- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Lindsay Jeffries
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
As one of the largest specialty contractors in Pennsylvania, Hershocks Inc. (Hershocks) helps residential and commercial customers alike make a great first impression. Specializing in complete exterior envelopes, including storefronts, entrances, commercial windows, doors and architectural panels, Hershocks has been making grand entrances for nearly eight decades. Whether it’s a retrofit project, new construction or a custom design, the company is a recognized leader in the industry, providing products from prestigious manufacturers.
The company’s origins date as far back as 1935. C.H. Hershocks started the company as a building supply store. “My grandfather, Ralph Deaven worked for the original Hershocks and quickly worked his way up the company ladder,” tells Greg Deaven, now third-generation vice president of Hershock’s service and small contracting division.
Ralph shaped Hershocks, working for the company for over 40 years until his retirement in 1988. “When my grandfather’s health failed in the late 1980s my father, uncle and aunt stepped in to take over,” recounts Deaven.
Today, the traditions Ralph established are still carried on through family ownership and a dedicated Hershocks team. “My father, Barry Deaven, is the current owner and my brothers Tim and Mike Deaven are also involved,” adds Deaven. “We also have a sister company called Nittany Building Specialties (Nittany) which serves south-central Pennsylvania, doing the same type of work.”
Although the two companies regularly work alongside each other, Nittany is an entirely separate entity. “Nittany’s mainstay, as is Hershocks, is commercial glass, glazing and architectural wall panels, but Nittany also has a flooring division.”
With time, the company’s products and services have evolved, but what hasn’t changed is Hershocks belief that fair prices, perseverance, pride in one’s work and honest customer communications are the building blocks of a successful business. Based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Hershocks serves a 90-mile radius, into York, Lancaster, Lebanon, Reading and other neighboring communities. “We have traveled to western Maryland, West Virginia, and northern Virginia,” notes Deaven. “We’re currently running at about 80 employees.”
Bringing the exterior in-house
As one of the largest specialty contractors in the area, Hershocks offers complete envelope systems for commercial buildings with specialized teams supplying and installing storefronts, commercial windows, doors, skylights, sunshades, and architectural wall panels. “We build many of the window and wall panel systems we install in-house,” reveals Deaven. “That’s one of our strong points – fabricating a large volume of complex of work through our own shop.”
Furthermore, Hershocks offers in-house fabrication of aluminum entranceways. The company’s modern, state-of-the-art facility is equipped with precision fabrication machinery and Hershocks highly-trained, experienced crews complete complicated jobs quickly and efficiently. Even government facilities, requiring heightened security, Hershocks has the expertise and resources needed to install blast mitigation systems.
“Our largest division, headed by Ron Candioto, is commercial glazing and wall panels,” adds Deaven. “We work primarily for general contractors but on the service end Hershocks serves facility managers and owners.” From large-scale commercial applications to single-family homes, the company’s residential department specializes in a wide variety of mirrors, shower doors, caulking and overhead doors.
Hershock’s has been making grand entrances with custom glass storefronts and curtain walls for corporate offices to high-rises, health care facilities to and more. Across a broad client base, the company represents industry-leading manufacturers such as EFCO, Kawneer North America, Centria, Supersky, YKK AP, Duratherm Corporation and others.
“Two recent large projects we’ve completed for the Pinnacle Health is the Grass Building in downtown Harrisburg and the West Shore Hospital,” tells Deaven. “This job included windows, entrances, wall panels, and a large amount of interior glazing.”
In 2012, Hershocks completed the complex Lancaster General Health – Barshinger Cancer Center (LGH-BCC). “This was also a very complex project because LGH-BCC is a round-shaped building,” details Deaven. “We delivered the curtain walls, storefronts, skylights, and glazing with few straight lines to work with.”
In addition, Hershocks has also completed the Williamsport Hospital, Lancaster Convention Center, and numerous university work as well as auto dealerships. “Another large point-supported structural glass project for Hershocks was the Hollywood Casino,” tells Deaven. “We shipped in a giant structural glass wall from England for the façade. Despite the complexities, our team brought the project in on time and budget without breaking a single piece of glass.”
An aluminum composite panel system at York Hospital and impressive skylights and windows at Gettysburg College are also included in Hershocks extensive portfolio. But Deaven, who’s been with the family-run firm for 27 years, says the recession put serious constraints on the company’s work flow.
“A volatile economic forecast lead to restrained budgets and we were forced to downsize with the economy,” he recounts. “Now that things are picking back up, we’re trying to grow alongside it, but it’s always volatile. Where we’ve really seen it take a toll is with our vendors; particularly glass fabricators have seen the worst effects of the economy. The ones who remain are struggling to keep up with growing industry demands.”
A tenured team
Fortunately solid vendor relationships and a trusted workforce have seen Hershocks through lean times. “After being with Hershocks for 27 years, I find the most rewarding part is the people I get to work with every day,” says Deaven. “We have a good group of loyal employees and many people with long tenures. One fellow is soon retiring after 45 years and many others have 20-plus years of experience. They’re all a part of our upcoming 80-year celebration. The main reason we’re still here is due to our dedicated employees.”
Deaven says the commitment to service is all part of Hershocks core mission, something he says the company recently confirmed with our updated Mission-Vision-Values in preparation of our celebration of eighty-years in business. “We want our customers to always trust in Hershocks and expect reliable service from our expert resources”, this has been the basis for 79 years,” says Deaven. “We’re going to expand on our strengths and improve our weaknesses and see where that takes us,” he says.
Since Deaven’s grandfather Ralph’s time at Hershocks, the traditions established carry on today through a dedicated team. Although Hershocks Inc. has grown into one of the largest specialty exterior contractors in Pennsylvania the belief that fair prices, perseverance, pride and honest customer communication remain the foundation of the business.
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