I walked into the hotel's lobby with my media invitation not knowing a soul, only to walk out five hours later either having met or interviewed a quarter of the conference attendees!
This was possible because of the connecting power of one woman: Gayane Markosyan, former professor for State Engineering University of Armenia (SEUA) who now serves as the education liaison and PR strategist for Synopsys in Armenia.
I don't typically write a "cast your vote" type of blog post. However, I'm making an exception for Gayane because of the real difference she's making in her country.
Gayane is one of six finalists in the inaugural Community Super Hero Competition. In this competition, the Electronic Design Automation (EDA) industry recognizes the volunteer who does the most for their communities. This award would provide Armenia with a win-win opportunity: it would help publicize Armenia as a High Tech destination and serve notice that one of Armenia’s own can lead a global industry in giving back to its communities.
Please join me in casting your vote for Gayane. Everybody can vote once, and you don't have to be in a high tech industry to vote. You can vote. Your family members can vote. Your friends and work colleagues can vote. All it takes is a few minutes of your time.
You can vote by clicking the URL below (deadline to vote is July 27):
The nominating statement for Gayane:
Gayane Markosyan leads Synopsys Armenia's charitable activities with dedication and enthusiasm. She connects Synopsys employees, our partners and the community in multiple projects throughout the year. In particular, Gayane has led several large-scale tree planting projects, annually planting 400 trees with the entire employee base in Armenia. That's one tree for each employee. This reforestation is especially meaningful in a city where difficult times a decade ago forced the residents to cut down almost all the trees in the city as their only source of heating fuel. This is a huge accomplishment that has a very meaningful impact on the country.
Gayane also arranges park cleanups and employee visits to local orphanages, where they distribute toys and clothes donated by our employees. Helping the children at Kharberd Orphanage is one of the causes Gayane is passionate about. She raised over $1,539 USD (477,000 AMD) in employee contributions by coordinating an exhibit and sale at Synopsys of art created by the orphanage children and ticket sales for a concert with "Lusine", a non-government organization, to assist several local orphanages.
Gayane also led the China Earthquake Disaster Relief fundraiser with the International Red Cross in Armenia.