Meet the AIWA-SF Board: Laura Dirtadian

dirtadian-laura-mufg-union-bank-2-gifMeet AIWA-SF Board Member: Laura Violette Dirtadian, Director, MUFG Union Bank

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies. Minor in Spanish Literature

{Q} What is your fondest memory of traveling to Armenia?

{A} One of my favorite memories is walking up Khor Virap and running into a friend I had made on the way to the top.  I remember the view of Mount Ararat, which is no longer ours, my dear friend’s face, and seeing a family take a sheep to be sacrificed. It was painful, heartwarming and funny all at the same time!

{Q} What does being on the AIWA-SF board mean to you?

{A} I attended AIWA’s 20th anniversary conference in San Francisco after a hiatus from Armenian organizations to focus on my career.  It was there when I got inspired after hearing Congresswoman Jackie Speier speak.  The women and the organization inspires me to this day, and am grateful to have it in my life.

{Q} What is your favorite Armenian tradition?

{A} Eating. Period.

{Q} Who inspires you?

{A} My paternal grandmother, Violette Markarian.  She was an amazing woman and still wish I could hug her.

{Q} If you could use technology to do one thing, what would it be?

{A} Wash the dishes.

{Q} What do you love most about where you grew up?

{A} I was born in Canada and our home in Sudbury was on a double cul de sac and had a large backyard.  I loved picking blueberries and eating vanilla ice scream in the summer, the leaves changing colors in the fall, running in the forest, and building forts.

{Q} Do you have any hobbies?

{A} My two young children – but when I have time, yoga, running, cooking and hiking.

{Q} Where is your favorite place to go in the Bay Area/San Francisco?

{A} Wine country, Tahoe, Half Moon Bay, anywhere we can go hiking.

{Q} What is your life philosophy?

{A} Dance like nobody is watching

{Q} What languages do you speak?

{A} English, Spanish, Armenian (I try), and a bit of Catalan

{Q} What advice would you give your younger self?

{A} Do not be afraid of making decisions. If you are on a path you don’t like, you have the control to make the decision to change the path in which you are on.  If it doesn’t work out, just make a different decision.

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