AACO

Our Vision

Bridging Assyrian and American culture with outreach and education.

AACO Logo.png
 

The mission of the Assyrian American Cultural Organization of Arizona is to create a sustainable and far reaching social and educational organization to serve the needs of the Assyrian American community of Phoenix, Arizona, and to spark an interest and love for Assyrian culture and heritage.

The Assyrian American Cultural Organization of Arizona, an affiliate of the Assyrian American National Federation, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to being a catalyst and guide for Assyrian youth and professionals to achieve harmonious, brotherly love and unity, and to build strong networks for the social and educational advance of our community.

 
From left to right, Gina Toma, Shmony Younadim, Ashor Chamoun, Sargon Khananisho, Samaria Hermiz,  Dikranouhi (Dede) Krikorian, and Ninorta Kasso.

From left to right, Gina Toma, Shmony Younadim, Ashor Chamoun, Sargon Khananisho, Samaria Hermiz, Dikranouhi (Dede) Krikorian, and Ninorta Kasso.

 
 

AACO Board Members

Led by Assyrian American Professionals in Arizona.

 

Shmony Younadim serves as the President of the Assyrian American Cultural Organization of Arizona. She aims to preserve the Assyrian culture through educational programs for the youth and adults within the Arizona community. Shmony is originally from Duhok, Iraq and has lived in Arizona for 20 years. She is currently employed as an Assyrian-English and Arabic-English interpreter for International Rescue Committee and Language Line Solution. Shmony is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies at Arizona State University. Shmony is passionate about advocating for Assyrian related issues. She is the proud parent of three children. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Ninorta Kasso serves as the Vice President of the Assyrian American Cultural Organization of Arizona. Ninorta was born in Baghdad, Iraq and immigrated to Chicago with her family where she spent her spare time volunteering in the Assyrian Church of the East committees and youth groups. Ninorta has obtained a Bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management from Kendall College and a Masters degree in Organizational Behavior and Leadership from Benedictine University in Chicago. With over 10 years of hospitality experience, she currently works in consulting and task force for hotels all around the U.S. Ninorta is passionate about educating and instilling Assyrian values for our future kids. She believes strongly in connecting ties with the ancestral homeland and educating our children on the Assyrian language and history. In her free time, Ninorta loves to travel, hike, spend time with family and friends, and co-host the Assyrian Podcast.


 

 
gina.jpg

Gina Toma serves as the Treasurer of the Assyrian American Cultural Organization of Arizona. Gina is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science at Arizona State University and instructs anatomy and physiology labs at ASU Downtown Campus. One of her goals within AACO is to inspire Assyrian youth to pursue professional education and expand diversity across the work setting. Gina is also an advocate for underrepresented populations and serves as a Board member for a community health clinic in the Valley. Aside from volunteering, Gina is a private tutor and finds joy guiding students towards their goals. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and hiking. 


 
Dede.jpg

Dikranouhi (Dede) Krikorian serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Assyrian American Cultural Organization of Arizona. Dede graduated Magna cum Laude from Arizona State University earning two Bachelor degrees, a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Law. She then obtained her Juris Doctorate from Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law at Arizona State University. Dede is currently employed as an Attorney Advisor with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals. Dede prides herself on her active involvement in both the Assyrian and Armenian communities. In her free time, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, traveling, and hot yoga. 

 

Ashor Chamoun serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Assyrian American Cultural Organization of Arizona. He also serves as the Western Region Director of the Assyrian American National Federation. Born in Detroit, MI, Ashor spent his spare time volunteering in the Assyrian Church of the East committees and youth group as well as the Assyrian American Social Club of Michigan (which was founded by local Assyrians in the early 1980’s, his father being one of those founders). Sports was his avenue of work for the community, using this spectrum to organize leagues and tournaments in order to bring young Assyrians together. Ashor has obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Management from Grand Canyon University. He currently works for Bank of America assisting healthcare professionals obtain commercial lending for practice specific needs through the banks Practice Solutions Small Business Banking department. In his free time, Ashor enjoys traveling, spin class, being a foodie, spending quality with his family and friends.

Sargon Khananisho serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Assyrian American Cultural Organization of Arizona. He also serves as the Chairman of Social Events for AACO and Chairman of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee for the Assyrian American National Federation. Sargon graduated from Arizona State University earning two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in Communication and the other in Political Science. He then obtained his law degree (Juris Doctorate) from Arizona Summit Law School. Sargon is currently a Partner at MDK Law Group. He previously was an Assistant City Prosecutor/Assistant City Attorney for the City of Phoenix. Sargon prides himself on his active involvement in the Assyrian community. In his free time, he enjoys traveling abroad and spending time with his family and friends.