LOCAL BUSINESS

Davey Tree expands

The Davey Tree Expert Co. of Kent continues to acquire companies, revealing Thursday that it has acquired Maier Forest and Tree in Rochester, Minn., and Superior NW Tree & Shrub Care Inc., in Seattle. Davey, an employee-owned tree, shrub and lawn care company, has acquired more than 15 businesses, big and small, in the past several years.

The Minnesota and Seattle companies have a combined total employment of roughly 35. Financial terms were not disclosed. Both additions are fairly young. Maier has been in Minnesota for 14 years and Superior NW has been in the Seattle area for eight years.

Davey has more than 7,000 employees throughout North America, including about 500 in Northeast Ohio. Last fall, the National Center for Employee Ownership ranked Davey as the fifth-largest 100 percent employee-owned company in the United States.

PUCO finalists named

A nominating committee named four finalists for a seat on the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. The four were among nine applicants interviewed for the post that will soon be vacated by Chairman Todd A. Snitchler of Stark County. Two Akron area men — Dan Bradshaw and former state Rep. John Hagan — were among the initial 27 applicants. They were not among the nine chosen last week to be interviewed.

Gov. John Kasich will now choose among the finalists: Patrick Donlon and Thomas W. Johnson, both of the Columbus area; Stacey E. Polk of the Cleveland area and Tom Waniewski of the Toledo area. The governor will make an appointment for a five-year term on the commission. Kasich will both appoint the new commissioner as well as a new chair from among all commissioners.

TIRE INDUSTRY

New Assurance tire planned

Goodyear introduced a new consumer Assurance tire at its annual dealers conference.

The new tire, called the Assurance All-Season, will be available at retailers starting in April. The new tire includes what Goodyear calls “multiple biting edges,” wide groove patterns and an optimized tread pattern. It will be sold along with the Assurance ComforTred Touring, TripleTred All-Season and Assurance Fuel Max for cars, minivans and crossovers.

This year’s dealers conference, with more than 2,000 attendees, is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort outside Nashville, Tenn. This is the largest attendance for a dealers conference in 10 years, the company said.

Myers closes Canadian units

Akron-based Myers Industries Inc., which makes rubber and plastic products and distributes specialized tire tools, is closing its Distribution Segment’s Canadian branches, which operate under the name Myers Tire Supply International. The closures include three branches in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta. About 25 employees will be affected. Myers said the closures will cost about $1 million pre-tax and will be recorded in the first half of this year. Distribution Segment sales will fall by approximately $7.5 million, the company said.

REAL ESTATE

Mortgage rates fall

Average interest rates for fixed mortgages slipped this week as new data showed a decline in home prices in November and a drop in new homes sales last month. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average for the 30-year loan fell to 4.32 percent from 4.39 percent last week. The average for the 15-year loan eased to 3.40 percent from 3.44 percent.

Compiled from staff and wire reports