My Forest Ambassadors
Dr. Gevorg Machanyan

Gevorg Machanyan has been the CEO of ARMSWISSBANK since its foundation. He has more than forty years of work experience in the banking system, twenty of which he held managerial positions in the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia. During those years, the bank processing and financial infrastructure systems of Armenia were created and implemented under his initiative and leadership. Born in Etchmiadzin, he graduated from Yerevan State Institute of Economics and holds a Ph.D. in Economics.

Tree planting is Gevorg’s favorite pastime; he has planted thousands of trees. Not surprisingly, environmental protection programs are also of special importance at ARMSWISSBANK. Gevorg is the initiator of planting 50 ha of new forest or 160,000 trees for the 30th anniversary of the Armenian dram in 2023 by the Central Bank of Armenia, the Union of Armenian Banks, and all 18 commercial banks with My Forest Armenia.

Gevorg is concerned about the increase in carbon emissions and considers the implementation of large-scale reforestation a vital necessity.

Daniel De Belder

Daniel De Belder, a Belgian entrepreneur and botanist is passionate about dendrology. A graduate from the University of Birmingham, he holds a major in Plant Physiognomy and Genetics. His parents, Robert De Belder and Jelena Kovacic are renowned botanist, authors of many scientific books. Robert De Belder founded the International Dendrology Society in 1952. Daniel is the co-founder of the Arboretum in Kalmthout, Belgium.

Daniel is concerned about global warming and is keen to see reforestation activities increase in the world while making sure to conserve biodiversity to ensure the balance of our fragile ecosystems.

John Stafford

John Stafford is a US financier and entrepreneur, living in London. A graduate from Harvard University, he is committed to philanthropy. After a career in investment banking, John founded in 2008 a solar panel company in the US installing large-scale solar projects with a novel financing model. To this day, he has installed more than 2.3 MW of renewable energy.

John and his family are concerned about global warming. In our western societies, our lifestyles and particularly flying contributes a lot to our carbon emissions. Planting trees is the only available tool we have today to offset our carbon emissions.

Dr. Gary Assarian

Dr. Gary Assarian is a practicing pathologist, and lives in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Biology, and completed independent work in cellular botany and cellular mycology. In addition, he holds a medical degree and is certified in anatomic and clinical pathology. He is a medical entrepreneur and philanthropist focusing on Armenian related projects. He and his wife have supported a number of projects and organizations which address the economic and social development of the Armenian people, both in the US and Armenia.

My Forest Armenia offers a means to support Armenia’s efforts to adopt plans to responsibly manage its natural ecosystem. This project will help Armenia fulfill its obligations agreed upon in the adoption of the Paris Climate Accord of 2015. The ecosystem approach to reduce greenhouse gases will ensure a healthy and stable environment. This will help Armenia prosper as a nation and global citizen. Also, in My Forest Armenia he found an opportunity to support the economic development of rural Armenia through local job training and meaningful employment.

Andrés Tahta

Andrés Tahta is an Argentine-Armenian professional with a career in telecoms and government. A graduate from Dartmouth College and MBA from Harvard Business School he is very concerned about the environment.

Andrés has always been passionate about trees. Maintaining and expanding forests are crucial to sustain life on our planet. He is happy to join and support the work that My Forest Armenia is doing.

Chahé and Eguiz Kirokian

Chahé and Eguiz Kirokian are from Mexico. They are very enthusiastic about the reforestation project of My Forest Armenia. Chahé and Eguiz realise that Armenia has lost a lot of forests in the last centuries. They both believe that it is our duty to restore forests as much as possible for future generations.

Jacques Claes

Jacques Claes, is a Belgian entrepreneur who retired after a long international career.

In the early 90’s, when visiting Armenia on a business trip Jacques was confronted with the immense deforestation the country suffered.

Jacques enthusiastically supports the sustainable forest management by My Forest Armenia after personally having witnessed the loss of such vulnerable and vital natural resources.

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