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Jerry Berg's "Murderer's Row

“I want to tell you about people I have known who have been murdered or are murderers.” That was Jerry Berg’s opening line in one of our video recording sessions of his story. It got my attention.

It wasn’t but a few weeks before that Jerry had introduced me to his friend, Ray. “You need talk to Ray, unlike me, he has so many interesting stories to tell.” I’m sure Ray does, but as it turned out, so did Jerry.

You don’t have to take my word for it, just listen to one of Jerry’s stories "Murderer’s Row".

Murderer’s Row was just one of many topics to come out of the recording sessions.  As Jerry would say, 'quite painless process'. More like reminiscing with a friend about experiences you’ve had, people you have met and things that you have done.  Feel free to throw in a few comments you’ve always wanted to make, but never found the right place or the right person to say them.

Jerry Berg: “Rick has an amazing ability to draw stories out of people, like turning clay into a pot.  We live our lives and just think we’re a clump of clay, not really anything, not so interesting.  Rick finds the "interesting" in the clay.” 

Call it Midwestern nice, but people around here have a difficult time talking about themselves. Not wanting to come across as a show-off or a know-it-all. Unfortunately, too many stories of success and accomplishment never get preserved, not wanting to come across as a braggart or a know-it-all.  Not realizing the value a life-time of experiences will mean for others.

Jerry Berg: Normally you don't want to tell anybody anything about yourself other than what they may glean from being your friend for all those years. You don't want it to sound like your bragging. You don't want it to sound like one upsmanship.

Jerry Berg, a Renner, South Dakota native and long-time Sioux Falls businessman who started his current business INTEK Cleaning & Restoration in 1984. He'll be the first to tell you that success doesn't come easy and it's never guaranteed.  However, along with his sons and many loyal employees he oversees the operation of a $10 million enterprise with over 150 employees with offices in Sioux Falls and Yankton.

His career didn't start in cleaning, but rather in a picklish venture.  See here.


So, why did he do this?

Jerry Berg: It gave me an opportunity to put my life into words. I wasn’t sure how important they’d be to someone else, but it was important for me to see for myself if I’d done anything worthwhile.  If it's worth something to my kids, grandkids or others down the road, so be it.

He added, it's kind of like mining for gold. You need to turn over a lot of dirt to find a few nuggets. This was like mining for a few nuggets of your life. 

Did you find any?

Jerry Berg:  Absolutely.