Michael Gohman represents the third generation behind the business, a business his grandfather Willard started in 1950 as a cabinetmaker working out of his backyard shed, eventually working in residential builds and renovations. Michael’s father Bruce joined the family business in the 1960s adding an entry into the commercial sector and was at the company’s helm from 1980 to 2006 when Michael officially took the reins as President. It’s a business built on humble principles of work ethic and family values.
W. Gohman’s commercial contract work is focused primarily within a 60-mile radius of its offices in St. Joseph and Lakeshore on the north side of Gull Lake. Projects are represented both in the public bid market and in performing negotiated work for clients. In a continued effort to better serve its clients, W. Gohman created a sister company in Creative Custom Builders in the 1990s, returning, in a way, to its roots in residential construction. By 2013, Artistic Stone & Concrete was established, enabling a special focus on historic renovation and concrete projects.
The Right-Sized Community
Michael shared his thoughts on a 70+ year stint as a business in Central Minnesota, saying, “It’s a small enough community that you get to know many other business people and develop relationships with them, and it is large enough to have the resources when needed.”
He continued, “We have an engaged community compared to some places we have worked at. The area is a great place to live with amenities that are not possible in smaller communities. There is enormous potential for Central Minnesota to continue to grow. Looking back at the projects we have done, and knowing that things will continue to evolve and create new opportunities is amazing.”
The W. Gohman Culture
Michael said, “One of the reasons we have always stayed closer to St. Cloud for the work we perform is to make sure employees can go home at night instead of being on the road. We believe in a strong work/life balance that has been a big part of our retention over the years. I believe going forward this is more important than ever.”
He continued, “We are now an employee-owned company with eight owners. Our goal is to create a place for great construction people to have an equity position to reward their efforts. We are nothing without our employees and we are lucky to have a stable workforce that has been with us for a long time. Central Minnesota has enough different market segments that as one part of the industry slows down, something else is still going forward. Office space is slower since Covid, but retail for us has picked up as an example.”
Michael concluded by mentioning W. Gohman’s role and commitment to the community its employees and clients call home, saying “It takes everyone working together to promote and build up the Central Minnesota area. St. Cloud Shines and the GSDC are private industry and public entities in that collaborative effort.”
To visit W. Gohman’s career opportunities, visit its Careers page.