Born in 1925 and raised in Indianapolis, Strong joined his father in the family business in 1946 after graduating from Purdue University and serving in World War II.
He was Economy’s president from 1960 until his retirement in 1998. Strong was active in the wholesale plumbing industry, serving as president of many local, regional and national organizations, including the Indiana Association of Credit Management, the Central Wholesalers’ Association and ASA.
During his 52 years with Economy, Strong saw many changes within the industry and his own company, including a move from its original location on North Alabama St. to its current headquarters on North Capitol Ave. In 1984, Strong introduced the concept of “self-serve” to the local wholesale market by bringing supplies out from behind the counter and providing customers with aisles of plumbing supplies for inspection and selection—a concept unheard of at the time and before the advent of home centers and the concept of “do it yourself.”
Strong retired in 1998, but continued to serve the company as a director and consultant throughout the rest of his life. Strong remained active in many industry, civic and social organizations, including the Riley Revitalization Program, Service Club of Indianapolis, Army-Navy Club, Contemporary Club, Second Presbyterian Church, Woodstock Country Club and more.
Strong’s son, John, currently serves as president of Economy Plumbing Supply and grandson, Stephen, joined the company last year.
John Strong served as ASA president in 2013. The Strongs are the first father-and-son duo to hold the national association’s presidency. Herb Strong was ASA president in 1996 and its vice president from 1990-1995.