Darrell Howell Successfully Built Work-Life Wealth

Published May 26, 2023

There are people among us who become leaders because they have accumulated either financial wealth, insight, or knowledge. Sometimes experience teaches that a successful life involves a delicate work-life balance.

Having labored in the corporate world in different capacities during his journey, Darrell Howell never lost sight of what truly matters — family, faith, and community. As an engagement manager, he now provides thought leadership for large corporations. He also serves as an example that professionals can accomplish financial freedom and personal prosperity.

“In my current role as engagement director for CLA CAST, I have helped Fortune 500 companies develop business strategies, enhance internal controls, update processes, and lead audit functions to increase efficiency and ensure accuracy; analyzed and interpreted financial data to understand company fiscal status; and provided meticulous financial advice and recommendations on current and future strategies, including risk mitigation and opportunity forecasting.”

Avoiding A Money-Centric Lifestyle

Money has become something of an obsession in American culture that has skewed perspectives. Primary earners too often base their contribution to the family exclusively on dollar amounts. When that happens, relationships with spouses, children, parents, friends, and community members suffer. But even a cursory look at Howell’s biography tells another side of his individual growth story. He points out that a “solid work-life balance is essential” and that he “loves spending time with his wife and children.”

It’s not unusual for career-minded people at this lofty professional level to believe they must sacrifice quality family and community time for financial achievement. It’s abundantly clear that Darrell Howell managed to take a step back and reflect as his education and career took unexpected turns. Now, working as an engagement director, he brings far more to the table. He’s achieved business success without sacrificing the ties that bind him to others in his orbit. There are crucial life lessons embedded in the winding road he traveled.

He graduated from the University of North Alabama in 1989, focusing on business coursework. While earning his Bachelor of Science in accounting and management, he also met the love of his life. The couple married only one year after he graduated while embarking on a successful career in business. From the very beginning of his educational and work accomplishments, his  intuitively established a work-life balance grounded in love and family.

He started out professionally as a bank Controller in Waynesboro. His responsibilities included overseeing the books, tracking budgets, and handling accounts. These duties helped buoy the bank’s profit margins. His attention to detail and willingness to work long hours earned him promotions.

Darrell Howell ascended from a bank Controller position to serving as chief financial officer of an insurance company’s multi-billion-dollar Canadian division by 1999. A rare feat for someone with relatively modest beginnings. During this time, it would have been easy to become entrenched solely in his career. But he and his beloved expanded their family with two beautiful children.

Courage To Change Direction

It may have seemed counterintuitive to people in his circle at the time, but having climbed to the top of the company’s ladder, he pivoted. Returned to school and earned an MBA from Middle Tennessee State University in 2000. Applying his newly gained skills at the insurance company, he created expansive opportunities. It was then he decided to tap the brakes and recalibrate his work-life balance in 2003. Having repeatedly achieved industry success and financial wealth, he went home to run his family’s Pizza Hut franchise. To outsiders, this may have seemed like a step backward. But nothing could have been further from the truth.

His family owned and operated a single Pizza Hut store since 1978. The business’s stable income provided for family members and had become a fixture in the community. Applying his business growth knowledge, he was able to increase the family-owned operation to one of the largest in the region over 12 years. The business went from $500,000 in annual revenue to $7 million while lowering overhead expenses.

Along the way, he learned invaluable lessons about the importance of communities having affordable food options. The experience also put him in touch with everyday people who are the foundation of a community. After selling the franchise in 2015, Howell returned to the corporate world with a more refined work-life wealth perspective.

Embracing Work-Life Success

These days, he takes time to play golf with friends and family and returns to Knoxville, TN, for Volunteers games. He travels extensively with his family and looks to people from different cultures for new life philosophies. His passion for giving back to the community has become a foundational part of his life. He donates his time as his church’s treasurer. Faith and fellowship remain cornerstones of his life.

Darrell Howell is a results-driven thought leader who possesses talent and perspective. During his journey, he never lost sight of what was truly important, and that’s why he was able to create work-life wealth.

CDN Newswire