Apple Growth Partners

Apple Growth Partners Expands to Chicago Market, Adds New Tax Principal

CHICAGO, IL – (September 21, 2021) – Apple Growth Partners (AGP), award-winning accounting and business advisory firm, proudly announces the firm has expanded services to businesses in the state of Illinois, with professionals now practicing in Chicago.

The Chicago office is the first extension of the firm to be located outside of Northeastern Ohio.

Spearheading the Chicago team is Dirk Ahlbeck, CPA, tax principal and AGP’s national restaurant practice lead. Ahlbeck’s addition is one component of the firm’s aggressive growth strategy, as the needs for accounting and advisory services continue to grow among business owners.

With more than 20 years of public accounting experience, Ahlbeck joins AGP as a tax principal and national restaurant practice lead. Ahlbeck’s expertise consists of servicing restaurants, including breweries and wineries, and other industries such as distribution, construction, and professionals in the service sector. A frequently requested presenter, Ahlbeck provides business owners within the food industry best practices for tax planning, accounting, and most recently, navigating the changes brought on by the pandemic for restaurant owners. He has also provided extensive consulting services to assist his clients with improving profitability and performance by utilizing benchmarking and related metrics, developing more streamlined accounting systems and other best practices from the restaurant industry and identifying tax-saving opportunities. Ahlbeck holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Michigan State University. He is an active member of the AICPA, ILCPAS, and Illinois Craft Brewers Guild. He also served on the Advisory Council of the Illinois Restaurant Association and was past president of the Food and Beverage Equipment Executives. He shares his experience and knowledge of the industry as an Adjunct Professor in the Manfred Steinfeld School of Hospitality at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Expanding outside of the firm’s Ohio headquarters was the next logical step to meet demand. Chairman Chuck Mullen describes this decision based on the needs of business owners.

“What we discovered during the onset of the pandemic, especially among restaurant owners, was the urgency of services outside of our standard accounting and tax expertise,” says Mullen. “Our firm was revolutionary in developing immediate tools and resources for business owners to operate during the ongoing changes in order not just to keep their business afloat, but even expand through M&As.”

“Our firm knew we needed a leader in the restaurant accounting industry, and that was Dirk,” comments Mullen. “And as a result of our firm transitioning to a remote workforce, we determined the best course was to expand into Illinois and keep Dirk in the Chicago area. This is a very exciting development for our firm.”

President Erica Ishida agrees.

“As we continue our firm’s aggressive growth trajectory, broadening our services outside of Ohio was a top priority and achievable with our recent AGP Anywhere program,” states Ishida. “Empowering our employees to choose where they work best aligned perfectly with welcoming employees in a new state. We’re expanding our workforce outside of Ohio, and with opening a new location in Chicago, we’re on a path to help businesses grow outside our initial radius and offer world-class service from anywhere.”

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, Chicago, and Cleveland. 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