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Kent Davey Tree executive named president of U.S. operations

By Katie Byard
Beacon Journal business writer

Longtime Davey Tree Expert Co. executive Patrick Covey has been promoted to president of U.S. operations at one of the largest employee-owned ventures in the country.

The shrub, tree and lawn-care business headquartered in Kent said Monday that Covey retains the job of chief operating officer for U.S. operations, a post he was named to in 2012.

“Pat has been a respected leader during his tenure at Davey,” CEO Karl Warnke said in a prepared statement.

Warnke, who also is chairman, retains the title of president of the overall company.

“He has been instrumental in the successful integration of some of the largest acquisitions in Davey history and has worked relentlessly to build collaboration between the operating segments,” Warnke said.

Davey, with operations in Canada and the United States, has been on a growth spurt, acquiring at least 35 companies in recent years. Revenues of the acquired firms have ranged from under $1 million to $50 million.

Davey’s revenues for 2013 were $713 million and net profits were $22.8 million.

Today, Davey has more than 7,000 employees in North America, including about 500 in Northeast Ohio.

Covey was integral in Davey’s acquisition in 2008 of the Care of Trees, an Illinois-based operation with nearly 500 employees, Warnke has noted previously.

Covey joined Davey in 1991 as internal auditor. He transferred to eastern utility operations — as part of a utilities contract with Davey for tree maintenance — in 1993. He was promoted to administrative manager in 1996, and in 2003 moved up to vice president of southern utility operations.

In 2005, he was named vice president and general manager of Davey Resource Group, the consulting arm of Davey Tree. In 2007, he became executive vice president of Davey Tree Expert operations, holding that title until being named became chief operating officer, U.S. operations, in 2012.

Davey Tree also said Monday that directors nominated Covey to fill a three-year position on Davey’s board, subject to approval by shareholders at the annual meeting in mid-May.

Covey earned a degree in business from the University of Wisconsin and is a certified public accountant. He is a past member of Davey’s President’s Council and serves on a number of boards of Davey subsidiaries. He also serves on the board of directors for Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio and the Portage County Development Board.

Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or


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