After graduating from Furman University with an accounting degree, Andy began his career as an employee for Price Waterhouse and obtained his CPA certificate. While he enjoyed accounting, and still enjoys it to this day, he quickly discovered that he had (and still has) the entrepreneurial bug. In his words, “I quickly realized that I understood the importance of accounting, data-driven decisions and financial forecasting, but I was even more passionate about impacting future business decisions and actively shaping ongoing business processes.”
He left Price Waterhouse to work as the controller for one of his clients. Andy became interested in programming and software development in high school, and he soon found himself actively using his seven-plus years of self-taught programming skills to expand upon and build new software systems for his employer.
In 1989, he left public accounting entirely and, as part of a larger ownership team, launched his first company, Turn-Key Integration, which provided manufacturing automation and electrical engineering solutions. During his time as co-owner at Turn-Key Integration, Andy thrived on the challenge of creating technology to help his clients automate their business processes.
Since 1999, Andy has served as the President and CEO of Kopis (formerly ProActive Technology) and, together with his team, has successfully delivered solutions for firms from startups to Fortune 500 companies. In 2003, he founded Vigilix, the leading provider of remote monitoring and management solutions for the retail and hospitality industry, a business he continues to own and run today.
When he first started Kopis, Andy played a large operational role himself, but he has since transitioned out of the development side to focus on management and leadership. While he misses development, he feels most passionate about how to solve the problem and gets great satisfaction out of working with his talented team to deliver simple solutions for complicated problems.
Under his leadership, Kopis has successfully navigated major changes in the tech industry, including the shift to Internet-based, data-driven business operations. Many businesses feel overwhelmed, even paralyzed, by the sheer volume of data now available, but Andy firmly believes that, with the right system, data can be your company’s best friend, a help rather than a hindrance.
When he’s not at work, Andy can be found traveling with his wife, Heidi, and his two daughters, indulging his love of the live jam band scene at a Phish or any form of Dead show, playing ice hockey, or backpacking and cycling through the beautiful Carolina foothills. His love of sports also permeates his goal-driven, project-based office culture. He thinks that the most talented people will rise to the top in a challenging environment that focuses on efficiency, giving employees constraints such as deadlines, end goals, and budget, and then allowing a lot of flexibility within those constraints.
Currently, Andy gives back to the Greenville, SC community through his involvement with the NEXT initiative, which seeks to expand the tech industry and support entrepreneurism in the Upstate. He was one of the original founding CEOs of NEXT, he served as NEXT’s second chairman and on the NEXT Innovation Center advisory group and today he serves on the NEXT Board. Andy also recently founded Kopis Cares, an organization that gives charitable grants to local and regional organizations whose missions are rooted in education, entrepreneurship, and economic development. The first Kopis Cares grant was awarded to NEXT High School.