Association for Corporate Growth Los Angeles Board Member Spotlight: Andrew ApfelbergMay 1, 2020 – Media Mention
Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) - Los Angeles Chapter featured Partner Andrew Apfelberg in their "Board Member Spotlight" in their Middle Market Minute e-newsletter.
How has the current environment impacted your business?
The current environment has slowed the progress of deals but has sped up my "outside general counsel work." Times like these tend to make people and businesses focus more inward. As a result, they find areas they want to button-down or improve. Of course, there is no lack of work helping to navigate this COVID-19 landscape. Many clients are taking active steps to identify potential acquisition targets that might be struggling right now. Others are giving themselves a "tune up" to prepare themselves to be sold when the economy recovers. One common denominator is that everyone is more introspective and strategic; rather than just running fast and focusing solely on day-to-day operations. Luckily, my father was a bankruptcy attorney and I was the law clerk to the chief bankruptcy judge when I first graduated law school so I have also been able to contribute to the distressed M&A work that is keeping our firm busy. Finally, I am mindful of efforts to support local businesses and, along those lines, I am being very intentional with the referrals I have been able to make to give them to members of the ACG LA community. We are just as much of a local business as a favorite restaurant down the street. Only by working together will we pull our community out of the current situation.
Tell us how you are handling WFH (kids, pets, spouse/partner, more/less productive, hobbies, etc.)?
I feel deep sadness for the devastating impact this has had on so many people's physical, financial and mental health. I am doing everything I can to help the community. For instance, through the 501(c)(3) that I co-founded 18 months ago, Change 4 Children's Foundation (www.change4childrens.org), I have been able to procure and donate a significant amount of dollars and N95 masks to local hospitals and encourage clients to donate their products when they can be helpful (such as hand sanitizer or antibacterial soap). It feels strange to say this but there are also parts of this experience that I really like. I have been spending way more time with my wife and kids. I take my dog on more walks. For a creative outlet, I am cooking dinner every night and grilling/smoking on the weekends. I have connected with family and friends (via Zoom) way more during this period than I was before. All of that said, I am eager for all of us to return to whatever is our new "normal" and start the recovery.
As you look forward, what makes you feel optimistic?
What makes me the most optimistic is seeing how people are making much more effort than before to lend a hand or reach out to one another. Sometimes it is something small like saying "hello" when walking past someone. Other times, it is allowing a friend or colleague to vent and share their frustration or despair over what is going on. Many times, though, it has been action such as deliberately getting take out from a local restaurant, continuing to pay people who help around the house or your family even though they aren't coming to work, getting food for elderly relatives or donating to relief efforts. To me, that shows the best of our humanity. It is reassuring to know that this is the inherent value system that most of us have. We now have an opportunity to continue that going forward and to make different (or better) decisions when we are on the other side of this. We all have a chance to create the lives we want to lead. Maybe it just took this experience to make us consider what we want that to look like.
About Andrew Apfelberg, Partner, Greenberg Glusker LLP
Andrew Apfelberg is a corporate and finance attorney for middle-market companies throughout the United States. Often acting as their outside general counsel, Andrew provides advice on a business' significant transactions whether it's a merger or acquisition, private equity or other financing, joint venture or licensing deal. He has a considerable depth of experience in the branded consumer products, manufacturing & distribution, new media and technology industries.
Andrew is a recognized leader having served on the law firm's management committee as well as leading non-profits including Los Angeles-based Change 4 Children's Foundation which he co-founded. He is the former President of Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Los Angeles chapter and currently holds a variety of leadership positions in the global ACG organization including serving as a member of its board of directors and executive committee as well as the organization's Secretary. He co-chairs ACG Los Angeles' annual business conference.