HD Davis CPAs Opens Office on City’s West Side

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – In some cases, retirement spells the end for long-established family businesses. But for Himes Tax Service, retirement means new life, albeit under a new name.

Last year, HD Davis CPAs purchased the firm from owner Tom Himes when he was set to retire after carrying on the business his father started. On Friday, the firm, 3225 Mahoning Ave., officially became another branch of HD Davis.

“One of the things we’ve done over the past eight years is aggressively pursuing folks who are retiring,” said Tom Petrey, managing principal at HD Davis.

Petrey grew up on the West Side and was familiar with the firm and the opportunities it could present if brought into the fold.

“When we walked into the office and saw that there was potential for expansion here, we were thrilled about it,” he said. “We’ve come to find a great support team and staff that have come with the practice. We saw this as a perfect fit for us.”

The biggest change, say the employees retained from Himes, is HD Davis’ focus on digitizing records.

“It went from these stacks of papers everywhere to being all on the computer,” said office manager Charlotte Labuda, who’s worked there 15 years. “It took some getting used to, but I’ve got the hang of it.”

Boding well for the future, Petrey added, was the turnout for the ribbon cutting. About 15 minutes before the ceremony, family members, employees from other locations, Himes’ clients — even the couple who live in the apartment on the second floor of the building — showed up, putting the office at standing room only capacity.

“People just poured in and it was cool to see everyone support this business. It’s why Youngstown is great. We always look out for each other and this is an example of that,” Petrey said.

With the new office surrounded by potential clients, an effort was put into to attracting new clients and making them comfortable, the managing principal said. HD Davis offices are meant to be inviting and warm, not impersonal corporate places people go to only when they’re in dire need of help, he explained.

“We didn’t want the image of a firm where you only go in as a necessity. We want people to involve us in their decision-making,” he said. “It’s a place where you can in, have a cup of coffee and talk to us about what you need.”

Also at the ribbon cutting were the 4th and 5th Ward council members. While the office is in the 5th Ward, Mahoning Avenue is the border between the two.

“This is exciting. Strong business corridors are the key to our communities. Keeping businesses here along Mahoning Avenue is extremely important for us,” said Lauren McNally, who represents the office on City Council. “This shows that we have commitment from all types of businesses in the city and that well-known businesses are just as committed as new mom-and-pop shops here.”

Councilman Mike Ray noted that having a well-respected firm such as HD Davis come to the area should bolster business.

“Someone involved in financials understands that there’s potential here. They know it’s stable and there’s a chance for growth,” he said. “It shows that they believe in the area. We still have a strong population in the West Side and a strong business corridor along Mahoning Avenue. They have confidence in the businesses around here.”

HD Davis’ new office offers the same services as its other four, among them bookkeeping, accounting, payroll processing and tax services, but will be more focused on providing help to small businesses, Petrey said.

“It expands our footprint into a slightly different sector. This area has allowed us to cross into and focus more on the small businesses. This office will be focused on helping those small businesses succeed and grow in Youngstown,” he explained.

The company is always on the lookout for new acquisitions, Petrey noted, but said that nothing’s official yet, either from its offices in Youngstown offices or in Canton and Massillon.

“We’re always looking for folks who are looking into selling their small accounting practice. In our Massillon office, we’re looking at a few mergers, but we don’t currently have anything on the books,” he said. “It’s something we’re constantly pursuing because there’s a tremendous opportunity.”

Pictured: Cutting the ribbon are Victor Simon, Melanie Smith, Joe Kilgore, Charlotte Labuda, Tim Petrey and John Deagon.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.