Local Business Spotlight: Young Johnston & Associates
For nearly sixty years, Young Johnston’s vision and expertise has helped shape the city of Eufaula.
Young Johnston & Associated was founded as Johnston-Clark Company in 1958 as a joint venture between Johnston and the late James S. Clark. The original incarnation of the company dealt in real estate and insurance, with most of the policies acquired from the Battle Agency and Johnston’s solo business.
Johnston purchased Clarks stake in the company in 1982, and joined up with Coldwell Banker in 1984.
“Many people don’t realize my father developed many of the subdivisions in Eufaula,” said Mary Foy Kirkland, who took over the day-to-day operation of the company in 1995. “He developed Broadview Homes Subdivision, Lakeview, Hunters Inlet, Country Club Estates, Hicks Subdivision and one of the major shopping centers in town.”
As the years rolled by, the business changed. Gone were the days of bound volumes of policies and paperwork. In were the times of the digital processing and computers.
To keep on top of the changes, YJC moved to have a better, broader digital presence. That came to fruition in the early part of the new millennium as the company introduced a new website.
“We are still a Coldwell Banker franchise,” said Kirkland. “We are also an independent insurance agency and represent multiple, premier carriers. We have a fabulous website that we went to in 2010. On the website, we let our commercials risks that we insure have free advertisement as a partner with us. Our partner website links to their company website or Facebook page. We had to define how we were different from any other insurance agency. We have discovered that you really don’t have to have bricks and mortar anymore.”
While the technology has changed through the decades, Young Johnston and Associates still bases its business model on three key blocks: community involvement, supporting local business and supporting all military personnel.
The company founded a scholarship at Wallace Community College to help students continue their academic dreams and employees serves on multiple community boards and committees. Kirkland routinely blogs and promotes local businesses and companies in an effort to remind people to shop local. As a veteran, Johnston supports the military in all possible avenues.
Kirkland tells everyone she meets she is a proud Eufailian and wants to see her hometown grow and prosper for years to come.
“I want to see these young children have opportunities to grow and go to college,” Kirkland said. “I want to support our culture and heritage here in Eufaula. This is our town. We are Eufaula Proud here, and want to be a part of moving our city and community forward.”