Jerry Hughes, store owner, worked to immediately re-route the phone and fax lines to the Indianapolis store. The Johnstone Action Team ¿ Jerry Hughes; Tony Koon, Kokomo branch manager; Fred Means, controller; Ted Shay, Indianapolis branch manager; and Dick Imhof, purchasing and inventory control manager (Lieutenant Colonel Logistics, U.S. Army retired) ¿ created an action plan to ensure that Johnstone would be able to satisfy customer demand by the following day. Hughes found a new building less than a mile and only four minutes from the old location. With everyone pitching in, employees working 60-hour weeks and support from Indianapolis and other branches, the new building opened August 18th, only five weeks from the initial disaster.
Everyone was very helpful, Hughes pointed out. "Other Johnstone owners pledged merchandise and anything else we might need to get back on our feet. It's made our misfortune a little easier to deal with and I want to thank everyone for their support," Hughes said.
"The Johnstone corporate warehouse supported us in every possible way they could during the time we were down," said Koon. "Fast delivery as needed and all the other Midwest branches helped out. It was amazing to have other owners and branch managers just call up and say, 'Hey, whatever you need, just call!' Everyone really pitched in.
"The really amazing thing to me was how fast Jerry Hughes was able to find us a new building and get us open in five weeks doing everything from scratch," Koon added. "I don't know of anyone else who could get that done, but he did it!"
The new Kokomo branch of Johnstone Supply is up and operating at 1814 West Deffenbaugh Street.