Honoree headshot

Yelena Epova

Atlanta Office Leader, Partner-Charge, International Services
Aprio LLP

Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Founded: 1952
Industry: CPA Led Business Advisory Firm

Yelena Epova’s entrepreneurial spirit was born and bred from a young age. At 19, she left her home in St. Petersburg, Russia as a Jewish refugee and came to the U.S. to create a new life for herself.

She was an immigrant with little more to her name other than her ambition and $180 in her pocket. She took that ambition and established a strong foundation for her career through education and then fostered her passion for business through a career in accounting.

Epova connected with Aprio’s entrepreneurial spirit and helped to create and develop a thriving international practice from scratch where she now serves as the Partner-Charge and Atlanta Office Leader of International Services.

Since 1952, clients throughout the U.S. and across more than 50 countries have trusted Aprio LLP for guidance on how to achieve what’s next. As a premier business advisory and full-service CPA firm, Aprio delivers advisory, assurance, tax, outsourcing, staffing and private client services to build value, drive growth, manage risk and protect wealth.

“Yelena’s largest legacy is developing others at the firm and outside of the firm,” said her colleagues. “She was instrumental not only in building the international practice but also in helping numerous individuals with their careers and helping promote many of them to partners and directors at the firm.”

As head and founder of Aprio’s International Practice, Epova leads a team of more than 15 partners and 200 professionals who speak more than 35 languages. The international division at Aprio was responsible for nearly 30% of the company’s $175 million+ revenue in 2021.

“She is often called an American Dream and is eternally grateful to this country for all the opportunities she was provided and the welcoming atmosphere she experienced ever since moving to the United States,” said her staff. “Due to Yelena’s amazing story and success, there have been many Aprio members with similar backgrounds who have joined the company, mostly because of the inspiration that she has provided.”

According to Epova, it’s essential to attentively listen to clients and co-worker challenges and then work together to uncover unique solutions to be influential as a leader. “You have to nurture your team,” she said. “I do this by mentoring, providing alternative career paths, looking for board opportunities for our team members and practicing servant leadership to continue to be one of Atlanta’s Best Place to Work again and again.”

Honoree fun fact

Yelena is an arts enthusiast and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Atlanta Ballet. She also studied to be a professional pianist and almost made it her career but accounting got in the way.

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