Apple Growth Partners

Apple Growth Partners Wins Two Workplace Awards for the 3rd Consecutive Year

AKRON, Ohio – (June 28, 2021) – Apple Growth Partners (AGP), award-winning accounting and business advisory firm, has been named one of the Best Employers in Ohio by Crain’s Cleveland Business and a Top Workplace by The Plain Dealer, each for the third consecutive year.

The Best Employers in Ohio is a survey and awards program dedicated to identifying and recognizing the area’s best employers and providing organizations with valuable employee feedback. The statewide survey and awards program are designed to identify, recognize, and honor the best places of employment in Ohio, benefiting the state’s economy, its workforce, and businesses. Companies must meet multiple criteria to be considered for participation.

The Top Workplaces list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage, LLC. The anonymous survey uniquely measures 15 drivers of engaged cultures that are critical to the success of any organization: including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few.

“Receiving these honors, both for the 3rd straight year, is truly a testament to our firm’s culture adapting to multiple changes over the past 15 months,” comments Chuck Mullen, chairman. “Our 2020 recognitions were announced before transitioning our firm to a remote workforce in response to the pandemic. The 2021 honors reflect the success of our virtual environment and our commitment to keeping our employees and clients safe.”

In March 2020, AGP proactively transitioned all employees to a remote setting and changed all client meetings to video calls. Towards the end of 2020, staff members could return to the offices on an approved, as-need basis to perform critical duties.

“Following our firm’s mission of ‘taking care of each other,’ we put in place several policies to accommodate staff members that needed to be in the office to perform their duties while maintaining proper distancing and contract tracing,” states Jennifer DiFranco, senior director of talent. “Establishing these guidelines helped keep our employees safe and continued to benefit the rest of our workforce that continued working from their homes.”

Along with focusing on the health and safety of the firm’s employees, AGP also debuted a full-service team of professionals to help business owners navigate the complexities of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan and forgiveness programs, which are still in high demand in 2021.

In the fall of 2020, AGP’s leadership set the goal of becoming a $100M firm in 10 years, a trajectory made possible by the recent appointment of Erica Ishida as the firm’s president and chief operating officer.

Through Ishida’s leadership, the firm responded to the next steps of the remote workforce transition by developing an initiative known as AGP Anywhere – recognizing the importance of employee’s identifying, with their manager, the best location for work to be completed, including virtually or in the office as Covid-19 cases drop within Ohio. The firm also began hiring employees outside of Northeastern Ohio, expanding AGP’s talent remotely.

“We’ve recognized that our employees have been extremely successful working remotely over the past year and a half, and asking them to return to the office at the end of the pandemic seems counterproductive for those that are better suited to work virtually,” says Ishida. “AGP Anywhere offers employees the opportunity to complete their work where they feel the most comfortable and productive. We’re confident this is the future of the workforce – accommodating workplace preferences and keeping virtual an option in a post-pandemic environment.”

Staying ahead of employees’ post-pandemic preferences is one component of AGP’s success, which also includes establishing a unified vision and strategy centered around employees, growth, and the changing market conditions.

“We firmly believe taking care of our employees results in the best client service in the business. These awards are very personal to us; they’re confirming that we’re listening to our workforce and adapting so-called ‘traditional’ benefits into what employees really want. We’re honored to be recognized,” says Mullen.

About Apple Growth Partners

Apple Growth Partners (AGP) is an award-winning accounting and business advisory firm with more than 77 years of creative solutions that deliver healthy, sustainable growth. AGP offers a full range of services for privately held businesses, including tax planning and compliance, audit and assurance, business valuation, litigation consulting, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), fraud prevention and detection, family office services for High-Net-Worth individuals, and transaction advisory. With more than 100 employees, AGP collaborates with business owners and partners across Ohio and beyond, extending client services through a remote workforce in 2020 while maintaining office locations in Akron, Canton, Cleveland, and Kent. AGP’s professionals provide expertise in additional industries and services, such as employee benefit plans, bookkeeping, auto dealerships, manufacturing, construction and real estate, and Black-owned businesses. To learn more, visit