Akron, Ohio – (October 22, 2018) – To be on the short list of nominees for the American Business Awards (ABA) Stevie® for Female Executive of the Year is a career-defining accomplishment. The Stevie® Award for Women in Business are thought to be the gold standard of accolades for female executives, leaders, and the companies they run. For Akron-based Apple Growth Partners’ (AGP) Director of Operations Erin McCafferty, J.D., this honor has become a reality.
McCafferty was named a finalist for Female Executive of the Year in the Business Services category for accounting, banking, and financial services, for companies under 2,500 employees. One of six finalists, McCafferty is the only finalist from Ohio and is within a class of female nominees located in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Istanbul, Turkey. Winners will be announced in New York City in November.
“The past couple of years have been a successful run for Erin; I went looking for an award program to honor her achievements,” said McCafferty’s nominator, AGP Chairman Chuck Mullen. “I like the ABA Stevie® Award because it’s difficult. I had to submit a lot of data to support her nomination. I observed that past winners are highly accomplished executives, so I felt if an award was to be bestowed, we might as well swing for the fences.”
Multiple milestones prove McCafferty’s leadership accomplishments in her short tenure with the accounting and business advisory firm rooted in Northeastern Ohio. In a 12-month span, AGP acquired two separate, well-established accounting firms. McCafferty led the operations team through both transitions to ensure a practical combination of cultures, information technology, processes, client communication, compensation, and onboarding. Due to the confidential nature of the acquisitions, McCafferty was left with minimal time to plan for the integrations, but nonetheless, completed both successfully.
During McCafferty’s time with AGP, the firm has continued to be named to the illustrious list of Best Places to Work in Northeast Ohio by Northcoast 99. Whilst juggling the demands of two firms’ integrations, McCafferty introduced a performance management focus for professionals, to ensure professionals’ growth and development in efforts to strengthen internal culture and retain employees in a competitive field.
“I know what the pundits say about multitasking, but somehow Erin pulls it off,” says Mullen. “Three distinctions about Erin need noting: She is a wellspring of ideas, she implements most of the ideas quickly, and she does so despite whatever challenges the day might bring. She’s a one-two punch of innovation followed by persistence. Easy to say but not easy to execute.”
Perhaps McCafferty’s most remarkable impact to the firm resulted in the executive committee’s approval of a robust paid maternity and parental leave program, a groundbreaking move for a company of AGP’s size, roughly 105 employees. “It was all Erin’s idea, the paid parental leave program,” said Mullen. “It was the right thing to do for our professionals. Our firm now has the bells and whistles in employee benefits of a national firm.”
McCafferty’s team is also implementing a diverse career development curriculum, aimed to promote awareness of issues surrounding and supporting diversity. The firm also benefited financially with a leveling of health insurance premiums due to the amplified corporate wellness program introduced under McCafferty’s leadership. Embarking in a brand-new market to open our fifth location, McCafferty successfully oversaw the launch of the firm’s office in Canton. In both 2017 and 2018, McCafferty fortified the firm’s recruitment and marketing initiatives by securing strategic hires for both positions which have garnered measurable, observable and favorable rates of return.
McCafferty has been the director of operations for Apple Growth Partners since February 2016. McCafferty holds a Juris Doctorate and master’s degrees in Counseling and Higher Education. Before joining Apple Growth Partners, she held similar positions in various law firms in Cleveland. McCafferty is a member of SHRM and the CPA Firm Management Association Ohio Chapter.
Celebrating their 75th year of helping grow local businesses through accounting and business advisory services and the proprietary Healthy Growth Checkup, Apple Growth Partners has offices in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, and Kent. AGP offers a full range of services including assurance, tax planning and compliance, business valuation, litigation consulting and transactional advisory services.