Sam Solakyan Helping Charities with His Actions

CEO of Global Holdings, Sam Solakyan is a generous person who is committed to investing wholeheartedly in his community through charitable acts. He has donated extensively towards such causes and taken part in decent acts of individual generosity. Solakyan also serves on a couple of boards as a director. His family immigrated to the United States from Armenia when he was just seven years old. Settling in a hostile neighborhood, he learned fast how to stand for his own.

The now prosperous businessman has undertaken to impact the lives of young individuals in direct manner for the better. Solakyan sits on the Sheriff’s Youth Foundation board and views its model as being an effective way of reaching out to young people in underprivileged areas. He believes that affording these individuals the opportunity to learn also enhances and transforms them into believing nothing in life is unachievable. The philanthropist has in fact made generous contributions severally towards empowering youth through education. He recently extended such a gesture towards Salute to Youth Gala, which ensures brilliant young minds get recognized through awarding of scholarship and laptops to outstanding individuals. This initiative aims at facilitating them to attain their academic pursuits.

Sam Solakya

Sam Solakyan targets expanding recognition of the program and expanding its reach. Testimonies abound from kids as to how their lives have already been touched by this program. He is keen to let everyone know about the benefits it has occasioned to the community in hopes of stepping up support for SYF.

Sam Solakyan routinely contributes towards the welfare of greater Los Angeles community. This notably includes funding Glendale Police Department, Family Service Agency of Burbankalong with different schools within Los Angeles Unified School District. He also sits on boards of Providence Saint Joseph and Drug Enforcement Agency Foundation. As a board member of Serve the People, Solakyan supports homeless families to find food and shelter. The Red Cross, Armenian Relief Society as well as Filipino Children’s Fund are other beneficiaries of Mr. Solakyan’s generosity.

In the few years that have past, Sam Solakyan in conjunction with Vital Medical Services has come up with a groundbreaking solution that will aid law enforcement in dealing with emergency healthcare. It is services like these which improve how this vital arm of government functions and cuts down on their operational costs.

Sam Solakyan routinely contributes towards the welfare of greater Los Angeles community

The philanthropic efforts of Mr. Solakyan focuses on three Pillars he considers most crucial to a thriving community. First is supporting Law enforcement and peace officers as the moral fiber of a great nation. Second is by recognizing the vital role played by a vibrant healthcare system serving the needs of each member of the community. The last one and possibly his most passionate cause is seeing violence ending against children all across the globe, whether in form of slavery, poverty or human trafficking.

As always, Sam Solakyan keeps exploring new opportunities for business initiatives too. His interested are interspersed through various sectors in this regard. They include state-of-the-art medical equipment and co-production of Hollywood movies.

The Evolving Landscape of Higher Education

Higher-Education-Sam-Solakyan

By Sam Solakyan

The contemporary American economy is continuously evolving, with a large section of the workforce now comprised of skilled labor and trades.  With that comes an increase in the demand for such careers.  Consequently, the face of higher education is adapting to prepare students accordingly, thus meeting the needs of employers.

Normalcy in higher education is no longer confined to bachelor’s degrees at four-year institutions.  According to the White House, in 1990 the U.S. ranked first in the world in four-year degrees.  Today, the U.S. ranks 12th.  Several factors can be attributed to this change including the increasing cost of higher education and a surge in self-made entrepreneurship.  But the primary factor seems to be a shift in the economy, and therefore what types of positions are needed, and what types are not.  And in my opinion, it is an exciting time of great potential for those entering the world of higher education.

In 2012 the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that middle-skill jobs — those typically requiring education and post-secondary training after high school, but below the level of a bachelor’s degree — will make up approximately 45% of all job openings projected through 2014.  The report, cited in a Fox Business article, noted that, “of the occupations requiring postsecondary education, those requiring an associate degree are projected to grow the fastest, at about 19%.”

The growing need for associate degrees means stable and well-paying careers are more readily accessible to students at a lesser cost.  Those seeking to fulfill their dreams of achieving the financial stability and security for the future that comes with an excellent career are no longer necessarily impeded by the cost of a four-year education.  These expanding opportunities in higher education positively affect a greater percentage of the population — with disciplines such as health care, engineering, computer science and technology leading to well paying careers — which means a better quality of life for individuals, and a stronger economy for the nation.

I have great appreciation for the evolution of higher education, and hold in the highest regard those students taking advantage of these new opportunities.  I can empathize with those whose educational pursuits are non-traditional.  As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I am a proud graduate of the University of Phoenix, having obtained my bachelor’s degree while working full time and supporting a family.

The trends that are occurring are opening up newfound opportunities for individuals that may have otherwise not pursued higher education due to many of life’s responsibilities that can hinder such inspiration.  And by reducing the hindrances of completing higher education, we all experience the positive impact on a macro-level.  President Obama has urged everyone to commit to at least one year of higher education or post-secondary training.  I concur, and encourage everyone to research how higher education is becoming more accessible, more affordable and more attainable, and then commit themselves to whichever type of training is most suitable for their talents and interests.  Take part in the new landscape of higher education — for yourself, your family and your future.

Sam Solakyan and Global Holdings Welcomes New CFO, Manel Sweetmore


Global Holdings is proud to announce a new addition to our corporate team: Mr. Manel Sweetmore will be joining us as Chief Financial Officer. Sweetmore underscored his enthusiasm for the position and the Global Holdings brand, stating, “I am very excited to join Global Holdings and work with Sam Solakyan and the rest of the team to continue to drive fast growth and industry leading performance.”

Manel received his MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA and has a Masters in Technology Management from the University of Western Ontario. He has an extensive background in technology and financial management spanning a diverse range of business sectors. Recently, Manel was CFO of Verengo Solar, a private equity-backed company which he helped grow from an upstart to the country’s 2nd largest residential solar installer in a little over 3 years. At Verengo he launched the company’s solar financing capabilities and was integral in capital oversight as well as implementing the foundation for accounting, financial, and performance management.

Manel also served as CFO for California Cryobank, a health service company specializing in blood cord banking and reproductive markets, where he increased EBITDA by 160% within three years. He was named President of Mangos International, a branded footwear company, where he partnered with a prominent fashion designer and increased revenue sevenfold in just 24 months. “Manel has financial strategy experience in an array of different businesses,” said Global Holdings’ CEO, Sam Solakyan. “I feel we are very fortunate to have him on our team and am confident that he will continue his track-record of excellence and consistently producing results.”

Manel was a finalist for the Orange County Business Journal CFO of the year in 2011, and again for the Los Angeles Business Journal CFO of the Year award in 2013.
Learn more about the Global Holdings Team

NCMEC CyberTipline & Training Program // By Sam Solakyan

NMEC Cyber Tipline

It’s interesting how our perceptions change over time.  As a kid I can recall thinking that my parents — sticklers for curfews and always insistent on knowing where I was going, what I was doing, and with whom — were too overprotective (although back then I probably used the word “uncool”).  As an adult, I’m aware of the dangers that lurk around every corner and threaten our children every day, and I’ve come to appreciate the commitment that my parents made in order to keep me safe.  And as a father of two children, I’m actually more overprotective and uncool than my parents ever were.

Having a personal appreciation for and interest in protecting children led me to volunteer with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), an organization fighting to keep children safer from abduction and sexual exploitation.  Through my time with the NCMEC I’ve met some truly remarkable people — both law enforcement officials and families who have endured great hardship, having been personally impacted by the heinous actions of sexual predators.

Witnessing firsthand the work being done by the NCMEC, along with the strength and courage of those affected by abduction and sexual exploitation, inspired me to want to do more.  Specifically, something that would provide a definitive benefit to the NCMEC’s mission and positively impact the Los Angeles community.

In an effort to make a tangible contribution to the NCMEC, I’m sponsoring a training and development program for local law enforcement officials at the Museum of Tolerance from January 27 – 31.  The training will feature specialists in the field of abduction prevention and recovery teaching local law enforcement personnel the most sophisticated methods and introducing them to the most advanced resources available to help protect children as well as monitor and track sexual predators.

This training, along with NCMEC initiatives such as a nationwide network that aids in the response and recovery of missing children and the CyberTipline that utilizes a volunteer force of retired law enforcement officers to assist in their search, ensures that law enforcement tactics evolve ahead of the criminals.  We all want children to be protected, and keeping law enforcement better equipped and more advanced than the predators is a major step in making that happen. Such proactive initiatives have helped the NCMEC facilitate the recovery of more than 188,000 children.

I’m excited about the training program, and in speaking to law enforcement officials they have echoed that sentiment, acknowledging that advanced resources can only help aid in their efforts to protect children. But I hope this training program is only the beginning.

What’s taking place here in Los Angeles can easily be expanded, with the help of community members, to other major cities, and eventually nationwide. The ultimate goal is to help law enforcement protect all children, which is only possible via expansion of the program. I’m honored and humbled to be a part of an organization that is protecting children and their families from potential tragedy. I hope you’ll join me in furthering the cause of the NCMEC, here in Los Angeles and throughout the nation.

To learn more about the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and what you can do to get involved and help sponsor a training program in your area, please visit their website.

// Sam Solakyan

Sam Solakyan Joins the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Board

National Center For Missing and Exploited Children Logo

Hey readers! I hope your holidays were enjoyable and your new year is even better. Today I want to share some really exciting news with you. Recently I was appointed to the Board of Directors for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The NCMEC is an incredible organization that devotes itself to the rescue of missing and sexually exploited children. For the last thirty years they’ve made huge strides in the fight against child abduction and exploitation, and I am thrilled to be a part of that fight. If that wasn’t exciting enough there’s even more. On January 27th – 31st I will be hosting a law enforcement training course for the NCMEC at the Museum of Tolerance.

Now more than ever it is crucial that law enforcement learn the latest skills and techniques to combat predators and fight the growing crisis of child sex trafficking. As our society develops greater technology, we are also opening up new opportunities for criminals to perpetrate unforgivable crimes against children. Predators have evolved over the past decade, becoming more difficult to catch as their methods become more sophisticated. That is not just a statement of opinion. According to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, documented cases of child solicitation via the Internet have grown 230 percent and reported incidents of child sex trafficking have increased by one thousand-percent. It is imperative that those who are fighting to save the innocent victims of these crimes be adequately prepared because the criminals certainly are.

For this intensive new class, the participating police officers and law enforcement professionals will learn from specialists in the field and gain the latest knowledge and tools that will help them in the war against child sex trafficking. Through advanced understanding of state-of-the-art technology and insight into the most innovative techniques of the field, we will equip them to stay ahead of those committing these heinous acts and make sure all of our children can grow up safe and free of fear. I’m very excited about these new developments and can’t wait to see what’s going to come from them. Keep reading, friends. I’ll keep you posted.

// Sam Solakyan

Sam Solakyan on The Failure of California’s Foster Care System

Child Asking for Help

Abusive and self-serving treatment of children is one of the most abhorrent acts imaginable, particularly in an environment intended to provide safety and security such as foster care. 27 years ago, California altered its legislation, privatizing a portion of foster care in an effort to cut costs and ostensibly provide improved care for children in the process. 27 years later, it is apparent that the introduction of privatized institutions was quite simply one of the biggest mistakes the system could have made.

Appalling cases of abuse have been consistently reported throughout the privatized foster care systems in California. Some of the uncovered cases read like a Hollywood script for a disturbing horror film. A December article in the Los Angeles Times exposed instances including children beaten with belts, emotionally traumatized by threats, and even sexually molested by their foster parents, and found that “those living in homes run by private agencies were about a third more likely to be the victims of serious physical, emotional or sexual abuse than children in state-supervised foster family homes.” Additionally, “[Two children] were found barefoot in January, huddled under a blanket against the biting High Desert winter cold, two kids on the run from a former foster mother, who had bound their hands with zip-ties and beat them.

Without question, California’s privatized foster care system is now more expensive and more dangerous than the previous government-run homes it replaced. In Los Angeles County, four children have been killed directly as a result of abuse and/or neglect by their foster parents. Disgraceful circumstances like these are occurring because of an almost non-existent screening process, which further contributes to the issue by approving even convicted criminals as foster parents. What’s more appalling is the lack of oversight and failure to discipline derelict agencies. The foster care system is so poorly monitored and maintained that even agencies and individuals with a history of abuse are provided the right to care for children. Reports of abuse are virtually ignored by county social workers. The system’s desperation has created an approval process that is about as painless as getting approved for insurance.

Roughly 60,000 children end up in California’s foster care system because of abandonment, neglect or abuse. The majority will come to live with a relative, but those without such a luxury will end up in foster homes that are either privately owned or run by the state government. It is imperative that every Californian takes notice to what has resulted from privatization.

I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, nor do I wish to throw stones or unfairly criticize the government. The truth is, there are myriad hard working individuals devoted to the herculean task that is protecting our children and placing them in stable foster care environments. But from a personal standpoint, I feel that raising awareness is a critical first step toward imposing proper allocation of time, money and resources to fix this broken system. Simply being informed of the current state of foster care can completely alter one’s perspective.

Through volunteering with Covenant House California, a non-profit agency dedicated to helping at-risk homeless youth living on the streets, I’ve gained a newfound perspective on the realities of the foster care system through shared first-hand experiences. During Covenant House’s annual Sleep Out this past November, when local business leaders spent one night sleeping on the streets in solidarity with homeless youth, I had an opportunity to interact with several homeless kids, many of whom had lived in foster homes.

It's Time We Stopped Hiding Child Abuse

Each had an unfortunate and often tragic story of their foster care experience, and each turned to living on the streets as a preferred option to living in a foster home. It’s easy to read about the failing foster care system in the newspaper and feel bad. It’s also easy to write a blog proclaiming what is wrong with foster care. But it becomes personal when you experience first-hand accounts from individuals who have lived through it. That, for me, is why informing the public of the issues at hand is so important.

What is happening to our children is intolerable, and in order to enact change we must all work to call attention to the issue in the hope of garnering support for increased oversight, de-privatization, and a tested screening process that ensures children in need of homes find foster parents with the best of intentions. All children, particularly those in need, deserve nothing less.

// Sam Solakyan

Providence Saint Joseph’s Medical Center Recommended by Sam Solakyan

Providence Saint Joseph's Medical Center Building
The world we live in is divided on many fronts. We look at one another in terms of race, gender, income, beliefs and a million other distinctions that separate us, however, anyone, whether a billionaire, a busboy, or a beggar, can fall victim to illness or injury. We all rely on hospitals and the healthcare professionals that run them to handle our care when we or our loved ones are in need. Providence Saint Joseph’s Medical Center is an institution that strives to provide compassionate treatment to anyone who comes to them, no matter what their circumstances.

Saint Joseph’s has been serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys since 1943 and is now the second largest hospital in the area, known for its cutting edge technology and advanced diagnostics, as well as its commitment to integrity and compassion. Their 600 plus physicians make up over 50 specialties that run the spectrum of medical expertise from bariatric care to heart and vascular health, to cancer treatment and so much more. The Roy and Patricia Family Cancer Center at Saint Joseph’s offers a wide range of therapies and is the first cancer center created to focus on healing through human touch and interaction alongside the best in radiation and surgical oncology.

Always living by their motto, “Providence Cares,” Saint Joseph’s is also committed to reaching out to those in need. Their diverse programs ensure care to immigrants, the elderly, school children, the uninsured, and those suffering from mental illness. Their services range from tattoo removal to care for diabetic patient to free after school activities for children. In 2012 alone, Providence has given close to $167 million in services for the community, providing care to more than 250,000 people who could not otherwise afford it. Extending their scope farther from home, Providence coupled with Faith in Practice to embark on their very first international medical mission. Taking a volunteer group of doctors, nurses and other professionals in the clinical field to a small, impoverished village in Guatemala, the team performed over 60 surgeries. As human beings we all benefit from reaching out and taking care of one another. The incredible staff at Providence Saint Joseph’s lives and breathes this philosophy.

At some point in our lives, every one of us will be impacted by events that make it necessary for us to place our wellbeing or that of someone we love into the hands of medical professionals. By supporting them, we are supporting ourselves. If you would like to make a donation, Saint Joseph’s has a number of foundations that benefit different specialties and services. To read more about the work the People of Providence are doing, you can visit their blog.

// Sam Solakyan