September 25, 1960 - April 24, 2013
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Donna Lee Andrews, 52, President of Lee Andrews Group, Inc. (LA Group), a Los Angeles-based public affairs and environmental consulting firm, died Wednesday, April 24th due to complications of a heart condition.
Born in Titusville, Florida and raised in Oregon, Donna Andrews was a longtime resident of Long Beach, CA. She attended Garfield High School in Los Angeles, where she excelled as an athlete in various sports. Donna received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Philosophy from Scripps College and later earned a Master's degree in Public Policy and Politics from Claremont Graduate University.
Donna was a tireless advocate for strengthening community by creating opportunities for women, minorities and the disadvantaged. Keenly aware of the enormous impact that the environment has on the quality of life within communities, she used her expertise to assist with environmental mitigation measures, to guide land-use and development projects through the municipal approval process, and to educate and unify communities around environmental and coastal issues. This important work was the impetus for her establishing LA Group, while studying at the University of Southern California, School of Law.
Donna obtained her Juris Doctorate degree with an emphasis in Environmental Law and through LA Group she continued to devote her time and energy to the work that she loved. As a result, LA Group has been providing community outreach, government relations and environmental services to large scale public-private partnership projects for over 20 years throughout the State of California.
As a public servant, Donna also dedicated a number of years in various positions with local government agencies including the International City Management Association (ICMA) and the cities of Claremont, Pomona and Monterey Park. Her public ventures led to her involvement in political campaign management for many of local, state and federal campaigns. She was the first campaign manager for United States Senator Barbara Boxer.
Donna Andrews was affiliated with a host of community, civic and business endeavors, including serving as Board Vice President for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO-LA), Board Parliamentarian for the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce (GLAAACC), and former Board President of the City of Los Angeles South Area Planning Commission. She coordinated environmental justice and public participation activities in support of Environmental Impact Statement/Report (EIS/EIR), and served on the City of Los Angeles Mayor's Infrastructure Advisory Committee and the Coalition for Clean Air. Likewise, she had a profound interest in transportation projects throughout Southern California and served as a former Commissioner for the California High Speed Rail Authority for over 10 years.
Donna was an avid reader, devouring almost every book she could get her hands on, from Shakespeare to corporate leadership, with a particular regard of biographies. She also loved to travel. Every adventure, whether in a book or in another country, was an opportunity for Donna to learn more.
Moreover, she was never one to be put off by someone with a difference of opinion; rather she welcomed various perspectives. She was an innovative and dynamic leader with a brilliant capacity for complex issues. Forever humble, Donna delighted in competition yet was meek in victory. Her exuberant personality and her beautiful smile will be missed greatly.
Donna Andrews is survived by family and friends who loved her dearly.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Apr. 30, 2013