PANAMA CITY— It’s been a long four years for Jensen USA Inc.
On Wednesday, the manufacturer whose offices were wrecked by Hurricane Michael enjoyed a rebirth, of sorts, opening its newly refreshed facility with a ribbon-cutting just five days shy of the storm’s anniversary.
The celebration kicked off with the playing of the national anthem from Bay High School’s senior band, followed by speeches from company leaders and county officials.
“We’re pleased to finally be in our new building and operate normally. This has been a long-awaited journey and a real team effort to get to this day,” said Simon Nield, the company’s president. “It’s been a partnership with the community, and we’re very grateful for their continued support.”
Jensen recently welcomed its employees to its newly reconstructed administrative offices following the devastation of Hurricane Michael’s impact. Although the business reopened two weeks after the storm, the employees were displaced and worked out of separate offices for the past four years.
According to company leaders, the building sustained roughly 20% damage to its roof and administrative offices during the storm. David Netusil, Jensen’s manager of sales support and marketing, said the company faced many roadblocks, such as the pandemic and supply shortages — pushing the completion date back nearly two years.
Netusil described working in temporary locations as a challenging journey.
“It took a long four years to get back into our building. It was a difficult situation because we were separated from each other,” he said. “We’ve had several individuals that worked tirelessly to get our building back up and running, and we could not be more thankful for them.”
Founded in Denmark by the Jensen family, Jensen produces heavy-duty industrial laundry equipment and supplies everything from washing machines, dryers, sheet linens and garments and more. The North American headquarters is based in Panama City.
“It’s just amazing to know how much support we had from the community to make this happen,” Netusil said. “It’s a huge weight off our shoulders, and to have everyone back together again in the same building is very comforting. We came back as a family.”