Armenia has its first honorary consul in the U.S., but the location may surprise you: Fresno, CA. Up till this point the sizable Armenian community has had to travel to the (career) consulate in Los Angeles for the usual citizen services like renewal of passports, etc.
Although there’s been no study done on why foreign nations tap into willing, local people to serve as their honorary consuls there seems to be a growing reliance on them. One reason is pure economics. Honorary consuls are not on the payroll of the countries they represent, although some get reimbursed for expenses.
Another reason is the benefits of tapping into an already existing business or cultural network that comes with using honorary, as opposed to the more transient career, consuls. In the case of Armenia, the new honorary consul, Berj Apkarian, is executive director of physicians relations at a medical center. His immediate goal is to host an education conference in Armenia for physicians and dentists from the U.S.