Quietside CEO Sang W. Lee (second from left) opens the company’s new facility as Congressman Jay “Buck” Swisher (from left); Jack Ernest, Quietside vice president and general manager; and Bob Unger, head of the local Chamber of Commerce, look on.
CARLISLE, Pa. — It is said that the first rule of real estate is “location, location, location.” And for those who might wonder why Quietside chose Carlisle, Pa., for its new learning and distribution center, Jack Ernest, vice president and general manager of Quietside, has the answer. According to his research, 60 percent of the entire population of the United States can be reached within six hours from Carlisle. Taking that a step further, Ernest said 80 percent of the U.S. population is within eight hours of Carlisle.

So, when Quietside, headquartered in Whittier, Calif., went looking for a place to reach its business base in the East — and it only made sense to do so, since 80 percent of Quietside’s business is in the East, said Ernest — Carlisle was the “natural” choice to place its new Learning and Distribution Center.

With cornfields on both sides of the 60,000-square-foot complex, Quietside’s new facility appears to be in the middle of nowhere. And, knowing that the building was, at one time, an indoor sports entertainment complex, where the local community used to play roller hockey, tennis, basketball, etc., gives it a “homey” feel (even if the male bathrooms are locker-room size).

Still, with the much-traveled Pennsylvania Turnpike just a few miles up the road off of nearby Route 11, Ernest is positive the right spot for Quietside was chosen.

“When we went looking, we wanted to find a location that made sense,” said Ernest, at the facility’s recent grand opening celebration. “At the same time, my wife and I wanted to live in an area where the quality of life was good. We wanted to live in an enjoyable place to live.”

The facility’s showroom area features exposed ductwork. Quietside designed the area to show how its systems work.

The House That Jack Built

Maybe it’s fairer to label Quietside’s new facility as “The Home that Jack Built.” Of course, that suggestion will only bring a smile from the man with the crew cut. Yet, those in the corporation will tell you that it was Ernest who put a lot of sweat and planning into the dream, which is now a reality.

“He’s the man,” said Stu Taylor, manager of technical support.

It’s obvious Ernest is proud of the finished product, as he was more than happy to walk through the facility with all who came through the front door for the grand opening. There was a method to his madness concerning the facility design, which does start at the front door. Before entering, one has to pass by a Samsung Digital Variable Multi (DVM) unit. The system consists of an outdoor condensing unit and indoor evaporators. According to Ernest, each outdoor unit can support up to 16 indoor evaporators.

“We wanted to tell you right away what we are all about,” said Ernest.

Once inside the complex, there is a spacious lobby, which contains a one-way cassette in the ceiling. To the left are the cubicles for the technical support people. To the right is a large conference room, complete with a map of the world and a four-way cassette in the wall. However, the heart of the facility is straight ahead in the showroom, which leads straight into the classroom lab, which leads right into the hands-on teaching area.

In the hands-on learning area, one visitor examines the working radiant floor area at Quietside’s new Learning and Distribution Center.
“We wanted this to be a place where you could come and learn,” said Ernest. “And we do have to teach people about our product. Education is not instantaneous. We plan to provide exposure to the product and provide education.”

John Miles is responsible for spreading the word regarding Quietside and its products. As director of engineering and technical support, Miles will be putting on classes for contractors, wholesalers, and “anyone who wants to learn.”

“We’re not here to teach the basics,” he said. “What we’re trying to teach is how and when they [Quietside products] work and when they don’t work. We plan to bring in our distributors first and teach them. That way, the knowledge can flow down” to the contractors and technicians.

The showroom is complete with exposed ductwork to show customers how the products and systems operate. Meanwhile, the classroom lab is able to accommodate a group of 50. And, the hands-on area not only has boiler products, but a working raised radiant floor area, which includes baseboard heating.

“The crews did a very good job,” agreed Sang W. Lee, CEO of Quietside, who was all smiles at the grand opening. “Two-thirds of our market is here. If you want to be a major player, we had to expand.”

No complaints came from Peter Iannelli, a rep from WI Associates Inc., a distributor located in nearby Boyertown.

“This is great for our agency,” he said. “I plan on bringing customers here to see this. Actually, I have been dragging them here since its inception. This is going to be a good sales tool for me.”

Publication date: 04/28/2003