It will take years to rebuild what Mother Nature decimated in a matter of minutes on June 16 in the small town of Pilger, Neb. and the surrounding area. Homes and businesses destroyed, lives lost, piles of rubble and no power is the chaos residents were faced with as they climbed out of their basements and hiding places. No one was unaffected.
Meanwhile, 58 miles away, the staff at the Fremont branch of Kriz-Davis Co. was busy pulling together inventory and other resources for the clean-up and rebuilding efforts that they knew would need to be started immediately. Kriz-Davis, Grand Island, Neb., supplies goods and services to many of the public power companies in the badly damaged areas. The staff spent the balance of that week, including the weekend, making emergency deliveries sometimes twice a day to help the electrical crews get the power back up and running. Kriz-Davis employees making the constant trips back and forth said that the damage was every bit as devastating as what was seen on the national and local news.
The utility sales team members made most of the deliveries so they could talk to the customers while on site to help assess what they would need for the next day. They received e-mails on their phones during late hours of the evening, checked product availability via their laptops from home and the road or where ever they were, and replied back to the customers ASAP. Staff stayed late at night to unload shipments of material coming from other Kriz-Davis branches in order to keep up with the increasing demand for supplies.
“Our guys were literally in touch with our customers 24 hours a day the entire week. We had staff members coming in as early as 5:30 a.m. to get orders processed and trucks loaded for delivery as soon as they could get on the road,” said Jerry Delaney, branch manager at Kriz-Davis Co. in Fremont. “We also came together throughout the week with three of our other Nebraska branches to replenish inventory for us that was wiped out by the storm. But we knew we wanted to do more.”
That’s when the branch employees decided to kick it up a notch. They put together a donation drive to collect items needed for victims and those helping with the clean-up efforts. Gloves, bottled water, and cleaning supplies were just a few of the things loaded up on a delivery truck along with electrical supplies and dropped off at Stanton County Public Power, one of the collection sites. Over 400 pounds of donations from Kriz-Davis employees made their way quickly to the people who desperately needed them.
“I’m very proud of the Kriz-Davis team,” said Tim Berry, the company’s president. "They displayed the true spirit of ‘employee ownership’ as well as model citizenship with not only our normal disaster response in the electrical system recovery, but also with their personal contributions to those folks that lost everything in the devastating storm. They are outstanding community stewards.”
Kriz-Davis Co. is a 100% employee-owned, full line electrical distributor with 17 locations across 6 states in the Midwest. The company is ranked #44 on Electrical Wholesaling’s 2014 listing of the Top 200 electrical distributors.