AIWA THRIVE shares the stories of individuals from around the world who are positively impacting our community as they lead with purpose.
Media and Technology Consultant at FTI Consulting, Operations at Kooyrigs, Advisor at MIASEEN Inc., Advisor at Generation She.
Today, we feature Emma Ohanian
Emma Ohanian is a Media and Technology Consultant at FTI Consulting, based out of Century City, Los Angeles. She participates in various types of engagements, including business plan development, commercial due diligence, M&A advisory, litigation support and expert witness testimony. She is particularly interested in regulation in media and technology and continues to explore policy and industry shifts in the quickly evolving landscape. She also makes time to volunteer at several community-centric organizations, such as Kooyrigs, MIASEEN Inc., and Generation She (more detail below).
Emma serves as the Operations and Business Advisor to Kooyrigs (@Kooyrigs), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing resources to the global Armenian network by launching community projects and implementing educational initiatives. She works closely with Karine Eurdekian, founder and Executive Director, and the global Kooyrigs team to develop organizational systems to ensure global alignment on partnerships, projects, and fundraising initiatives.
She is also a Business Advisor for MIASEEN Inc. (@MIASEEN_Inc), which aims to cultivate a unified Armenian community through digital, short-form content, and amplify the Armenian culture and representation in media. Given the lack of adequate media coverage related to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, it has become a recent focus of mine to identify opportunities to increase Armenian representation in media and ensure the telling of our most important stories.
Lastly, she is a Fundraising Advisor for Generation She (@Gen.She), a non-profit organization which aims to close the gender gap in the leadership landscape by instilling young women with a sense of ownership and entrepreneurial spirit through educational initiatives and community events. The founder, Avni Barman, started the organization in 2018 in response to her experience in the male-dominated technology industry and has since hosted several make-athons and pitch competitions, and provided college scholarship opportunities.
Q: What is your life philosophy?
Although my life philosophy is commonly evolving, currently I’ve been focused on this quote shared with me by my mentor: “The gap between the life you could live and the life you are living is called focus.” Although Admittedly cheesy, this reminder has been helpful in the times that I feel I am not quite doing enough. Although the Millennial and Gen Z generations are not the first to continuously compare ourselves to others, we are the first to be constantly surrounded by the success and growth of others via the media. I aim to be focused every day on my own growth, because I believe success is measured by progress, not by the ideal.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being Armenian?
That we are a community-centric culture, focused on the growth and development of our diaspora and our nation. I believe more strongly that being Armenian is who you are, not what you are. It’s not about blood, it’s about perspective, culture, and community. I really could not know less about poetry but this is a quote from one I thought was very representative of what I love about our culture: “…and those lucky travelers / Who asked what a թոնիր was and got / A mouthful of bread in its place” (lines 21-23 of the poem attached).
Q: How has the Armenian culture shaped / influenced you?
Can I call being Armenian a character trait? I strongly associate my personality with my culture. It has defined my personal values and my professional priorities. While I work closely with several Armenian centric organizations because I align with their values, I also am professionally passionate about regulation in media and technology to ensure that Armenian history and stories are at the forefront of global media, along with other important worldly issues.
The Diminishing Garden / A Cathedral Near
On a road stretching
Across Շուշի, a garden emits
Short breaths under a hot, red cloud.
For this plot of soil has been afflicted
By a plague that does not
Discriminate against any sensor,
One that invades young ears
With sirens of cold nights
And tight skin with bullets of skirmish,
Penetrates the vessels of beating
Hearts with black smoke and eye
Sockets with debris called “home”.
It is now easier than ever to recall the past:
Of a garden filled with մայր-s ու հայր-s,
Քոյր-s եւ եղբայր-s, standing
Hand-in-hand with tanned skin
And toasted smiles,
On a land that upheld pomegranate
Hearts of fertility, faith, and good fortune
Upon them and those lucky travelers
Who asked what a թոնիր was and got
A mouthful of bread in its place.
Generations skipped along the tract,
Reciting the words of Tumanyan
And the lyrics of Nova, with the strength
That erected the cross-stone pillars of story.
The tract is now desolate.
The soil is lined with armies of
Pomegranate seeds dispersed from
Motherly membranes, resting near
Copper shells and cool shrapnel.
Under the heat,
Painting the soil a nectar red,
The same red that nearly
Painted ancestral garments
And violated fresh tendons
In the basement of the cathedral near.
Hours after the explosions
Paused and tears from
Words of hourly news dried,
A melody emerged from the structure.
Beneath the apse,
Chords with dotted vibrato travelled
Through cracked limestone and
Out a pocket above,
From a heavy-set man with
A wet beard, and fingers that
Travel catgut roads of the թաւջութակ,
Occasionally meeting the bump
Of nearby eruptions.
Radiated by the man who witnessed
This horror over a century ago,
The same man who shed
Mental tears on Parisian walls,
Hallucinating a land called “home.”