Johnstone Supply of Easton, Pa., hosted U.S. Congressman Charles Dent during a visit and discussions at the Regional Distribution Center in Allentown, Pa. The congressman had been offered an invitation to visit the facility following initial introductions at the HARDI Congressional Fly-In.

Congressman Dent met with the Easton-area Johnstone store owner Tom Wallace, members of his management team, CEO DeWight Wallace, and Jon Melchi, HARDI’s director of government affairs. Topics discussed included aspects of Tom Wallace’s local business, the unique culture of the Johnstone cooperative, and challenges facing the HVACR distribution industry today.

Key points addressed with the congressman were the need for tax and entitlement reform, the potential repeal of the estate tax, preservation of LIFO, and the need to reform the regulatory process in Washington. Dent was particularly interested in the ongoing rulemakings concerning Regional Standards and R-22 allocation.

“This was an excellent opportunity to further a relationship with Congressman Dent’s office,” said Tom Wallace. “I appreciated the chance to talk about my local business and the many issues that are important to not only Johnstone Supply, but to distributors and small businesses across the country.”

“Congressman Dent was impressive, and he seemed genuinely interested in learning more about our company and the business of HVACR distribution,” said Johnstone’s DeWight Wallace, who heads the national cooperative. “He asked very detailed and thought provoking questions and genuinely wanted to know how certain issues might impact our industry.”

HARDI representative Jon Melchi noted the importance of building strong relationships with government officials.

“This is exactly the kind of interaction HARDI hopes to promote with its members and their elected officials,” he said. “Tom and his team did a great job preparing for this meeting and making it a worthwhile event for Congressman Dent, Johnstone Supply, and HARDI.”