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Empowering Consumers and Inspiring Community: A Conversation With Clarence Bethea

Ty Anderson

For almost 50 years, Andcor has pioneered customized solutions in the recruitment industry. Along the way, we’ve developed an incredible network of leaders … and we continue to make lifelong connections each and every day.

We love sharing that sense of community and connection with others. Which is why we’re delighted to introduce Clarence Bethea.

Clarence is a business entrepreneur, consumer advocate, community leader, coach, mentor and father. Over the years, he has worked with businesses from startup to Fortune 500, deepening his knowledge of business and people along the way.

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Clarence played an integral part in the launch of several companies, including:

  • 43 Hoops, a premier basketball training academy
  • Gravelick, a local trucking startup that served clients such as Menards and Stockbuilders
  • 2nd Chance Staffing, which successfully bridged the gap between corporate America and low-risk offenders, rehabilitating lives and bringing jobs to thousands of people

 

Today, Clarence is making his mark on the warranty industry—an industry plagued by huge price markups, high-pressure sales techniques, and murky terms and conditions.

In 2015, Clarence realized his vision for a consumer-friendly, transparent, educational warranty model with Upsie (www.upsie.com). Upsie uses mobile technology, taking cues from brands like Lyft and Airbnb by cutting out middleman price jacks. Upsie reinvents and demystifies the warranty experience, helping consumers protect the products they love at warranty prices they can actually afford.

 

Since its launch, Upsie has caught the eye of CNBC, New England Cable News Network, The Chicago Tribune and Star Tribune. Upsie will soon expand into auto warranties, and Clarence has been praised by top CEOs for his consumer advocacy and innovative business planning.

 

Clarence lives in Minneapolis. with his wife Jenny and two kids, Addison and Austin. A college basketball player at his alma mater of Bemidji State University, Clarence still coaches local teams. He’s a committed mentor to young people seeking a career path in business and entrepreneurship.

 

We caught up with Clarence to ask him a few questions about his experience as an entrepreneur, and what fuels his passion for innovation (aside from butter pecan ice cream).

 

Andcor: What about your current business most inspires you? 

Clarence: I love that we have an opportunity to empower consumers. We help them affordably protect all the things they love, and take back that moment at the register.

 

Andcor: What important lesson did your last business teach you?

Clarence: I learned that in the startup world, name, titles, and money just don’t matter. Hard work trumps everything.

 

Andcor: You’ve hired and built some pretty strong teams. What two things do you look for when hiring people? 

Clarence: I look for a willingness to work hard. And I look for people who are willing to learn.

 

Andcor: How do you keep these people motivated and focused? 

Clarence: I keep people focused by creating a balanced environment. We work hard, and we play hard!

 

And now for the really hard-hitting questions:

Favorite summer activity? Just being outside with my family.

Last book you read? "The Innovation Blind Spot" by Ross Baird.

Favorite ice cream flavor? Butter pecan.

Morning person or night person? Morning person.

Describe yourself in 2 words? Intense learner.

Favorite TV channel? ESPN.

Sweet or salty snacks? Both!

Favorite professional sport to watch? Basketball.

Sneakers or sandals? Sneakers. 

Last movie you watched? “Aliens.”

We’d like to thank Clarence for sharing his thoughts and insights. At Andcor, we invest our time and energy into finding the best talent for high growth companies. Know someone we should sit down and chat with? Introduce us! Know someone looking for the best talent out there? We can’t wait to meet them.

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