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OC Power Women: 5 Questions With Allen Matkins Partner Pam Andes

This limited series profiles Orange County Power Women who have helped shape SoCal cities, neighborhoods, businesses and lifestyles. These women will be honored at Bisnow's Orange County Power Women event Aug. 21 in Irvine.

Of all of her accomplishments in her 30-year career, Pam Andes says her biggest are mentoring and setting a great example for young attorneys.

Andes is a partner at Allen Matkins' Orange County office. Andes is the firm's environmental and real estate lawyer, working with developers who have projects on challenged environmental sites. 

One of her most notable projects is Zelman Development Co.'s Burbank Empire Center, a 1.4M SF mixed-use center in Burbank. The site is the former Lockheed Martin Corp.'s former Skunk Works facility, where the aerospace and defense company developed top-secret fighter jets.

Andes worked to solve some of the environmental issues Zelman faced with remediating the development.

Andes says her long-standing career has been fulfilling, but she gets the most joy helping young attorneys have a successful career.

"I put a great deal of emphasis on client service and making sure that I am always available and exceeding my clients' expectations," Andes said. "Passing down that knowledge and commitment is another important part of being a mentor and role model."

Bisnow: How do you describe your job to people who are not in the industry? 

Andes: I work with developers and owners to bring world-class developments to properties with soil, soil vapor and groundwater contamination. This includes evaluating risk, finance ability and insurability of the project, impediments to leasing and the endgame for exiting the asset. Having worked on all sides of real estate deals involving environmentally challenged properties, from acquisition due diligence to the ultimate sale of the leased asset, I consider the entire life cycle of development when looking at an acquisition or project plan. One of the greatest aspects of my job is the ability to build relationships with people from all facets of the industry.

Allen Matkins Environmental and Real Estate lawyer Pam Andes

Bisnow: What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career and how did you achieve it? 

Andes: I have the opportunity to mentor young attorneys and help them develop a successful career. As a mother of two who worked while raising my family, I have experience to share with other working parents. As an attorney, there are many specialties you can develop and finding an area you love is critical to staying passionate about your job for decades. 

Bisnow: How have you seen companies change the way they address wage and gender inequality in recent years? 

Andes: I am very fortunate to work with very successful women in many different companies. I have not had any firsthand experience with this type of inequality.

Bisnow: What piece of advice do you give others entering the industry? 

Andes: It takes years to establish your reputation and only minutes to lose it. The real estate community is a small world and over the course of your career, you will do deals with many of the same people. You should always keep that at the forefront when dealing with others. Character counts!

Bisnow: What do you do to unwind when you’re not working? 

Andes: My greatest joy comes from spending time with my husband of 33 years, Jerry, and our two daughters, Taylor and Hailey. We had Taylor’s wedding in May 2018 and Hailey’s is in June 2020 so we’ve had fun planning both.We are also enjoying our new son-in-law and son-in-law to be.  I enjoy baking, cooking, reading, being outside, and entertaining family and friends. As chair of the Allen Matkins Community Outreach Committee, I also spend time with my colleagues volunteering for various organizations and giving back to the community.

Meet Allen Matkins Environmental and Real Estate lawyer Pam Andes at Bisnow's Orange County Power Women event Aug. 21 at the Irvine Marriott.