Shahrzad Ardalan is a multi-talented entrepreneur, radio and television host, philanthropist, former President of the Coalition of Iranian Entrepreneurs (CIE) and a former President of the Rancho Park Rotary Club. She is a member of several charitable organizations and is the recipient of numerous awards. She has served as membership chair for the International Society for Children with Cancer (ISCC) as well as serving on the advisory board for Pars Equality Center. She is a board member of the Iranian American Parents Association (IPA) and a member of (IAW) Iranian American Women Foundation.
I had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely Sharhzad Ardalan recently:
When did you move to the United States?
I left Iran in 1973 and moved to England. I moved to France in 1978 and lived in Paris until 1984 when I briefly lived in New York and then to moved to Los Angeles, California.
What is your education and background?
I attended Bazargani high school in Iran. I have a Business Management degree from Bournemouth College of Technology in England as well as a degree in International Business Administration from The American College in Paris. I recently went back to school – at the age of 56 (two years ago) – and got my Real Estate license.
What led you to broadcast journalism?
I have always been involved in social work. But working with media – it all started when Dr. Farhang Holakouie invited on his television show and asked me to be the host. I conducted interviews and had three morning shows with him: (Maa va Farzandaan, Kistam man and Khaanevadeh Emrooz).
Tell us about your radio shows. I was a big fan of your “Life is Beautiful” show and I love your voice.
Thank you. I began my radio career in 2000 and had a daily show on weekdays (10 a.m. to 12 noon) for twelve years called “Zendegi Zibaast” (Life is Beautiful). I also conducted interviews in the afternoon. About two years ago I was given a choice – the morning show or the afternoon programs and even though I chose “Zendegi Zibast” I was given the infomercials. So I decided to create a plan B. While handling three different jobs, I went back to school and succeeded in getting my Real Estate license. I reduced my working hours at the radio and focused my new career. The new management at the radio station offered me a new show on Thursday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. It’s called “Roozegar- e- Maa.”
You officiate at weddings as well in three languages and include poetry during the ceremonies.
I’ve been a Wedding Officient since 2005 and I have officiated about 220 non-religious, non-denominational wedding ceremonies and have enjoyed every single one of them.
How do you manage your time between your busy career and family?
My son Amir, is the fuel in my old engine and my husband, Bahram Afshar, is my great support with a wonderful sense of humor. I love and enjoy my jobs; I was unhappy when my show was taken away, but things have worked out for the best and once again I learned that everything happens for a reason!
What message do you have for the young generation of Iranian Americans especially to those pursuing a career in broadcast journalism?
I don’t consider myself a broadcast journalist. I just tell stories. I choose my story with an inspiring, meaningful message, hoping to add beauty to the life of my audience. My message to the younger generation is to get to know the story of your parents and grandparents – their story of emigration, the challenges, the struggle and hard work and the ups and downs. Learning about their experiences will enrich your life.
Visit Shahrzad at http://www.shahrzadardalan.com