TALLMADGE – A locally owned and operated company is celebrating 70 years in business.

Steere Enterprises, 285 Commerce St., hosted more than 500 employees, their families and retirees for an Aug. 24 open house celebrating 70 years of business. Secretary of State Frank LaRose attended and presented the company with a framed certificate commemorating 70 years in business.

In addition to its business success, the Steere family for four generations has been known as leaders in the greater community and strived to make greater Akron a better place to live. Giving back has been one of the hallmarks of the shared family values.

Frank Steere, who ran the business from 1949 through 1981, wrote his memoirs — titled, "Threads Remembered" — about starting Steere Enterprises in the 1980s. His son Bill, who came back to the business and ran it from 1981 through 2013, recently completed "Threads Remembered, Volume II" covering his 43 years running the business. The combined versions were released as part of the company's 70th anniversary celebration.

In the forward of "Threads Remembered," Dave Lieberth states: "Progress doesn’t just come from large companies and university research. It also comes from inspired entrepreneurs in small towns across our country with a better idea."

Brock and Brian Steere are third generation and have been running the business since 2013 as co-presidents. Bill remains as chairman. The fourth generation, in its toddler years, includes McKenna, Hunter and Emerson Steere.

"Steere specializes in engineering, designing and manufacturing advanced air inductions systems for the automative, marine and transportation markets," Brock said.

Some of the products include low pressure ducting, high pressure ducting, PERMACUFF, OXCLIP and FOXX.

Overall, reaching the 70-year mark for Steere has taken vision, resiliency and the ability to embrace change while keeping true to its core values, Brock said.

"Running a company that spans over three generations has taught us that remaining committed to our core values of uncompromising integrity, sound business principles, a people-focused culture, individual and team accountability, innovation and continuous improvement has allowed us to be successful and resilient during the ups and downs of 70 years in business," Brock said.

The business began in the fall of 1949 when Frank W. Steere Jr., a chemical engineer working for the BF Goodrich Co., decided to take the leap of faith and start his own business around a new, vinyl plastisol material he was introduced to at Goodrich.

With less than $1,000 to his name, Frank quit his job and set up shop in the basement of his Akron home. Purchasing used ovens, he began experimenting with various applications made from the vinyl material in his basement. Coating nuts and bolts for Industrial Rayon and perfecting a way to make Quikoins (pocket coin purses) were early successes that enabled him to move out of the basement into rental space in downtown Akron.

Throughout its history, Steere has continued to build its engineering expertise, utilizing a diverse range of capabilities across a variety of industries.

Steere currently employs more than 250 people and is an industry leader in plastics manufacturing; utilizing blow molding and injection molding technology. It has expanded into machining through both organic growth and acquisition, with the creation of Square One Engineering. Steere is now a full-service engineering company with sophisticated design, development and testing capabilities.

Steere’s history of engineering has resulted in the development of more than a dozen patents and breakthrough innovation for its customers. The company has thrived in the competitive automotive industry with a very specific philosophy: "We seek to understand our customers’ challenges and be the first to provide innovative solutions."

For more information on Steere Enterprises and its family of brands, visit www.steere.com

Reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at 330-541-9434 or lfreeman@recordpub.com.