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Announcing the Candidates for the Upcoming TACA Board Elections

Dear TACA Members,

We are pleased to announce the candidates for the upcoming Board of Directors elections that will be held during the General Assembly on Sunday, December 10, 2017.


Orhangazi Ilgaz Ülger (President): Mr. Orhangazi Ilgaz Ülger is the current President of TACA and he is running for re-election. Mr. Ülger has been in the Chicago region since 1993. He has completed his graduate degree in Civil Engineering and has been working in the same field since. Mr. Ülger’s involvement with TACA started in early 2000s. He was involved in the organization of April 23rd celebration events in Naperville until 2012. He actively served at the TACA board from 2006 through 2009. Mr. Ülger also served in the organization committee for the Turkish Festival and also Co-Chaired the event.

Hakan Akgün (Vice President): Mr. Hakan Akgün is the current Vice President of TACA and he is running for re-election. He lived in Chicago for over 18 years since 1989 when he first came to the US as an exchange student and a trainee. Mr. Akgün is a hospitality executive with leadership experience in design & construction, engineering operations and sustainability for a global hotel management company. He is a graduate of Istanbul Technical University with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and he also holds an Executive MBA degree from Bogazici University. He served in TACA Board during 2010-2011 term as the Director responsible for Ataturk School.

Kaya Armağan (Treasurer): Mr. Kaya Armağan is the current Treasurer of TACA and he is running for re-election. Mr. Armağan is a Turkish-American business owner, and he is the owner of Flash Limousine. He has been a strong supporter of TACA for many years. He served in the Board of Directors of past administrations, and he has been the leading force behind many cultural and musical activities that TACA organized in recent years. Mr. Armağan is also a CPA registered in Turkey.

Dr. Özlem Yardımcı (Secretary): Dr. Özlem Yardımcı is currently a Director in TACA’s board and she is running for Secretary. Dr. Yardımcı is a mechanical engineer with a PhD degree. She has been living in the United States since 1993. After graduating from Middle East Technical University – Mechanical Engineering Department with MS degree, she moved to Chicago to complete her PhD studies at University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been employed by medical device and industrial gas companies since her graduation. She published numerous articles, one book and five patents. She lives in Lake Forest with her husband Dr. Atıf Yardımcı and their children Su (17) and Efe (12). She has been volunteering at TACA Ataturk School in recent years in various roles such as Turkish history/culture teacher and Parent-Teacher Organization president.


Gülçin Cengiz-Jadron: Gülçin Cengiz-Jadron is serving in the current Board as a Director responsible for Atatürk School and she is running for re-election. Ms. Cengiz-Jadron was born and raised in Adana and holds a Business Degree from the University of South Florida. She is employed by HSBC where she has held many leadership roles over a span of 16 years. She was relocated from Tampa/St Pete, Florida area to Chicago by her company in 2008 and currently she is managing Information Management team with HSBC. Her involvement with TACA started with the enrollment of her two daughters, Ada & Leyna, to the Atatürk Elementary School of TACA and ever since she has been engaged with the organization’s key events, such as Turkish Festival and 23 April Children’s Day event.

Melih Çam: Melih Çam is currently a Director in TACA’s board co-leading the educational efforts including the oversight of Atatürk School. Mr. Çam was born and raised in Turkey, and has been residing in the Chicago area for more than 20 years. He has a BS in electrical engineering from Gazi University, Ankara, and an MS in electrical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. After earning his MS degree, he worked as an electrical hardware design engineer in fiber optics communication and cable TV fields in Chicagoland. During this time, he also completed his MBA at DePaul University, Chicago. He currently works at an electronic design automation company as a Senior Systems Application Engineer.

Mr. Çam has been committed to serving the Turkish-American Community in various capacities. He has been a TACA member for many years and has been involved in many TACA events. He was one of the members of the first Chicago Turkish Festival organizing committee. He is also a proud alumnus of TACA Ataturk School’s elite group of volunteer teachers. In addition to volunteer teaching at Ataturk School, he served as a math tutor at TACA to help prepare students for SAT/ACT’s.
He is also a board member of Turkish American Association for Cultural Exchange (TAACE) for more than 15 years. As a board member of TAACE, he was involved in organizing many TAACE activities and participating in events to promote Turkish culture here in USA; among them are the Chicago Turkish Festival, Skokie Festival of Cultures and Turkish Heritage Day at University of Chicago.

Hikmet Teniş: Hikmet Teniş is serving in the current Board as a Director responsible for TACA’s information technology platforms and he is running for re-election. Mr. Teniş is an expert consultant in SAP applications and he is currently working for NTT-Data.

Tuncer Ertoklar: Tuncer Ertoklar was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. He has been living in the U.S since 2004. He has a graduate degree in Economics (Istanbul University) and Business Administration (Bogazici University). His involvement with TACA started as a teacher at TACA Ataturk School and volunteering at Chicago Turkish Festival. Currently he is working as a Sales Manager for a manufacturer operating in industrial packaging.
Vildan Görener: Vildan Gorener was born in Kayseri in 1974 and raised in Adapazari, Turkey. She has a BS in Landscape Architecture, AA in Interior Design and Decoration from Istanbul University. She has
moved to New York in 2000 and has been living in Naperville since 2007 with her husband Rifat and daughter Neris (12). In New York, she has worked as a freelance designer. In 2010 she went back to school and earned a BS in Biology from Roosevelt University (2013) and MSc in Plant Science and Conservation from Northwestern University and Chicago Botanic Garden (2017). She has been involved in rainforest tree species research in Tanzania and The Field Museum. She is a member of IUCN/SSC Global Tree Specialist Group and Red List Assessor. She has helped to organize April 23rd International Children’s Day celebrations in Naperville since 2009. She also sponsored a classroom renovation for Ataturk School in the name of her-father- in-law Necati Gorener.
We look forward to seeing you all next Sunday and electing the next administration that will help shape the future of our TACA.

Koray Kuşcu:

Taylan Orhon:

Canan Fairhurst: Canan Fairhurst is from Trabzon, Turkey. Canan moved to United Kingdom at the age of 17 to earn a degree and study English.  She holds a Managing Business Operations degree from Manchester University and a Degree in Business and Management from Northampton University in England. She moved to Chicago in November 2015 to support her husband’s career. Before moving she was working as Resourcing Coordinator for McDonald’s Head Office in UK. She has worked for McDonalds 10 years starting as a General Manager and moved up to Training Officer. She lives in Naperville with her husband David and two boys Emre ( 4) Ozan (1).

Yours sincerely,
TACA Board of Directors
What: General Assembly and Board Elections
When: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 12:00 pm
Where: 3845 N. Harlem Ave, Chicago IL, 60634

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