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D&H’s New Headquarters Brings Silicon Valley Style To Harrisburg, Pa.

“This is transformational,” said D&H Co-President Michael Schwab. “The best analogy came from one of our employee co-owners who said to me, ‘I feel like I have the same responsibility, the same job, the same daily routine but I am working for a brand-new innovative company.”

It’s hard not to feel like you have been transported to the home of a Silicon Valley highflier when you make your way through the high-tech marvel that is D&H’s new two-building, 50-acre headquarters in Harrisburg, Pa.

The 100 and 200 Tech Drive headquarters building features all the work/life amenities you would find in a Silicon Valley superstar, from an upscale café to a massive warehouse-like game room with pinball machines and giant chess pieces to a “Recharge Room” where employees can rejuvenate and contemplate the next D&H big idea in luxurious La-Z-Boy-like chairs with plugs and USB ports.

Then there is the technology, from the state-of-the-art data center to cutting-edge innovation and solution labs where D&H’s tech talent can be found exploring solutions in emerging technologies like virtual reality to the robust Wi-Fi that powers the entire campus to a large-scale video wall and digital signage that appears around each and every corner.

[RELATED: Vendors: New D&H Headquarters Is Destined To Drive Partner Growth]

“This is transformational,” said D&H Co-President Michael Schwab in an interview with CRN before the grand opening of the campus. “The best analogy came from one of our employee co-owners who said to me, ‘I feel like I have the same responsibility, the same job, the same daily routine but I am working for a brand-new innovative company.’ The only thing you can attribute that to is the fact that we are in a brand-new building and we have been able to realign the workspaces in a way that gives people the freedom and flexibility to be more collaborative and innovative in how they accomplish their responsibilities.”

For those that were familiar with D&H’s old Seventh Street building—which was built nearly 70 years ago by Michael and Dan’s grandfather David, the “D” in D&H—entering the new headquarters is like being teleported from the 1940s to far into the future. The new campus—twice as large as the old facility—is just 7.6 miles down the road from Seventh Street in Harrisburg but it feels like another planet.

Pat Donovan, director of inside sales for D&H who recently celebrated his 31st year with the distributor, said the company’s old facility—which was bursting at the seams—was great for “what it was,” but the new campus has employees feeling like they have moved to the top of the pyramid.

“It’s like moving into a penthouse,” he said. “Walk around, everyone is all smiles. They are excited. This gives our employees that extra swagger and lets them know they are at the right company, doing the right thing and making a difference. They feel special, appreciated and valued. That is what is important.”

Donovan said he simply did not imagine the possibilities until he saw the new campus. “Everything is state of the art,” he said. “I could not have imagined this. Everything is first class and top shelf.”

Donovan said he sees the impact the new campus has had on D&H co-owners. “They are smiling and have swagger,” he said. “They have a renewed purpose.”

It’s no small matter that even though D&H has moved into a sprawling new headquarters, it remains in Harrisburg, Pa.

“D&H has called Harrisburg our home for over 70 years,” said D&H Co-President Dan Schwab. “We had a lot of different states and areas looking to attract us. But this is our home. Michael and I grew up here. Our 750 co-owners call this home. We have a long history of supporting and collaborating with the community. We felt it was critical that we are such a part of the fabric of the community that we wanted to stay local.”

Local indeed. All of the architectural and construction work on the facilities, which were acquired in January, were completed by local architects and contractors including Murray and Associates Architects and M&M Sheet Metal and Steel Fabricators.

“We did a very good job making sure that central Pennsylvania was where we wanted to devote those resources,” said Michael. “We made sure that we involved as many people as we could from the local community.”

Michael said key to the design and build-out of the new campus was D&H’s own co-owner employees. “We got feedback from all the different co-owners as to what they aspired to see in a corporate headquarters,” he said.

D&H has 750 co-owners that work at the new campus—160 of those hired in the last year with plans for hiring another 40, said Michael.

Dan Schwab said the new facility strives to create a work/life balance. “We are big believers in that,” he said. “We all often spend more time at work than we do with friends and family, so you better like what you are doing and who you are working with. We really tried to make it an environment with work/life balance and fun.”

Even with all the many amenities the new campus brings, the heart and soul of D&H remains its culture of building strong relationships with customers and partners, according to Dan. “Relationships still matter,” he said. “We are big believers in relationships. We think it is not just price and other factors. Relationships stand the test of time. That is a key to our longevity.”

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