White Glove Payroll ‘Welcomes You to Youngstown’

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio –­ When Tim Petrey contacted The City of You campaign about including his new company, White Glove Payroll, in the initiative, he wanted to do it in “a big visual way.”

So says Robert “R.J.” Thompson, an assistant professor of graphic and interactive design at Youngstown State University, and the creator of The City of You – Youngstown’s multifaceted marketing campaign.

Thompson and Petrey, a managing member at HD Davis CPAs, collaborated on the project with Nick Chretien, project manager with YSU’s Regional Economic Development Initiative, and Mike McGiffin, Youngstown’s director of downtown events.

The result is a four-foot-by-20-foot sign affixed to White Glove’s building, 3225 Mahoning Ave., welcoming traffic heading into the city from Austintown. Such collaborations are needed to make The City of You campaign successful, Thompson says, and the sign visually represents the company’s belief in Youngstown and its capacity for growth.

“When new people come into town from their side, it’s not just the city welcoming them. It’s the business community,” Thompson says. “I just really like that buy-in. It exemplifies a lot of the ideas we’re promoting through The City of You platform.”

HD Davis used the building for tax preparations during tax season, but it will now serve as White Glove’s headquarters, Petrey says.

White Glove is a spin-off business of the payroll services that HD Davis has offered to customers since it began, he says. The company never marketed the services and only offered them to customers who had complicated payroll needs.

“Nobody wanted to give them [the customers] the attention that we knew that they needed,” Petrey says. “We want to make sure that everything else is right for the other work that we’re doing that’s related to payroll.”

Based on the amount of payroll work that they were doing and recognizing a need in the community, Petrey worked with his co-workers at HD Davis for five years to plan and open the subsidiary that will strictly focus on payroll. A new, customized software system allows White Glove to offer complete “luxury payroll services” for small businesses, including processing, sending summaries to clients, direct deposit and check printing.

“It’s a web-based platform that allows us to do all of those things all in one place,” he says. “It allows for one person to handle many more accounts and focus primarily on customer service.”

White Glove will also assign a dedicated representative to each account. It’s something that some of the larger, national payroll firms don’t offer and will give customers peace of mind because, “they know where they can come to when they have questions,” he says.

It’s a big deal for Aaron Bohr, who owns Barrel Full of Monkeys Childcare & Preschool Center in Austintown with his father, Eric, and aunt, Melissa Bohr. Before becoming a customer with White Glove, they had payroll services from a national firm with an 800 number for customer service. Calling it felt like “rolling the dice” on who the customer service representative would be, he says.

“It was good, but every time you call, you’re talking to a call center,” he says. “You just don’t feel like you have the personal service.”

The daycare center is in the process of moving all of its accounting to White Glove, which Bohr says helps them focus more on their business and provides them with advice on making certain financial decisions.

“They understand our area and know our demographic,” he says.

Bohr’s brother, Alex, is head payroll concierge with HD Davis and White Glove, and helped his family with accounting for Barrel Full of Monkeys while he was a double major in accounting and financial planning at YSU. Alex Bohr graduated in May 2017 and says he is happy to work at a local company that serves businesses like his family’s.

“This is what I went to school for,” Bohr says. “I was looking to support small businesses and I couldn’t have landed anywhere better.”

White Glove has three employees and will share five others with HD Davis. As more customers come on, Petrey says it will create more opportunities to hire. White Glove served 100 accounts before the rebranding and has added another 20 in the last month. Petrey expects to add another 20 to 30 accounts by June.

“We’ve seen tremendous demand already,” he says. “My goal with this expansion has been to keep as much as I can in Youngstown. I’m a firm believer that every little thing that we can do to continue contributing to this revitalization makes a bigger difference.”

Petrey and Thompson are discussing the next phase of the build out, including the potential of adding a West Side-themed mural to the building, which Petrey hopes to add this summer. Promoting Youngstown is important to Petrey, particularly the West Side, he says. While he grew up in Ellsworth, his grandmother lived on Bon Air Avenue just a couple of blocks from White Glove’s building.

“When this building came up and we had the opportunity to grow within the city limits – this is my neighborhood. This my block, this is my part of town that I’m hoping to have some small contribution to,” he says. “Our hope is that as White Glove continues to grow, we’re going to continue to expand and improve on this facility. And then we’ll be needing another one soon, hopefully.”

Pictured: Tim Petrey, managing member at HD Davis and founder of White Glove Payroll; HD Davis staff accountant Aaron Boris; HD Davis payroll concierge Alex Bohr and HD Davis partner Joe Kilgore.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.