Friedman Electric, Exeter, Pa., has opened its 12th location. The new location in Ithaca, N.Y., includes a 3,000-square-foot lighting showroom for consumers, designers, architects and contractors in addition to a 6,500-square-foot warehouse and a large counter area.

As the Ithaca branch manager, Benny Teitelbaum will lead a staff of eight. Teitelbaum was previously an inside salesperson for the Wilkes-Barre, Pa., branch, and has 14 years of experience in the electrical industry. Johanna Altmose, a 10-year company veteran, will manage the lighting showroom.

Friedman Electric has had a busy year. In June, its Bloomsburg, Pa., branch was filled with between 15 and 29 inches of water due to flooding. Yet thanks to the dedication of Friedman Electric employees — both from the Bloomsburg branch and other branches as well — who came in to help clean up, the store reopened quickly.

Despite moving inventory to higher shelves at the Bloomsburg branch and relocating inventory to nearby Howard Organization, a commercial/industrial electrical contracting company also in Bloomsburg, damage was estimated to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $200,000.

Friedman Electric's Bloomsburg branch flooded in late June when a tributary of the Susquehanna River overflowed. Although Friedman Electric also evacuated its branch in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., which is about 50 miles northeast of Bloomsburg, that branch was not damaged. Both branches are located near the Susquehanna River.

Employees moved inventory in Bloomsburg on the evening of June 27 and through the day on June 28 until the water literally chased them out of the building, according to John Plotts, Bloomsburg branch manager. At that point, all they could do was go to higher ground and ride out the storm.

“The key to being able to open up so quickly was the fact that we had so many volunteers from our other stores and the people at Bloomsburg who were willing to work long hours through the weekend to get us open on Monday,” said Rob Friedman, president. “We couldn't get a contractor that quickly to do that.”

Friedman said this was the worst flooding the Bloomsburg branch has had since 1972.

Friedman Electric, a family-owned company, has been in business for more than 65 years. The company ranked No. 77 on Electrical Wholesaling's 2006 Top 200 listing.

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