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Also known as Alejandro Yemenidjian, Alex Yemenidjian is a success story in himself. He is, after all, the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Armenco Holdings, LLC and of The New Tropicana Las Vegas, Inc. He immigrated to the United States as a teenager and attended the Ferrahian Armenian School.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting from California State University Northridge, which he followed by a master’s degree in Business Taxation from the University of Southern California. He worked at the USC Marshall School of Business as an Adjunct Professor of Taxation.

Yemenidjian has served in various capacities in his business career including:

• Chairman and CEO of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (199-2005) and director (1997-2005)

• Director of MGM Resorts International Inc. (1989-2005); President of MGM (1995-1999); COO (1995-1999); and CFO (1994-1998).

• Executive at Tracinda Corporation (1990-1997)

• Managing Partner at Parks, Palmer, Turner & Yemenidjian, Certified Public Accountants

• Director of Regal Entertainment Group

• Trustee of Baron Investment Funds Trust

• Director of Guess?, Inc.


Mark John Geragos is among the most prominent celebrity lawyers in the United States partly because his clientele includes many of the country’s celebrities, politicians, and controversial figures. He has represented the likes of Michael Jackson during his child molestation charges; Winona Ryder for her theft case; and Susan McDougal, Gary Condit, and Scott Petersen during their high-profile lawsuits for various charges; as well as Jeremy Mayfield, suspended NASCAR driver; Paul and Kulbir Dhaliwal, brothers who were injured by an escaped tiger; and Chris Brown in his assault charges against Rihanna.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Geragos is of Armenian descent. He was a brilliant student, such as when he graduated with honors from the Flintridge Preparatory School in La Canada. He earned his bachelor’s degree with a double major in sociology and anthropology from Haverford College in 1979 as well as his Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School in 1982.

In 1983, he became a member of the State Bar of California. He is currently a managing partner at the 13-man law firm, The Law Offices of Geragos and Geragos, located in Los Angeles. He handles civil litigation and criminal defense cases, which are areas where he has proven to be among the best in the country.

Geragos is proud of his Armenian heritage and, thus, has maintained close ties with the Armenian communities in the United States and abroad. He has been recognized for his notable contributions by the Armenian National Committee of America. He also serves in various capacities in organizations like the Advisory Committee of Birthright Armenia, the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry, and the Armenia Fund International Board of Trustees, aside from his active involvement in the Armenian religious community.

Geragos has been recognized by various award-giving bodies. Among his awards are the 1999 Trial Lawyer of The Year by the Los Angeles Criminal Courts Bar Association; the 1999 Jerry Giesler Memorial Award for Trial Skills, Judgment and Dedication; the 2005 Attorney of the Year by the California Lawyer magazine; and the 2008 Top 10 Verdicts of the State of California.

Arsen Borysovych Avakov is a well-known politician and businessman in Ukraine. He is best known for being the Governor of Kharkiv Oblast from 2005 to 2010 as well as his appointment as the Minister of Internal Affairs for Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s first cabinet after the February 2014 revolution in the country.

He had humble beginnings in his political career. He was a laboratory assistant at Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute, where he also earned his degree in systems engineering with a major in automated control systems. He joined the institute from 1987 to 1990. He became employed in a commercial bank in 1992 and became one of its supervisory board members.

In 2002, he became a member of the Kharkiv City Council’s Executive Committee. He was appointed as the leader of the Regional State Administration in February 2005, among other political positions.

He is also an author of a dozen scientific papers, a number of essays regarding social and political issues, and one monograph.

Robert Mehrabian is an American materials scientist best known today as the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Teledyne Technologies Incorporated. He was also the President of the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the 1990s.

Born to Armenian parents in Iran, his family owned and operated an aluminum fabrication factory. He immigrated to the United States to get his education at the Phillips Exeter Academy. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree (1964) and his doctoral degree (1968) in materials science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He taught at MIT but left in 1975 to become a professor at the University of Illinois until 1979.

Mehrabian became the Chief of the Metallurgy Division at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) until 1981 followed by his stint as the Director of the Center for Material Science until 1983. He then left NBS to become the Dean of Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

He became the President of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) for eight years (1990-1998). He was honored the University by naming its Collaborative Innovation Center after him; the center houses the university’s industry partner branch offices.

After leaving CMU, he put his impressive education, training and work experience to good use by becoming involved in the formation of Teledyne Technologies Incorporated in 1999. Teledyne Technologies Incorporated provides its customers especially in industrial growth markets with advanced enabling technologies. With its slogan, “Everywhere you look”, the corporation has evolved from a company focused primarily on defense and aerospace to a corporation serving multiple markets including oceanographic research; deep water oil and gas exploration, production, and distribution; medical imaging systems and solutions; factory automation; and air and water quality environmental monitoring.

Before Teledyne’s November 1999 spin-off by Allegheny Technologies (ATI), Mehrabian was the President and CEO of ATI’s Aerospace and Electronics division since July 1999 as well as senior executive in various capacities since July 1997.

As of his plate is not already full, Mehrabian is also a director at PPG Industries and Metro Financial Corporation.

Mikhail Aslanovich Pogosyan can be considered as one of the influential men in Russia because of his position as general director of United Aircraft Corporation. He graduated with honors from the Moscow Aviation Institute’s aircraft manufacturer facility in 1979. He then started his professional career at the JSC `Sukhoy Design Bureau, as it is known today, where he continues to work until this day.

Pogosyan climbed up the corporate ladder through the combination of his smart mind, effective leadership, and personal charm. His first job was as designer engineer, which was followed by his posts as First Deputy Chief Designer from 1992 to 1998; as Chairman of the Directors Board of the Design Bureau from 1995 to 1999; and General Director of the Sukhoi Design Bureau since May 1999. By 31 January 2011, he became the general director of the prestigious United Aircraft Corporation.

Aside from these high positions, Pogosyan is also the author of several scientific papers as well as ii inventions and patents. He is a 1997 Laureate of the State RF Prize, a 1998 Laureate of the Russian Government Prize, and a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, among others.

Artem Ivanovich Mikoyan (5 August 1905 – 9 December 1970) was a respected Soviet aircraft designer who, along with Mikhail Iosifovich Gurevich, designed many of the USSR’s iconic MiG military aircraft. He first worked as a machine tool operator in various companies before he was conscripted into the military.

Upon his military discharge, he joined the Zhukovsky Air Force Academy where he graduated in 1963. He made is first aircraft at the academy.

In December 1939, he was named as head of the new bureau on aircraft design in Moscow. This is where the famous Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau was formed, which produced a series of innovative fighter aircraft. By 1942, the bureau underwent changes including renaming it as OKB MiG (Osoboye Konstruktorskoye Büro), ANPK MiG (Aviatsionnyy nauchno-proizvodstvennyy kompleks) and OKO MiG.

The first fighter aircraft produced by the bureau, the MiG-1, was not a success. Even the MiG-3 could only occasionally fight according to its high-level interceptor role because of various issues. The MiG-5, MiG-7 and MiG-8 Utka were not successful either since these were stuck in the research prototype phase.

Not all was doom-and-gloom, fortunately. The MiG-15 had excellent performance, which formed the foundation for many future fighter jets in the Soviet military. Many variants of the MiG-15 have been built with the most common being the MiG-15UTI.

More than 18,000 of MiG-15s were produced before the MiG-17 and MiG-19 came along. The MiG-15s were used by Communist forces during the Korean War.

Mikoyan was also a designer of missile systems particularly suited for the aircraft he has also designed, such as the MiG-21. He was such a prolific designer that he continued working on high-performance fighters in the 1950s and 1960s.

For his work, Mikoyan has been recognized with several awards including Hero of Socialist Labor, the highest civilian honor in the USSR; the Six Orders of Lenin; the Lenin Prize; the Stalin Prize, and the Two Orders of the Red Star, many of them multiple times.

Assar Thorvald Nathanael Gabrielsson (13 August 1891 – 28 May 1962) is one of the most influential persons in the international automotive industry. He is, after all, a co-founder of Volvo, the internationally-known automobile manufacturer, which contributed to his reputation as a powerful industrialist.

Born in 13 August 1891 in Sweden, Gabrielsson completed his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the Stockholm School of Economics 1911. He was first employed as a stenographer in the Swedish Parliament (1912-1926) before becoming an employee at SKF in Göteborg in its sales department (1916-1920). He moved up the ranks to become the managing director of SKF’s subsidiary in Paris (1921-1922) and then sales manager (1922-1926) for the group.

While he was still SKF’s sales manager, he worked on a private project involving the manufacture of a prototype car. He took a risk considering that SKF initially did not support his idea, not to mention that he did not have investors. He pressed on and he was eventually rewarded – in August 1926, SKF finally agreed to the creation of AB Volvo as its subsidiary.

On 1 January 1927, Gabrielsson was appointed managing director and president of Volvo AB.

Laxmanrao Kashinath Kirloskar (1869-1956) was a well-respected Indian businessman whose achievements in business were just as well-known as his achievements in social reform. As the founder the Kirloskar Group, a conglomerate involved in several industries, he used his influential status to implement positive changes in Indian society especially in rural areas.

From an early age, Laxmanrao was fond of painting and mechanical objects. He pursued his interest in painting by enrolling at the JJ School of Art in Mumbai but he had to quit after 2 years upon the discovery of his partial color-blind condition. He nonetheless continued to study mechanical drawing, which came in handy when he was hired as an Assistant Teacher of Mechanical Drawing at Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute.

Laxmanrao established his bicycle dealership in the early 1890s. He bought bicycles in Mumbai and sent them to his brother in Belgaum where the items were sold for a handsome profit. He also established a small bicycle repair in the village; today, the road on which the shop was located is called Kirloskar Road.

In his conviction that the agricultural implements should fit the setting they are used in, he began designing and manufacturing iron ploughs – the first of many Kirloskar products. He initially established a small production facility for the manufacture of the iron ploughs and chaff cutters.

He was unsuccessful for the first two years of his operations mainly because the rural farmers believed that the iron ploughs will poison the land. When he sold his first iron plough, his business grew by leaps and bounds – proof that, indeed, persistence can pay off in spades.

As a great social reformer, Laxmanrao advocated for the abolition of untouchability especially in rural areas. He banned untouchability in his Kirloskarvadi township, which is located in the Sangli District. Such was his trust in the innate goodness of man and in social reform that he employed ex-convicts in his companies, such as night watchmen.

Ricardo Semler is the majority owner and chief executive officer of Semco Partners, a Brazilian conglomerate with several units including an industrial machinery unit; ERM, a firm involved in environmental consultations; Sembobac, a manufacturer of cooling towers; Cushman and Wakefield Semco, a property management company; SemcoHR, a human resources management firm; Semco Johnson Controls, a company involved in the management of large facilities like hospitals and airports; Semco Ventures, a company offering Internet and advanced technology services; and Semco-RGIS, a company offering inventory control services.

But Semler is best known for his radical form of corporate reengineering and industrial democracy. His brand of democratic management including employee empowerment, even allowing employees to approve costs, identify business opportunities, and share in the profits, has resulted to his conglomerate’s phenomenal growth – from US$4 million in revenues in 1982 to $US212 million in 2003.

His innovative management practices have also resulted in several awards from the industry. He has been featured in Time’s 1994 Global 100 young leaders profile series while the Wall Street Journal America Economia named him as the 1990 and 1992 Brazilian Businessman of the Year, among others.

Roberto Pisani Marinho (3 December 1904 – 6 August 2003) was a controversial figure during his day, such as when he was criticized in the 1994 British documentary, Beyond Citizen Kane, for his ties to the military dictatorship and for the creation of TV Globo. While he was able to prevent the release of the documentary through a court order, it quickly went viral on the Internet during the 21st century.

But he was also an influential figure in Brazilian society because of his instrumental role in the creation of Organizações Globo, a large media conglomerate. He was also the founder and president of Globo, a Brazilian television network with 113 stations and associates.

Marinho was to the publishing industry born, so to speak, as his father was a successful publisher. When he was just 21 years old, he became a traineer reporter on O Globo in Rio de Janeiro, which he inherited from his father. He became its chief editor 6 years later.

By the 1940s, he ventured into commercial radio and then into television in the 1960s. On April 1965, Marinho founded Rede Globo TV that eventually became Brazil’s principal television station as well as the world’s third-largest television network. Emphasis must be made that the 1960s was the time when the military dictatorship pressured the media industry to support its government.

Marinho became one of the richest men in South America as well as one of the world’s most influential media moguls by the 1970s, both distinctions of which he held until his death. His holding company, Organizações Globo, controls several companies including TV Globo, a major newspaper, cable television channels, and a chain of radio stations. Globo Television alone reaches nearly every Brazilian home via its 113 stations and associates, not to mention that it has the power to decide the exact date when the country’s soccer matches can kick off.