Carl Terzian on the Value of Relationships and Service

For the past 46 years, Carl Terzian has served as the head of Carl Terzian Associates, a highly-regarded PR firm based in Los Angeles servicing business throughout the country. A well-known figure in the Los Angeles business community, Carl orchestrates more than 800 networking events yearly, and places nearly 500 corporate and philanthropic board members annually. His is one of the largest PR firms in America in the number of nonprofits served. 

Carl himself serves on more than three dozen corporate and nonprofit boards, commissions, advisory groups, and task forces. A president of the Los Angeles Fire Commission under the late Mayor Tom Bradley, over the years Carl has generously helped countless philanthropies by recommending board members and volunteers, influencing contributions, and generating public awareness.

Carl has been recognized for civic, philanthropic and professional leadership by Congress, Her Majesty the Queen of England, California Assembly and Senate, City and County of Los Angeles, USC, Boy Scouts, California Junior Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Business Council, Arthritis Foundation, United Way, California Lutheran University, Theta Chi Fraternity, Woodbury University, Eisner Pediatric & Family Medical Center, Break the Cycle, Center for Healthy Aging, Dubnoff Center, Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, and the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.

Today, Carl joins the show to reflect on his own life and career, the value of service to others, and the importance of networking and creating meaningful relationships. He discusses leadership, philanthropy, and supporting the nonprofit community. He demonstrates that a person's career is more than just a resume or a business card, it is a reflection of their values and belief system. Carl is truly an embodiment of the phrase "doing well by doing good."


In this interview, we discuss:

  1. How Carl Terzian Associates grew completely through referrals and word of mouth. (3:00)
  2. The 'front and back of the business card,' and the significance of that thinking. (7:30)
  3. The unique networking model that he uses, and how it came about. (12:45) 
  4. The importance of integrating philanthropy and community service into his work. (16:45)
  5. How young professionals can become more involved and find meaning in their work.  (35:00)
  6. A reflection of 46 years in business, growing a PR firm, working in service of others. (38:00) 


“If you take business cards and give them tender loving care, you will get results.”

“If nonprofits are going to survive, they need to be marketed and managed like a business. Those that don’t do that are going to fail.”


  1. More information on the Carl Terzian Associates Blog.
  2. LA Times article profiling Carl Terzian. 
  3. Another Article celebrating his 45 years in business. 
  4. Another article profiling Carl and his networking events. 
  5. Carl helped found Cal Lutheran University in California. 


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