Andrea Pampanini, a proud Armenian by choice

Andrea Pampanini.
Andrea Pampanini.

New York – Andrea Pampanini lost his long fight with heart disease on July 5 in New York. Services were held at St. Illuminators Armenian Cathedral in New York with burial at Cedar Grove Cemetary. Surviving him are his wife Annie (nee Sandrik), daughter Taline, son-in-law Mark Batsyan,and several relatives around the world.

Born in Europe of an Italian father and English mother, Andrea was both an international personality as well as a proud Armenian by choice. He was educated at England’s Cambridge University studying physics and other sciences, and then at the Harvard University Business School.

A roommate at Harvard remembers, “When I checked into my room, Andrea was already there and scooped me up and said, ‘We are going to Revere Beach. By the time the afternoon excursion was over we had bonded, something that was easy to do with this jovial character with the wide grin and quick wit.” And this is how many who knew Andrea remember him – a charming personality who could uniquely and warmly interact with people of all cultures, and backgrounds.

Fluent in several languages, and with an uncanny understanding of world affairs, he joined the International Basic Economic Corporation with David Lilienthal and Rodman Rockefeller as a consultant, and plunged into the world of public works, especially in the Middle East.

His consulting expertise was sought by Booz Allen Hamilton where as a partner he opened offices in several countries, including a special program for the Saudi Royal family where he oversaw the work of the international construction giant, the Bechtel Corporation. He led this project which involved the building of the two large industrial cities of Yanbu and Jubail, centers of petroleum refining.

His success here led to many consulting assignments with high ranking members of the Saudi hierarchy. Concerned with the issue of water resources in Saudi Arabia, he worked on this problem in the last several years, and authored seven books on this and other challenges there. During this period, Andrea also created his own successful consulting firm, Turnaround Associates which had clients in New York, Europe and Iran.

Though thoroughly ensconced in his business, he was equally involved in Armenian projects with his devoted wife Annie, an MA and MEd graduate of Columbia University. He was with her while she worked on the Board of the Armenian Assembly of America, and as a National Committee of America member, then as the Executive Director of the Armenia Fund helping Armenia recover after the earthquake. A risk taker, he went to Armenia alone during the very difficult time where there were no lights and no fuel, doing what he could do to help.

When the National Philharmonic Orchestra was created after Armenia’s independence, both Annie and Andrea worked as Board members raising funds and awareness for this endeavor, even buying instruments for the musicians. His love of music and culture also led him to serve on committees to increase interest in music in New York City’s public schools.

He also went to Karabagh three times. Understanding the desperate need in Karabagh for agricultural advancements and animal husbandry, he brought American and Italian members of his team from the International Basic Economic Group IBEC and reorganized the agricultural system with sponsorship from The Armenia Fund. He also generously brought his business skills to the St. Illuminator Armenian Cathedral.

A charismatic and dedicated personality who lit up a room the minute he entered, he will be deeply missed by his family, and his many friends and business associates around the world.

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