Kevork Hovnanian

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Top ten homebuilder in USA. Born in 1924? Founder/Chairman of the Board/Director at Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. Red Bank, New Jersey. Director since 1967.


An Armenian who had developed a large road construction company in Iraq, Hovnanian was forced to flee the country in 1959 when the Baathist party overthrew the government.

When Hovnanian arrived in New Jersey he cobbled together family funds to restart his business with a $20,000 loan. He eventually started a home construction company with his three brothers (Hirair, Jirair, Vahak) committed to building affordable townhouses and condominiums for first-time buyers. His brothers eventually started their own businesses. He has served as Chairman of the Board since its original incorporation in 1967. He served as Chief Executive Officer from 1967 through July 1997.

In 1983, Hovnanian was ready to take his fledgling company public. That’s when Mike and Drexel Burnham Lambert underwrote the company’s initial public offering. In ensuing years, Drexel issued subordinated notes, commerical paper and common stock that put Hovnanian on the road to becoming one of America’s largest home builders.

Under the leadership of Kevork and his son, Ara, Hovnanian Enterprises has expanded its portfolio to include single-family homes ranging from $70,000 to nearly $1 million. The company builds has extended its original Northeast market to include California, Washington, D.C., North and South Carolina, Texas and Florida. Over the past 40 years, Hovnanian Enterprises has helped hundreds of thousands of families enjoy new homes, and currently employs nearly 3,500 people.


K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital

Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)

January 23, 2006


Kevork Hovnanian, chairman of the Armenian Church Endowment Fund (ACEF) and the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR), recently made a significant donation to the Jersey Shore University medical Center to benefit the institution's children's hospital, now renamed the K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital.

Hovnanian and his wife Sirvart were honored at the hospital on January 6, 2006. Their gift was the largest the hospital has received in its 101-year history.

Hovnanian is also the founder of Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc., one of the nation's largest homebuilders.

"Although we are a nationwide company, our roots and our hearts remain here in Monmouth and Ocean counties, where our business first began, and where we make our home," Kevork Hovnanian said. "We are extremely proud and pleased to be part of such an important and meaningful endeavor -- one which will continue to benefit children today, tomorrow and for many years to come."

Along with their gift to the hospital in Neptune, NJ, the Hovnanians are continuous supporters of the Armenian Church, the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), and the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR), the Diocesan-affiliated international development organization.

"The Hovnanians know that success brings responsibilities," said Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese and president of FAR and ACEF. "And they have never turned away from their responsibility to use the fortune God has granted to them to help others. Whether it is helping homeless children in Armenia, supporting the programs that bring the Armenian faith alive in our parishes, or making donations to vital projects for the community-at-large, the Hovnanians never hesitate to help others."

The K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital is the first state-designated children's hospital in New Jersey's Monmouth and Ocean counties. It offers a full spectrum of pediatric specialties to the area, including a child-centered trauma unit.

Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. was created in 1959. The company, headquartered in Red Bank, NJ, is one of the nation's largest homebuilders with operations in California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Arizona, Delaware, Ohio, West Virginia, Florida, Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan.

-- 1/23/06

E-mail photos available on request. Photos also viewable in the News and Events section of the Eastern Diocese's website,

PHOTO CAPTION (1): Kevork Hovnanian.


  • 1999 - Mr. Hovnanian joined Thomas Edison and George Gallup, among others, on the list of the "25 Top New Jersey Business Leaders of the Century."
  • 1999 - The New Jersey Council of Christians and Jews named him Man of the Year and, in recognition of his assistance to earthquake victims in Armenia, the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America named him Man of the Year.
  • 1997 - K. Hovnanian Companies was named the only national winner of the prestigious, merit-based National Housing Quality Award by the National Association of Homebuilders.
  • 1996 - the New Jersey Institute of Technology award for "Distinguished Achievement to an Outstanding Entrepreneur".
  • 1992 - granted one of five nationwide Harvard Dively Awards for Leadership in Corporate Public Initiatives.