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Sherman's experiences change of ownership

It's business as usual under different ownership for a longtime West Fargo business.

Doug Sherman has sold Sherman, Inc. to Dennis Johnson of Professional Computer Services, Dickinson, N.D., with the business now called SHERMANS LLC. Johnson serves as president and his son, Josh, oversees the operation as CEO and vice president for the company whose excavating division is located at 1005 E. Main Ave., West Fargo; and the plumbing division at 302 11th St. N., in Fargo.

The business specializes in sewer and water installation and repair, including main lines and service; commercial or residential repairs, and interior plumbing. A large part of the commercial involvement is working with different municipalities including West Fargo, Fargo, Moorhead, and surrounding communities, installing sewer and water mains for developments or replacing main lines. SHERMANS LLC is also experienced in site design, problem solving and emergency services, coordinating work with some of the major corporations and engineers in the area.

Sherman's history dates back to the early 1930s when Doug's grandfather, Henry Sherman, founded the plumbing portion of the business in the same north Fargo location it continues to operate at today. Doug's father, William Sherman, established the excavating division in the early 1950s on West Fargo's West Main Avenue, incorporating both phases of the business in 1961. Doug decided to carry on the family tradition, joining the office staff in 1971 after graduating from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. He has been involved ever since, working his way up the ranks to owner/president and CEO. Throughout the years, the company grew in size and in the scope of work projects completed. This year, Doug decided he'd maybe like to slow down a bit, and with no family member standing in the wings to take over the reigns, decided he would pursue selling his company.

Josh, who had been a summer employee of Sherman, Inc. for four years during college as a laborer and then doing estimating this last winter, immediately expressed an interest. Originally from Dickinson, he graduated from high school there and went on to attend North Dakota State University where he earned a Business and Finance degree. "This was something I enjoyed and had a lot of interest in," Josh said. "I see this as an opportunity of a lifetime. I'm doing what I love to do right now."

Doug is equally as happy, saying that it's been a "good 30-plus years" and he has no regrets. He remains on board as estimator "teaching Josh the ropes. I didn't want to retire but I didn't want as much responsibility, so this is great because I'm doing the part of the work that I enjoy," Doug said. He'll also be able to spend a little more time with his family: wife, Mary, a longtime English instructor at West Fargo High School; and his three grown children, all West Fargo High School graduates, Jamie, a pediatrician in Sacramento, Calif.; Andy, attending medical school in St. Louis, Mo.; and Ali, a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in English.

As far as the employees at SHERMANS, LLC, everything is remaining the same there also. "Sherman's has a well-known name and a great reputation, and Doug has everyone trained well," Josh said about his staff of 30-plus. "Everybody made the transition well and it's running smoothly thanks to the longevity, experience and the knowledge that our employees possess. They are an extremely dedicated group and for several, this is the only job they've ever known. In fact, a couple of our employees have been with us for over 50 years."

Anyone interested in more information about SHERMANS LLC or in need of their services, can contact them for excavating at 282-3659, or plumbing at 235-6896.