Meet the Capital
Electric team:

Say hello to Doug, Outside OEM Sales extraordinaire and part of the Capital Electric team since dang near the beginning.

Meet the Capital Electric Team: Doug Harpster, Outside OEM Sales

After moving out west to Keystone, Colorado for a year in 1990, Doug was heading home to go back to school but fate – and Doug and Mike’s dad – had other plans.

A simple question, “Come work here at Capital Electric?”, turned into a rewarding 30+ year career of building relationships, friendships and connections while finding a helluva of a lot of solutions for customers.

Let’s get into the chat with Doug.

What’s your role at Capital Electric and what are your primary responsibilities?

I’ve been doing outside OEM sales in industrial wire and cabling for the past 15 years.

 That said, my career at Capital Electric has covered pretty much everything here; from warehousing to accounting to purchasing, but sales and being able to directly interact with our customers grabbed a hold of me

What do you enjoy most about your job?

First and foremost, meeting people and turning those initial interactions into meaningful, long-term relationships where we’re really solving issues for them.

Being able to make a difference every week has been endlessly rewarding.

How would you describe the team culture at Capital Electric?

Everybody wants to help. Everybody is looking to do the right thing. Everybody wants to do it right the first time.

My brother Mike along with my fellow outside sales legend, Greg Tomaszewski, we've all been here for 30 years at this point. It's kind of a family, literally and figuratively. You can’t fake those connections.

I spend a lot of time with these people, I know them pretty well and it's a great culture.

Just making friends and acquaintances and meeting great people. Working with them for 10, 15, 20 or 30 years even; you make good, reliable friends that way.

What challenges have you faced in your role and how did you overcome them?

COVID presented some big challenges, between long lead times and some vendors underperforming due to their own challenges at the time made for a real grind. Like the rest of the country, we hunkered down and made it work.

Transparent communication and honesty go a long way at the end of the day.

Aside from that, with over 30 years in the business and 15 in sales specifically, there’s naturally some churn with our vendors; so meeting new people and onboarding different vendors happens from time to time.

Always, always some kind of challenge like that – but honestly, there’s fun in that too, in building those relationships with top-tier vendors.

Then it’s about making it a seamless and painless transition for our customers.

Ultimately, it’s about finding the right solution.

What does a typical day look like for you at Capital Electric? 

Things have changed a lot from 30 years ago!

Where it was all done on phone calls before, I’d say it’s 80-90% emails now, which makes folks a bit more elusive than years ago.

As a golf fan, that’s kind of a bummer because back in the day I could take someone out on the course. A bit less of that these days!

But the days are dynamic nonetheless and getting out to lunch with customers on occasion is always a great way to keep up with each other.

What are some of your hobbies or interests outside of work? 

Aside from hitting the links, I’m a fan of outdoor sports, motorcycles and snowmobiles.

Also, hunting turkey and deer, my son got one this year and we had it all made into sausage and hot sticks.

I’m a huge family guy though and while my kids are older now – 17, 19, 21 and 23 – back in the day I coached pretty much everything for them.

7 different sports; soccer, baseball, football, basketball… my daughter played lacrosse. I didn’t coach that or rugby, know nothing about those!

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16680 W. Cleveland Ave., New Berlin, WI, 53151 | Phone: 262-788-9700 (800-227-9473) | Fax: 262-788-9710 |

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