Freshly into the time of being able to, once again, host luncheons and soirees — and indoors, at that — a local company this week invited first responders and others for a ceremony thanking them for guiding Glendale through the coronavirus pandemic. Tech firm Phonexa, through its Phonexa Cares program, hosted Glendale’s police officers and firefighters, city leaders and school district officials at Phoenicia restaurant on Thursday, where they were treated to a lunch and awards were handed out. In hosting the event, Phonexa’s leadership hoped to pave the way for emerging from the crisis that has gripped the world since March 2020 and, in California, seems to be nearing its end.
“It’s been a very difficult, trying year,” said Armen Karaoghlanian, chief marketing officer for Phonexa, “but everyone we’re recognizing has played a very significant role in how we’ve come together this past year, how we’ve stayed strong and persevered and all the fantastic work that we’ve done to bring the community together.” Among the awarded first responders, Phonexa recognized Deputy Chief Tim Feeley and Cmdr. Sheryl Davis-Moore from the Glendale Police Department, while Battalion Chief Brian Julian represented the Glendale Fire Department. “Your sacrifices, your valor and your courage are not lost on the folks in this office and is not lost on the families,” Michael Cordova, general counsel for Phonexa, said Thursday. Additionally, the firm recognized City Hall for its many actions during the pandemic — imposing measures to protect tenants, funding grant and relief programs for businesses and enforcing safety protocols.
Mayor Paula Devine and Councilmen Dan Brotman, Ardy Kassakhian and Ara Najarian represented the city at the event. “We have all learned, I think, from this experience in the pandemic that things can change on a dime,” Devine said, emphasizing the latter point, “and we have to be ready for that change and we have to make that change, and I think all of us have done that to the greatest degree possible. Everyone in this room is a hero.” The Glendale Unified School District — represented by Superintendent Vivian Ekchian, Board of Education President Shant Sahakian and Board Vice President Nayiri Nahabedian — was recognized for its efforts to continue delivering education this past year. Additionally, Ellina Abovian, a journalist with KTLA who lives in Glendale, was awarded for her work informing Los Angeles County residents about the pandemic. Focusing on the mantra of “Glendale Strong,” the event was held as part of the Phonexa Cares program, a community outreach initiative that has also honored Adventist Health Glendale for its work. “The last 15 months have been some of the most uncertain and tumultuous times of our lives,” said Phonexa President and CEO David Gasparyan in a statement. “As a Glendale resident and business owner, I felt the impact of COVID-19 immensely. We couldn’t reach this monumental moment of recovery and rehabilitation throughout the state and locally without the incredible strength, persistence and reliance of our Glendale heroes, first responders and public officials.