Sunday, January 22, 2012

Philway board house fire. One year later.

One year ago this week, Jan/19/2011, the board house Philway burned to the ground. Philway was the oldest continually operating board house in the US. It was also my preferred PCB vendor, sharp people and good quality for the rugged environments I deal with.

At the time Philway burned down, they were not sure if they were going to rebuild. Over the last year I'd kept in touch with Doug Clark at Philway. Seemed the biggest hold up was that their insurance company, which he never named, would not let them back on the grounds for almost four months! So its time for all of us to go check with our insurance agents what kind of treatment we'd get in a similar situation.

As time passed, Doug stopped answer emails, then stopped answering the phone, and in the end the phone was disconnected.

Last week my curiosity drove me to contact Evan S. at the Ashland Area Council for Economic Development, to see what happened. Seems the owner of Philway now lives in Akron and did not want to rebuild in Ashland, despite generous tax rebates etc. and did not want to commute to Ashland anymore. The owner also indicated that they could not find "good managers" in Ashland. I took that more to mean people with good technical management backgrounds from the context of our conversation. A new board house may arise like a Phoenix in Akron someday, but it won't be the same Philway without the same institutional knowledge that made it a great place to do business with.

The lesson here for all of us, is disasters do happen to good places and good people at any time. Do you have a workable recovery plan in place in case one hits you and yours? Will your insurance company help you out, or help you go under faster?