David Appel: Heads Cherry Bekaert’s South Florida accounting team
A second generation Key West Conch, David Appel faced his share of adversity on his path to becoming managing partner of Cherry Bekaert’s South Florida practice. In his current position, his goal is to grow the practice, a feat he said can only be accomplished by providing employees with opportunities to grow into better people.
In fact, Mr. Appel considers encouraging the personal and professional growth of the firm’s employees to be the most important part of his job. “We spend so much time at work and away from family we must enjoy what we do,” he said.
An ever-evolving global industry, accounting is far from the boring profession that the public takes it to be, Mr. Appel said. Every single day, he said, accountants take into account everything from tax law to world economics.
Technology has changed the workforce, Mr. Appel said. Two years into his profession, employees were just beginning to get company laptops, and he was told he was “too old to train” in the new technology. Now, he manages a practice that offers tailored work agreements that allow employees to work from home to address family needs.
Years before landing this position, which he said is his proudest professional accomplishment, Mr. Appel was working with a Tampa firm that went belly up. He then co-founded a new firm. As they worked to build the firm, Mr. Appel went without salary for months, his wife taking a second job delivering newspapers. Making it through that time, he said, can be mostly attributed to foundations cemented by his family, who taught him how to overcome adversity.
When he’s not spending time with family, Mr. Appel can be found giving back to the community through his civic involvement – with organizations such as Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, the United Way, March of Dimes and the Beacon Council – or spending a few hours playing a round of golf.
Miami Today reporter Camila Cepero interviewed Mr. Appel at Cherry Bekaert’s Coral Gables offices.
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