It is with great sorrow that the Armenian EyeCare Project announces the recent passing of Leslie Newquist, our organization’s longtime Executive Director and dear friend. Leslie passed on after succumbing to a brief and unexpected illness and short stay in the hospital. She was 72.
Leslie joined the Armenian EyeCare Project as Executive Director in 2002 and was instrumental to its success for the past 17 years. Responsible for overseeing the organization’s administration, fund development, marketing and program structure, Leslie was extraordinarily dedicated to her work despite not being of Armenian descent. She aided in the incorporation of the Armenian EyeCare Project as a California Nonprofit 501(c)(3) Corporation and was crucial in the fund development for our many sight-saving programs in Armenia, including the Mobile Eye Hospital; Center of Excellence for the Prevention of Childhood Blindness; Regional Eye Clinics; Cornea Transplant Program and much more.
Leslie held a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from the University of Southern California, where she graduated with Honors and was one of the few female students in her class. She was also a Dean’s Scholar and member of the academic honor society, Betta Gamma Sigma.
Throughout her professional career, Leslie has had broad experience in both the public and private sectors and has been involved with all aspects of professional organizations, including management, organizational design and staffing, writing and research along with board, staff and volunteer training. She has also been the recipient of a number of awards for her volunteer and nonprofit work including The Outstanding Graduate Student Award at USC’s Marshall School of Business.
Leslie will be sorely missed by her surviving family members; two dogs; and her close colleagues and friends at the Armenian EyeCare Project both in the U.S. and Armenia who are forever indebted to her and her extreme commitment to this humanitarian cause. May she rest in peace.