Accountants + Business Advisors

Tom Hager is a principal of tax at Apple Growth Partners

Tom Hager, CPA, CGMA, NSSA

Principal - Tax
  • + Driven
  • + Reliable
  • + Logical
  • + Appreciative
  • + Empathetic

“Many clients think of growth as the only metric to measure success. More sales, more people, more locations, etc. My standard reply is “being big didn’t save the dinosaur”. Healthy Growth encompasses many facets of the business. Operations, personnel, development core values and strategic vision that is communicated to all. Many businesses can actually grow themselves out of business. Growth must be planned and monitored. Healthy Growth is as individual as a fingerprint.”

MY CLIENT PHILOSOPHY: My philosophy is I work with clients the way I would like to be treated by other professionals. My overall philosophy is to help people and provide solutions. When you boil it down you work with people-not businesses. When I am no longer on this earth, I would like people to say, “Tom really helped me.”

Most important for prospective clients is I am here to listen to you, understand you, and help you reach your goals by providing the appropriate solution. Many CPA’s want to tell you all the great things they can do for you, and they can, but unless you take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth, you’ll never know what help they may need and how you will provide the help.

MY SPECIALTY: Social Security consulting. I chose this area for a number of reasons. People need help making one of the most important retirement financial decisions for which they only get one chance. The ability to provide the appropriate solution and have the client say to you “Thank you, you have given me the peace of mind that we are making the correct decision.” To lift that burden is what make my job worth every minute.

PROVEN TRACK RECORD: My favorite thing about helping clients grow is watching and being part of the exciting times. Unless there is some specific professional experience, I bring a sincere desire to help solve problems and bring solutions. “Clients don’t care what you know, they want to know what you care.” Somewhat cliche, but this profession is all about relationships. People do business with people. I could be the brightest CPA in the world, but if I have no relationship with the client-they will leave.

HOBBIES/BUCKET LIST: When I’m not working you can find me playing my bass guitar and studying aviation. I never developed a bucket list. I figure if I am supposed to do something it will happen.


What are some issues within your specialty that are commonly overlooked or not addressed by clients? Why are these important to address? In my specialty area of Social Security consulting, people do not give enough consideration to making the best claiming decision. They usually make their decision emotionally and can leave $100,000 on the table.

What are some of the most pressing issues facing your clients today and how do you add value in helping them tackle them? The most pressing today are: Healthy Growth, hiring the right people, government regulations and health care. Help comes from our ability to provide solutions or call on our strategic partners to provide solutions.




  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, Major: Accounting — St. Michael’s College – Winooski, Vermont


  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • Chartered Global Management Accountant
  • Certified National Social Security Advisor
  • National Social Security Association Educator
  • Certified by the Cambridge Institute in Family Business – Planning and Succession Planning
  • Licensed by the State of Ohio to sell Life Insurance
  • University of Akron Advisory Board Member to the School of Accountancy


  • Portage County Development Board
  • Bath Township External Audit Committee
  • Board of Directors for WNEO Channels 45/49
  • Accounting Advisory Board of Fortis College
  • Member of Finance Committee, WKSU-89.7 FM
  • Member of BDO Alliance USA Managing Partner Forum
  • Director of Organizational Advancement of the VIllage Network
  • Member of Friends of Influence of Victims Assistance Program
  • Member of Entrepreneur Connect – Greater Akron Chamber