John Krikorian and family making a mark in LA's business community
Published: Friday September 24, 2010
Glendale, Calif. - My vote for the consummate Armenian-American journalist would go to John Krikorian.
You may know John through his seven children or his 22 grandchildren --- all with Armenian names. Or you may know him through his dedicated wife Elsie.
You may know him from his days with the Hartford Courant back a generation ago when he spurred the advertising department to uncharted heights. John was the "go-to" guy whenever it came to procuring an ad. He had the Midas touch.
Now, you may know him as the chief cook and bottle washer for a joint publication out in Glendale, Calif., where he's lived for a spell. If you live out there, drop by his home any Wednesday for a pasta feed. The door's open.
Krikorian publishes two magazines these days --- one dedicated to seniors and the other to the business world. Both of them enjoy wide circulations and distributed complimentary. Any money that comes out of it is raised through advertising.
He conducts interviews. He writes and edits. He publishes and circulates. He pays the bills and sweeps the office. The day has no hours. It's gauged by the workload.
He's got his wife by his side and son Greg, making it more than a mom and pop enterprise. Both senior Krikorians are well into their 70s and still till the soil. Retirement? You won't find that word in their dictionary. Trust me. It's more a labor of love than anything, considering the market these days.
And the interviews this guy gets over a telephone or through the computer. Guys like Jerry Tarkanian, Clint Eastwood and Dolly Parton are hankering to get a word in edgewise. Krikorian seems to have a monopoly on the superstars of Hollywood.
If he doesn't get through, they call him. A nonchalant observer might consider it remarkable at the way some of these VIPs look for hype when they may have grown weary by it.
"Hey, it's free publicity for them," he says. "A little vanity goes a long way. They love my magazines."
Apparently, so does the media world. Just recently, Krikorian was honored as "Small Business Journalist of the Year" at the 29th annual Small Business Awards Luncheon at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.
The award epitomizes journalists representing print media who report and champion small business issues with concentrated efforts to increase public understanding of the importance of small business contributions to the economy.
"Businesses such as John Krikorian's are not only pointing the way to our economic recovery, they are driving our economic recovery," lauded Adelberto Quijada of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
"His success is a testament to the innovative spirit of entrepreneurs everywhere and what can be achieved during trying times."
The recognition comes at a time when the Krikorians are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their publication with a special Women Achievers edition. A gala banquet took place Sept. 22 at the Glendale Hilton.
Krikorian is quick to admit that it's a challenging time for small business and the economy as a whole with most firms needing to strategically redirect their products and services with new innovations.
This has led to Business Life developing creative sales strategies with its entry into the "Special Event" arena and maximizing their website www.businesslife.com to optimize online marketing.
A recent issue crossed my path and if I hadn't known any better, I would have assumed it was a copy of Newsweek. Inside it was stories on economic and workforce development, travel, entertainment, careers, auto reviews and a section on hospitals.
Another focused on the film entertainment industry, charter businesses and the Valley Business Expo around the catchphrase, "Your small business has BIG potential."
I don't have to tell you the importance of small business. Without it, there would be no big business. There would be no ventures like that which the Krikorians started from scratch two decades ago and introduced yet another senior magazine that addresses the elder population.
It's my contention that we need more Armenians in the field of journalism where a difference can be made. Whether it's newspapers or magazines, large or small, it's a platform for publicizing our lot and giving the Armenian community another voice.
John and Elsie Krikorian are lifelong partners both in the marital world as well as publishing. They have a special needs son Ara who lends a hand when he can. They live the good Armenian life. Their example is one to be emulated.