Andy Halpern turned a crisis into an opportunity after he parted ways with his corporate job due to COVID-19. As the world struggles with the tradeoff between economic pain and public health consequences, Andy saw an opportunity to help out.
Leveraging his Big 4 background, Andy has become a successful, first-time entrepreneur. He co-founded the C19 Certification, which helps companies safely get back to work. The C19 Certification is awarded to employees who have undergone training to ensure they’re up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 risks and protocols.
We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Andy (virtually of course) to learn more.
Tell us about yourself
I’m a native Atlantan born and bred who recently transplanted out to the west coast. Former Big-4 CPA turned co-founder of the C19 Certification.
Nice! So what do we need to know about the C19 Certification?
Happily. Developed with leading medical and legal professionals, C19 Certified provides businesses and customers with the assurance that the workforce is trained and tested in the latest COVID-19 risks and protocols. With all the fear and uncertainty that we have been reading regarding businesses reopening, C19 Certified is designed as a means for businesses to restore employee and customer confidence. The C19 Certification process includes:
- An interactive online education program
- An assessment
- The C19 Certified pledge that asks employees to certify their understanding of the risks posed by COVID-19 and to pledge their commitment to adhere to the C19 Certified recommendations to the best of their abilities
We then help companies broadcast the steps they’ve taken to prepare their workplace for the new normal.
What inspired you to create this?
It all started with a ton of brainstorming with my business partner, Adam Engelhard, around the fundamental idea – how can we help people get back to work as quickly and as safely as possible? Ultimately, we realized that until vaccines and testing were readily available, education was a critical tool that had to be emphasized. We were extremely fortunate to connect with Dr. Paul Scheinberg, former Chief Medical Officer of former Chief Medical Officer and Chief Quality Officer at St. Joseph’s Hospital of Atlanta, and David Cooper, J.D. and Partner at KKG in Atlanta, Georgia and developed a program geared to getting employees back to work with the knowledge they needed in the new normal.
How did your past work experience in public accounting help you with this new venture?
Just like in public accounting, working in a fast-paced environment and bringing a problem-solving mindset were critical skills required in developing this venture.
How has freelance consulting enabled you to explore this venture?
The time I’m afforded as a result of freelance consulting is absolutely essential. It also didn’t hurt being stuck in our homes like the rest of the world with a whole of time to think.
Which types of organizations do you think could most benefit from this certification?
Any business trying to restore employee or customer confidence needs to get the C19 Certification. So basically everybody. It’s an easy way to make sure your workforce knows what to do and a great way to broadcast the steps companies have taken to address the COVID-19 environment.
Once all of this passes, what is the one hobby or activity you miss the most and are looking forward to resuming again?
I’m a pretty avid basketball fan so I have some big hoop dreams to live out after we find our way through this.