAGMC as members of the board of directors. The PASAGMC recognizes their long commitment and dedication to public service and is honored to have Portantino and Melekian join the PASAGMC for the success of this historical project.
Anthony Portantino recently retired as the San Gabriel Valley-based 44th State Assembly DistrictAssembly member. Portantino has had a close relationship with the Armenian-American Community ever since his service as Mayor and Councilmember of the city of La Canada Flintridge. He has repeatedly been recognized as “Legislator of the Year” by prominent community organizations. As Mayor, he issued a city proclamation commemorating the Armenian Genocide, and as a Legislator he was a proud coauthor of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, which urged the President and Congress to formally recognize the Armenian Genocide.
Bernard K. Melekian was the Police Chief for the City of Pasadena for more than 13 years, and has also served as the acting Fire Chief and Interim City Manager for the City of Pasadena. He has received the Medal of Valor award in 1978 and the Medal of Courage award in 1980. Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Melekian as the Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) on October 5, 2009. As Director of the COPS Office, Melekian leads an organization responsible for working closely with the nation’s state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to enhance the safety of communities. Bernard Melekian served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1970, and, as a member of the United States Coast Guard Reserve, he was called to active duty in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm.
Anthony Portantino stated that he is "…humbled and honored to have been asked to serve on the board of this important and very necessary Genocide Recognition project. The San Gabriel Valley's strong connection to the Armenian-American community and the unwavering support for Genocide recognition in our area is something of which to be proud. Being part of a project that will commemorate, respect, and educate generations about the first Genocide of the 20th Century and the death of 1.5 million innocent Armenians is a responsibility and honor that I will cherish."