Apple Growth Partners Expands Leadership Team with Three Female Executives

AKRON, Ohio–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AppleGrowthPartners–Apple Growth Partners (AGP), award-winning accounting and business advisory firm, welcomes three new executives: Erica Ishida, MPOD, Jennifer DiFranco, PHR, SHRM-CP, and Danielle Kimmell, CPA.

In combining her experience with leadership, talent, business development, and organization design, Erica Ishida, MPOD, joins AGP as chief growth officer. This new role was developed to grow the firm by recognizing growth occurs when an organization designs for scale, and employees contribute to the culture. Ishida will be responsible for scaling the firm and its talent, resulting in significant revenue and culture growth. Ishida joins the firm as a member of the executive committee and will be spearheading the talent, marketing, and business development departments within the firm’s leadership. As a certified leadership development coach, Ishida’s experience spans over people development, sales growth, cultural transformations, and individual and organizational growth. Through her consulting business, Coconino Partners, and positions as a C-level executive for Northeastern Ohio companies, she has helped businesses and individuals achieve intentional development by focusing on leadership, culture, value creation, and change management, ultimately leading to revenue growth.

Jennifer DiFranco, PHR, SHRM-CP, comes to AGP as the senior director of talent. As an experienced human resource professional, DiFranco has 12 years of experience as the senior-level talent manager for a Cleveland-area organization. DiFranco will be leading the firm’s talent, including recruitment, onboarding, benefits, performance management, continuing education, and culture development. DiFranco is a certified SHRM-CP professional and holds a professional in human resources certificate from the HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

Danielle Kimmell, CPA, joins AGP’s audit & assurance department as a principal. Building upon her nearly 22 years of experience in public accounting, Kimmell brings a wealth of knowledge to the firm’s audit team. She serves large, middle-market, privately held companies in multiple industries, including manufacturing and distribution. Kimmell specializes in employee benefit plans, including advising clients on audit, compliance, and tax issues. As a trusted advisor to businesses in Northeastern Ohio, Kimmell has provided insight on internal controls and agreed-upon procedures. Kimmell received Walsh University’s Women of Distinction award in 2012, Northeast Ohio ATHENA Young Professional award in 2010, United Way Summit County’s Young Philanthropist of the Year in 2009, and Greater Akron Chamber’s 30 for the Future in 2007. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants, and Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. She also volunteers as a board member for several non-profit in the Akron area.

“Our firm is laser-focused on growth in this new fiscal year that began July 1. Our latest talent investments directly impact our strategic plans,” states Chuck Mullen, chairman. “Welcoming Erica, Jennifer, and Danielle positions our firm for excellence in leadership, talent and business development, and audit and assurance. These three phenomenal professionals establish us for success over the next decade. We’re thrilled to welcome Erica, Jennifer, and Danielle.”

About Apple Growth Partners

Apple Growth Partners is an award-winning accounting and business advisory firm with more than 75 years of helping grow local businesses. With offices in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, and Kent, AGP offers a full range of services, including audit and assurance, tax planning and compliance, business valuation, litigation consulting, employee stock ownership plans, and transaction advisory services. To learn more, visit


Brittany White


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