Nina Ghavami

Nina Ghavami is recognized for her cultural, community and corporate leadership acumen over the past 28 years. She has served various positions in computer, medical and Internet Technology companies. These endeavors include working as a computer programmer for Precision Programming starting in 1981; serving as a general manager for Comprehensive Pediatric Care Medical Centers in New York and New Jersey; and managing the formation and operations of CheckM8 Inc. (www.checkm8.com) as of 2000, a high-tech online advertising company that serves many industry leading media companies worldwide.

Nina has been actively engaged in heading and founding numerous cultural and community non-profit organizations since 1986. These include:

1. Beginning as a member, she went on to serve as the Fundraising Chairperson for the Persian Cultural & Humanitarian Association (PCHA, www.pcha.com) for fifteen years, followed by two terms as Vice President and one term as the President, helping to bring cultural and traditional celebrations and events to the tri-state area. Her time in the presidency is considered by many to be the golden era of the organization, owing to the quantity and quality of guests and programs arranged during this time, including a comprehensive instruction program in Iranian and Armenian music and dance, for which she served as a teacher, and the first ever concert appearance for a non-profit organization by internationally renowned traditional Iranian singer Mohammad Reza Shajarian. She also oversaw the highest surplus budget in the history of the organization, all of which combined merited her a Special Recognition Award.

2. She co-founded the Persian Cultural Foundation (PCF, www.persiancultural.org) in 1996 with the intent of bringing a new cultural center to the tri-state area.

3. Encyclopedia Iranica (www.persianheritage.com), the most comprehensive publication of Iranian history, in the works since 1970 under the leadership of Professor Ehsan Yarshater at Columbia University, is another component of her fundraising and gala dinner role; in addition to being a member of the Two Thousand Dollars Club, she has held numerous private fundraising events in her house, which lead to a Special Recognition Award in 2004. She played a key role as co-chair of the last gala benefit dinner for the organization on May 5, 2007, one of the Encyclopedia’s most successful events ever.

4. In 1996, she joined the Publication Committee (bi-annual, bi-lingual medical journal) for the Iranian American Medical Association (IAMA, www.iama.org) and was bestowed with two Special Recognition Awards for her leading role in organizing IAMA’s annual affairs.

5. She co-founded the Ziba Foundation (www.zibafoundation.org) in 2002, which aims to provide a new platform for appreciation of Art of Iranian Cultural Continenent, thereby facilitating the exchange of ideas for application for the betterment of the quality of life of all beings.

6. In 2004, she co-founded the Persian Parade — a first-of-its-kind annual ceremony held in the heart of Manhattan, NY — which quickly grew and had a global impact in the portrayal of rich Iranian Cultural Continent worldwide and in proving to Iranians that they can work together collectively for the good of the bigger picture. Nina’s roles in the first year of Persian Parade (the united Persian Parade) included being a co-founder, Board of Director member, Co-Treasurer, and in charge of design and layout of the Parade.

7. In 2006, she co-founded International Short Film Festival: Independent Film on Iran (http://nyisff.org), a groundbreaking outlet for films by and about Iranians, which held its first-ever event on October 19th through the 21st of 2007, at the Asia Society of New York.

8. She was a member of Nowrooz@Met at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, with the aim of raising enough funds to designate a permanent room in the museum for the display of Iranian art.

9. She became a Board Director and Trustee member of Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) in 2007.

10. She is a member and New Jersey chapter head of the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian-Americans, 2008 (www.paaia.org).

11. She is a supporter of Persian Heritage (www.persian-heritage.net) and has given much help in the organization of its annual celebratory events.

12. She has been a major supporter of Daftar-e-Honar (www.daftar-e-honar.org) since its inception in 1993.

Nina studied Economics for a Bachelor of Arts at Southwestern College in Oklahoma. She also studied Information Systems at the Dover Business School in New Jersey. She is married to Dr. Zia Ghavami and they have two children. Daughter Maryam is a medical doctor, pediatrician, and a published poet and writer. She was recently engaged to Reza Jazayeri, an orthopedic surgeon, and is currently living in New York. Son Dana was an inventor by age 20, and is also founder and CEO of CheckM8 Inc. (www.checkM8.com), a new platform for advertising companies worldwide. Dana is married to Dr. Halleh Kossari, a dentist living in New Jersey and have a lovely son named ARMAN.

Nina’s avocations include playing music, including the piano and especially Middle Eastern instruments like the tar, and she also enjoys dancing, traveling and learning about different cultures. She is a three-time runner (1997-99) in the New York City Marathon (www.runnerclub.com).

Although as a native Armenian, her upbringing was in Armenian art and culture, it would be no exaggeration to say that her contribution to the nurturing of Iranian art and culture, particularly in regard to heightening its exposure in the United States, has been phenomenal, although it should come as no surprise to scholars, since Iran and Armenia share the same Aryan roots, or to those who know Nina for the exceptional talent that she is. The combination of creativity, perseverance, ability to organize, deep knowledge, understanding, unconditional love, warm heart, devotion and simplicity that God gave her have kept this lioness of a woman in the forefront of the movement to bring together art and social activities for the betterment of the quality of life for all beings.