Danos loving its digs: Workers tout excitement toward new facility

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Ever since its inception in 1947, local industry leading company Danos has worked hard to create a people-first work environment that allows individuals to thrive and showcase their talents.

“No matter how much we may grow, our business has always been about people,” Danos Executive Vice President Eric Danos said. “That’s something that will never change.”

A look at the company’s new digs shows that the businessman’s proclamation is as true as ever before. It’s a workspace that people can truly enjoy.

Danos moved into its new Gray-based office this past week – a move that starts a new chapter for the local business that employs 2,000 people and has become a local leader in construction fabrication and marine works.

Eric Danos said the move is an exciting time – one that has everyone in the company’s family excited.

The company previously operated its day-to-day business at a business campus in Larose.

“It’s great,” Danos said. “We’re so very excited about the new facility and the new building and being here. It doesn’t quite feel like home just yet, but we’re only a week-in, and I’m sure that soon it will. We’re still getting settled, but it’s an absolutely beautiful campus and folks are really excited to have a space that is like nothing else in the area in terms of office space and other things like that.

“We wanted to build something that folks in the area could be proud of and would help our business continue to grow. I think we accomplished that.”

For Danos, the new facility is huge for the Bayou Region’s economy. The multi-million dollar project broke ground about a year ago and remained on schedule, despite a wet winter.

Danos executives had offers to move shop to Texas for its expansion efforts, but opted to remain local to stay true to its nearly 70-year history – a move that Gov. Bobby Jindal said last winter was big for Louisiana.

“We are delighted that despite a challenging federal regulatory environment, Louisiana companies like Danos are rising to new heights in business performance and will lead the way in solving our nation’s energy challenges in the future,” Jindal said.

“We have a great deal of admiration for Texas, but we feel like we are a Louisiana company,” Danos President and CEO Hank Danos added. “There’s a lot of big decisions that are made in Houston and we need to be in Houston like everybody needs to be in Houston because there’s a lot going on there. But we chose to have our headquarters in South Louisiana, which we think better fits our corporate culture.”

That corporate culture the president speaks of is one in which Danos caters a lot of its efforts to treating employees fairly and with respect.

In the new facility, those core values are on display as workers have been given larger office spaces to allow for morale boost and worker comfort.

Danos also kept all of its furniture in the Larose site, opting to stock the new building 100 percent with new desks, chairs and all of the fixings.

Workers were greeted on Monday morning with office spaces personalized to the core – with employees even having their own customized mouse and mouse pad at computers.

“From the second I walked from my car and into the building, I just had this huge smile on my face,” Danos Business Analyst Melanie Toups said. “It just feels like at every corner around here, everything is just stunning. It’s very obvious that the builders, the construction crew, the designers of this building and the Danos family took every detail into account when making this place. It’s like being at home. I love it.”

The business campus also has a huge lunch room stocked with couches and other furniture that serves two-fold as a place where employees can relax and eat at a discounted price, but also a meeting room for clients and other business affairs.

“We offer lunch service on campus and it’s heavily discounted, which is our way to try and encourage people to stay on campus,” Eric Danos said. “We want people to get to know one another, to socialize and to be comfortable in their work environment. The whole building is really set up in a way that blends what we do from an industrial standpoint with the family atmosphere, which is what we think makes the Danos organization special.”

“In the past few days, I’ve had lunch with people I’ve worked with for years, but that I’d never met in my life,” Toups added. “That part, to me, has been a great experience.”

Another sign of that family-like feel is shown in what the company is doing for its employees not around the Houma area. Because a lot of the Danos employee base is from areas like Larose, Cut Off, Golden Meadow and other areas in Lafourche Parish, the move to Gray has given a lot of workers a larger commute than they’ve had in the past.

To offset that and create a fair situation for everyone involved, Danos has purchased vans that will serve as carpool units to move workers to and from Lafourche to Gray.

“We do understand and are aware that this move created a situation where a lot of people in our employee base now have a commute that’s a little more difficult to manage than they’d had in the past,” Eric Danos said. “So we just wanted to do something to make things a little easier and to create something that was could be fair.”

Eric Danos said the facility is not all the way completed just yet, but that company officials have a “punch-list” of minor things that will all be polished up within 30 days.

The early move was by design so that workers could test out the new space and offer feedback regarding any things that need tweaking while the construction company is still on the job.

Danos’ new facility in Gray is a major hit among the company’s employees who call the place home. Featuring modernized, roomy offices and furniture-heavy meeting rooms, the new facility opened its doors this past Monday.