Aiwa Thrive

Victoria Atamian Waterman

THRIVE is an AIWA project dedicated to highlighting individuals who are doing remarkable things in their personal and professional lives to better themselves and those around them. These individuals are inspiring, dynamic, innovative and interesting. Today, we feature AIWA Thrive: Victoria Atamian Waterman, Award-Winning Author, Who She Left Behind.

Victoria Atamian Waterman, Award-Winning Author, Who She Left Behind.

Location: North Smithfield, Rhode Island, United States

Occupation: Author



April 9, 2024

Victoria Atamian Waterman is an influential leader who has consistently delivered impactful results in her career, particularly in preparing women and girls for leadership roles. This commitment is vividly demonstrated in her compelling TEDx talk, “Today’s Girls are Tomorrow’s Leaders,” and her historically significant fiction novel, “Who She Left Behind,” Through her vibrant and passionate approach,Waterman inspires audiences by sharing insights on women thriving in leadership roles, offering unique perspectives on self-identity exploration, and imparting valuable lessons from her literary journey. Her experiences growing up in a trilingual immigrant household, alongside her family’s history as survivors of the Armenian Genocide, contribute to the rich tapestry of her storytelling.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself

I have recently transitioned into a semi-retirement phase after a multifaceted career spanning three chapters. The initial stage focused on business and in the banking industry, while the second chapter was dedicated to empowering girls and women leaders. In my current chapter, I am channeling my skills and passion towards the greater good, paying it forward, and indulging more in activities I enjoy with the people I love.

Most recently, I held the position of CEO at a local Girls Inc. affiliate and previously served as the president of the Massachusetts affiliate of Leading Women, a global organization focused on promoting gender balance in leadership. Additionally, I have been actively involved in various volunteer and board roles.

Blessed with a supportive husband who is a true partner, a blended family of four children and four grandchildren, and a renewed commitment to my Armenian culture through my published novel, the third chapter of my life is keeping me busy, joyful, and fulfilled.

Q: What is your life philosophy?

Have a relationship with God, use talents for good purpose, prioritize family, value friendships, be kind, know thyself and what you can and cannot control.

Q: What is your hope for the future?

My hope for the future is to see progress in the areas of my work that will make a measurable difference in lives and life everyone.

More urgently, my hope is to put period after the phrase, “never again”. As we are currently watching war and genocides unfold, “never again” is happening again, and again, and again… with no end in sight.

Q: What is your favorite thing about being Armenian/Armenians?

Nowhere else do I experience such unconditional love and a sense of belonging as within the Armenian community. The shared familiarity of traditions, cuisine, music, arts, literature, history, and language holds a unique blend of excitement and comfort. The timeless pride of being Armenian shows up in unexpected ways. For instance, I could never have imagined that attending an AGBU summer camp would result in an invitation over 40 years later to speak at the 2023 AGBU Women Shaping the World Conference in New York City.

Q: How has Armenian culture shaped / influenced you?

The Armenian Church is the birthplace of my soul” by Vahan Tekeian eloquently describes my profound connection to the Armenian and Apostolic church community. Growing up in a three-generation household, where Armenian was the primary language and with grandparents who were survivors of the 1915 Genocide, I carry a deep sense of responsibility to preserve our culture. My commitment extends to empowering the next generation as proud Armenians and nurturing them to become servant leaders.


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