GroundBreak Carolinas regularly features people who are making things happen in the construction industry. This week, we caught up with Aprille Bell with Dixon Hughes Goodman. She is the Office Managing Partner in Dixon Hughes Goodman’s Winston-Salem, NC office. Aprille joined the firm in 1991 and is responsible for maintaining client relationships, supervising audit engagement teams and resolving audit, accounting and financial reporting matters. She focuses on the construction and education industries.
You’ve worked at Dixon Hughes Goodman (DHG) for over 28 years — your entire professional career — which is very unusual today. Tell us what has kept you at DHG?
Our people and our clients have kept me at Dixon Hughes Goodman. We have an incredible team of professionals – the best and the brightest! While we all have unique interests and talents, we share common values and sincerely appreciate our working relationships. It is incredibly rewarding to serve clients on a daily basis who value our relationship and services we provide. We serve as thought leaders and are constantly looking for ways to make our clients more successful.
What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment?
Being named Managing Partner, DHG Construction and Real Estate was a huge accomplishment. The opportunity to make a positive impact on the industry and across our firm’s footprint is exciting. But, my greatest accomplishment was to raise two happy, successful and motivated young men.
What’s one of your goals yet to be achieved?
I had the opportunity to take a 30-day sabbatical during the summer of 2019. I used the time to focus on mental, physical and spiritual wellness. While I love the “daily grind,” it can sometimes distract from my other priorities. One of my top goals today is to make time to think about “what comes next” so I can recognize it when I see it.
What are the keys to developing the next generation of leaders at DHG?
Asking questions, listening, providing feedback and empowering people will be key to developing the next generation of leaders at DHG. I find that people often make assumptions about what people want, don’t take time to listen, are hesitant to have “crucial conversations” and are afraid to empower people. Making mistakes is often the best way to learn.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned in your career?
A mentor once told me I shouldn’t limit my future opportunities based on my current reality, because my current reality is certain to change.
What behaviors and performances do your best employees demonstrate?
I appreciate working with team members who make client service a top priority. Those folks have a strong work ethic, have the ability to develop strong relationships with coworkers and clients and understand that work can be fun.
What is the most influential book, favorite book, or best-read lately?
I’m on the road a ton – so audio books are a go-to. I’m currently listening to The Power of Moments by Chip & Dan Heath. Next on the list is The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
I love Black Mountain, NC! The people are awesome and the pace is refreshing!
What are your Hobbies?
I run 5ks and half marathons. I enjoy reading and have recently learned to knit. Everyone gets a scarf for Christmas!